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Energy Star Appliances May Not All Be Efficient

February 15, 2010

The early 1990s marked an increase in environmental awareness within mainstream society as various sectors started several initiatives to protect the environment and save valuable natural resources. More and more people are becoming aware about how greenhouse gases are produced and how they contributed to the acceleration of global warming.

It is due to these environmental issues that the EPA introduced the voluntary labeling program called ENERGY STAR as a way to reduce the production of pollution through the production and use of energy-saving and power-efficient products. People in various states such as Texas, not only can save big on their electricity consumption but can contribute in the efforts of protecting the environment by using Energy Star compliant appliances.

However, consumers need to understand what the Energy Star label implies and how they can be assured that the appliances they are buying or using are really energy efficient enough to let them save on their Dallas or Houston electricity bills. This knowledge is important or they might end up with an “Energy Star”-labeled appliances that may not be efficient at all.

What Does the Energy Star Label Mean?

When the United States EPA and the Department of Energy formed the Energy Star label in 1992, their goal was create a standard for energy-efficient products that various manufacturers can comply with. This entails a rigorous testing and evaluation of electrical products and how they can reduce the amount of Houston or Dallas electricity or whatever state electricity they consume. If the product complies with the minimum requirements set by the standards, the manufacturers can now market their products as Energy Star compliant.

How to Ensure that Your Appliances are Energy-efficient

People on the lookout for energy-efficient products have the Power to Choose whichever Energy Star-compliant appliance they would like to use. However, they should be aware on how energy-efficient the particular appliance is based on the rating system set in place by the Energy Star standard. It is normal for appliance vendors to make pitches on how their products conserve energy but consumers should look into the actual ratings of the products or request for an actual demonstration on how these machines consume less energy.

The following are guides that consumers can follow when choosing common household appliances and electrical gadgets. Unless newer and more efficient technologies can come up with renewable and cheap electricity production, consumers have no choice but to use Energy Star-compliant and energy efficient appliances in their homes.

* Refrigerators — Older refrigerator models not only consume more electricity but they can give off about 1100 lbs of CO2 emissions every year. When choosing newer models, checking for the Energy Star is not enough but you should also look into the efficiency of the unit. These units may be more expensive but it can save the consumer more in the long run, aside from reducing CO2 emissions right from their own homes.  Aside from that, the installation of the refrigeration unit can also be a big factor, as they should not be placed near heat-radiating machines or appliances to make them more efficient.

* Furnaces — when choosing a furnace, a unit with an 83 percent or higher Energy Star rating is preferable in order to save more electricity during use.

* Washing Machines and Dishwashers — An Energy Star rated washer can consume between 20 to 30 percent less energy than standard machines. The higher the Energy Star rating, the lower energy consumption the machine needs to operate efficiently. Aside from that, efficient washers can use less water (16 to 25 gallons per load) than standard machines (up to 40 gallons per load).

* Air Conditioners — Aside from the Energy Star compliance ratings, consumers can also gauge the efficiency of air conditioning units through its Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ration or SEER rating. The higher the SEER rating is indicated, the greater energy savings the consumer gets.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. February 22, 2010

    The topic of Energy Star Appliances NOT being the guarantee answer to energy savings with appliances was present years ago on a educational web site called EnergyHotwire.com. The info and data is available in the Appliance sections of the web site and is still there for anyone to read.

    This site is a must for every American trying to save energy big time and without sacrifice!

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