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Everything You N eed K now About: Appliances. Jenelle Cheng 24 November 2009 Green Design 1 www.jenellecheng.com. Energy Usage in the Home. Consumer appliances account for about 38% of a home’s energy usage (refrigeration, appliances, electronics and water heating included).

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everything you n eed k now about appliances

Everything You Need Know About: Appliances

Jenelle Cheng

24 November 2009

Green Design 1


energy usage in the home
Energy Usage in the Home

Consumer appliances account for about 38% of a home’s energy usage (refrigeration, appliances, electronics and water heating included).

Source: US Department of Energy,

Energy Savers Booklet

energy usage in the home3
Energy Usage in the Home

Up to 20% of your home’s electricity usage is being consumed while your appliances are “off.”

Tax rebates and incentives are common for consumers who purchase energy-efficient appliances.

Source: US Department of Energy,

Energy Savers Booklet

energy usage in the home4
Energy Usage in the Home

Colorado is among the “most improved” states for energy efficiency, having climbed at least 8 spots in ranking since 2008.

Source: US Department of Energy,

Energy Savers Booklet

water usage in the home
Water Usage in the Home

Clothes washing and automatic dishwashers account for significant home water usage.

Source: US Department of Energy,

Energy Savers Booklet

co 2 emissions
CO2 Emissions

Among appliances, refrigerators emit the greatest quantity of carbon dioxide.

Hot water for clothes and dish washing also account for significant carbon dioxide emissions.

Source: Rocky Mountain Institute,

Cool Citizens (2002)

ozone depletion
Ozone Depletion

Refrigerators and freezers made before 1995 contain CFCs, which attack the ozone layer.

Four million pounds of ozone-depleting chemicals escape from disposed appliances each year, and remain in the stratosphere for up to 150 years.

  • Components of a Refrigerator Manufactured
  • Prior to 1995. Source: EPA

8 million refrigerators and freezers are disposed of annually in the United States.

Americans discard 100 million electronic devices every year = 274,000 devices a day.

Approximately 1 billion existing computers will be potential scrap by 2010.

the energy guide label
The Energy Guide Label
  • Required since 1980 on:
  • Washers
  • Dryers
  • Refrigerators
  • Freezers
  • Dishwashers
  • Heating and Cooling
  • Compares Energy Efficiency:
  • Estimated Operating Cost
  • Estimated Energy Usage
the energy guide label10
The Energy Guide Label
  • Comparisons are against models with lowest and highest figures.
  • Disadvantage:
  • No special designation for highest ranked appliances, nor is there consideration for non-energy factors such as water usage.
the energystar label
  • Identifies devices excelling in energy efficiency, including:
  • Computers
  • Heating and Cooling
  • Major Home Appliances
  • Home Electronics
  • Office Equipment
  • Lighting
  • New Homes and Buildings
refrigerators and freezers
Refrigerators and Freezers

Essential appliance in practically every home, but are responsible for large amounts of energy usage and CO2 emissions.

Specialty features (e.g. icemakers, water filters and screens), excess size beyond client needs, and extra refrigerators and freezers all add to energy footprint.

refrigerators and freezers13
Refrigerators and Freezers
  • ENERGY STAR labeled refrigerators must surpass the federal energy efficiency standards by:
  • Full-Size Refrigerators: 15%
  • Freezers: 10%
  • Compact Models: 20%
refrigerators and freezers14
Refrigerators and Freezers

Disposal requires recovery of ozone-depleting refrigerant gases, making recycling more difficult.

95% of a refrigerator is composed of recyclable material, but they are the most difficult appliance to recycle.

refrigerators and freezers15
Refrigerators and Freezers

Major brands include Electrolux, Frigidaire, GE, KitchenAid, LG, Maytag, Sub-Zero, and Whirlpool.

Full-sized refrigerators typically retail from about $400 for low-end models to upwards of $4,000 for luxury models with commercial-style features.

refrigerators and freezers16
Refrigerators and Freezers

Energy-Saving Tips:

Open the door only as necessary for the minimum time needed.

Cover all foods to maintain food quality and limit defroster load.

