DOE and EPA use the Energy Star program to promote the sale of green kitchen appliances. Most of us have seen the yellow stickers with the Energy Star logo, but do you know what those stickers mean? For an appliance to qualify for Energy Star, it must use 10% to 66% less energy and / or water than other models. However, you can’t compromise on device quality or rule out additional features. This is one of the best ways to learn about the greenest appliances that consume the least amount of energy. However, here are some additional tips on what to look for in appliances:
Stoves and ovens
Induction – A cast iron or stainless steel pot is placed over the induction coil of the stove. This excites the molecules in the pot and produces heat. Note: the process does not work with glass pots and aluminum decreases efficiency. Induction cooking is not only more energy efficient, but also faster. The induction cooker only heats the pot directly on it. It does not heat the air or the surface of the stove around it. Induction cooking has an efficiency rate of 84%. Typical gas cookers are around 40%. This is one of my favorite green kitchen appliances.
Hybrid solar ovens: Solar ovens reach temperatures of around 400 degrees. Total solar ovens do not require electrical power. They depend solely on solar energy from the sun. A hybrid version works on the same principle, but has an electric backup, for when solar use is not available.
Fridge and Frieza
Side by side refrigerators use about 10% more energy than a top and bottom option. Avoid ice machines as they use electricity to make ice. Also, avoid automatic defrosters and heaters. A refrigerator represents approximately 15% of your total electric bill. So if you can’t buy all of your green kitchen appliances at once, get this one first. Read the yellow and black “energy guide label”. It will tell you how much energy each make and model consumes.
Dishwashers use about one-sixth as much soap and water, and about half the energy, as hand washing. Find a dishwasher that has a booster heater and turn the electric dryer function on / off. You may think that the smaller motor will reduce energy use, but going with a larger motor will prevent the dishwasher from running a second cycle. Smaller engines don’t have the spray power to clean heavily soiled dishes. Also, look for models of efficient water use. Some of these use half the water of a normal dishwasher and have automatic sensors that determine how dirty the dishes are.
Keep in mind that the price of green kitchen appliances may be higher, but it won’t take long to recoup the additional cost of the appliance. In 2006, Energy Star appliances saved consumers $ 14 billion in utility bills. Energy guide labels are required on all appliances. So, take advantage of the information and compare various makes and models. Also, ask about federal tax credits for upgrading to Energy Star appliances.