Keep freezer as full as possible to maximize cooling efficiency.

refrigerators and freezers17
Refrigerators and Freezers

Energy-Saving Tips:

Keep refrigerators and freezers away from heat sources (e.g. heating ducts, direct sunlight and warm appliances).

Keep condenser coils clean.

Replace broken or leaking seals.

ranges cooktops ovens and hoods
Ranges, Cooktops, Ovens and Hoods

No minimum efficiency standards exist for kitchen ranges, so these appliances do not bear Energy Guide or ENERGY STAR labels.

Choice of gas versus electric is often based on preference, as both typically use non-renewable fossil fuels.

ranges cooktops ovens and hoods19
Ranges, Cooktops, Ovens and Hoods

Gas ranges typically use less energy overall, but renewable electrical energy sources may make electric ranges desirable.

Convection ovens are more efficient, using one-third to one-half less energy. Self-cleaning ovens’ improved insulation and seals may also add to efficiency.

ranges cooktops ovens and hoods20
Ranges, Cooktops, Ovens and Hoods

Cast-iron solid disk elements are slow to heat and undesirable from a green perspective.

Halogen and induction cooktops are 80% and 70% more efficient than conventional cooktops (respectively), but can be more costly upfront.

Additionally, induction ranges require iron or steel cookware.

ranges cooktops ovens and hoods21
Ranges, Cooktops, Ovens and Hoods

Range hoods are required by building code. Hoods that vent exhaust air outside are preferred for superior indoor air quality.

Fans should be specified to range size for optimum airflow without excess energy use.

Updraft vent hoods are more efficient than downdraft varieties.

ranges cooktops ovens and hoods22
Ranges, Cooktops, Ovens and Hoods

Major brands include: Bosch, Electrolux, Frigidaire, GE, Hotpoint, KitchenAid, Maytag, Premier, Viking, Whirlpool and Wolf.

Free-standing ranges retail from about $500 for a basic model to $8000 for high-end ranges.

ranges cooktops ovens and hoods23
Ranges, Cooktops, Ovens and Hoods

Range tops, cooktops and ovens are also available in a variety of configurations with a wide range of price points dependent on the configuration and features chosen.

Range hoods retail for about $100 for basic recirculating models to above $2000 for luxury models.

ranges cooktops ovens and hoods24
Ranges, Cooktops, Ovens and Hoods

Energy-Saving Tips:

Use the smallest pan, burner,

and/or oven needed for the job.

Turn off oven a few minutes before cooking is complete to utilize residual radiant heat.

Defrost food in refrigerator first to minimize cooking time.

Maintain seals for efficiency.

ranges cooktops ovens and hoods25
Ranges, Cooktops, Ovens and Hoods

Energy-Saving Tips:

Minimize oven preheating time.

Avoid opening oven door unless necessary. Use the oven light to observe baking progress.

Batch baking jobs and use the self-cleaning feature while oven is hot to better utilize residual heat.

microwaves and small appliances
Microwaves and Small Appliances

Microwaves are effective at reducing energy usage, especially for reheating and small meals.

Cooking on plates or bowls that double as serving dishes can also reduce the need for dishwashing.

microwaves and small appliances27
Microwaves and Small Appliances

Other small appliances such as slow cookers, pressure cookers, toaster ovens and electric tea kettles are also energy-saving appliances.

However, infrequently used devices can be wasteful of raw materials, especially as small appliances can be difficult to repair or recycle.


More water-efficient than hand washing, newer models cut usage by half.

However, electrical usage for the motor and additional energy for heating the water contribute to the dishwasher’s significant energy usage.


Booster heaters save energy by allowing a lower water heater setting while still providing a sanitizing rinse.

“Light wash” and “energy saver” features reduce wash and dry times and are ideal for most typical loads.

Air-drying also saves energy.


ENERGY STAR-qualified dishwashers provide optimal energy savings, using 31% less energy and 33% less water than conventional machines.


Major brands include Electrolux, GE, Frigidaire, KitchenAid, Maytag and Whirlpool.

Costs for full-sized under-counter dishwashers run from about $250 for a basic model to above $1500 for high-end double-drawer or tall-tub designs.


Energy-Saving Tips:

Set water heater temperature to 120° and choose a model with a booster heater.

Run full loads for the minimum amount of time necessary.

Scrape, but do not rinse dishes by hand prior to washing, and air-dry or hand-dry dishes after washing.

garbage disposals
Garbage Disposals

Contrary to popular opinion, garbage disposals are not a green kitchen appliance.

Uses energy and water to run, adds increased burden to water treatment systems and cannot be easily recycled.

Composting of food waste is a much better option.

washers and dryers
Washers and Dryers

Responsible for the greatest use of water in the home, even more than showering or bathing.

Prefer front-load tumbler washers (horizontal-axis) to top-load agitator washers (vertical-axis), as horizontal axis-washers only use one-third to one-half the amount of water.

CA requires front-loading models.

washers and dryers35
Washers and Dryers

ENERGY STAR-labeled washers are rated on two separate scales.

Modified Energy Factor (MEF):

Washer tub capacity along with energy consumption for the washer and dryer system. Higher values indicate better efficiency.

Water Factor (WF): Water utilized for a standard wash cycle. Lower values are preferred.

washers and dryers36
Washers and Dryers

ENERGY STAR qualified washers save an average of $50 per year in energy costs and 17 gallons of water per load compared to non ENERGY STAR models.

ENERGY STAR requirements for washers will become even more stringent on January 1, 2011, requiring criteria of MEF ≥ 2.0 and WF ≤ 6.0.

washers and dryers37
Washers and Dryers

Dryers do not bear EnergyGuide labels and are not certified by the ENERGY STAR program, as most models use similar amounts of energy.

A washer can contribute to the dryer’s efficiency by removing as much water as possible from clothing during it’s spin cycle.

washers and dryers38
Washers and Dryers

Gas dryers are slightly more efficient, but electricity derived from renewable resources may make electric dryers a greener alternative for some users.

Dryers with built-in moisture sensors are the most efficient, beating out air temperature thermostats and simple timers in efficiency.

washers and dryers39
Washers and Dryers

When possible, air drying laundry on a drying rack or clothesline is a much greener alternative to using a dryer.

washers and dryers40
Washers and Dryers

Major brands include Bosch, Electrolux, Frigidaire, GE, LG, Maytag, Samsung and Whirlpool.

Retail prices for washers range from $350 for a basic top-load design to above $1,500 for a high-end model. ENERGY STAR qualified horizontal axis washers are available from about $500.

Dryers range from roughly $300 to $1,800.

washers and dryers41
Washers and Dryers

Energy-Saving Tips:

Use coolest and lowest water settings whenever possible.

Use maximum spin cycle to remove water and lower drying time. Hang dry when possible.

Wash full loads.

Keep the lint filters clean.

computers printers and office equipment
Computers, Printers and Office Equipment

Computers were the original ENERGY STAR-qualified appliance.

While the ENERGY STAR label originally only required a “sleep” mode, today’s 5.0 specification requires ENERGY STAR-qualified computers to meet minimum energy efficiency across various use states, including off, sleep, hibernate, and idle.

computers printers and office equipment43
Computers, Printers and Office Equipment

Sleep mode saves significant amounts of energy for devices compared to those without it, up to 70% for computers, and 90% for general office equipment.

Computers and other office equipment also use many resources in their manufacture, including numerous minerals and heavy metals.

computers printers and office equipment44
Computers, Printers and Office Equipment

Computers, printers and office equipment contain toxic levels of lead, cadmium, mercury and other poisons and should be recycled rather than discarded.

However, care must be taken in recycling electronics, as this task is often relegated to children in the third world.

computers printers and office equipment45
Computers, Printers and Office Equipment

Energy-Saving Tips:

Enable power saving modes and turn off equipment when not in use.

Consider upgrading a computer’s software or hardware before replacing it. Also, consider used and refurbished models.

Make use of manufacturers’ and retailers’ take-back programs.

computers printers and office equipment46
Computers, Printers and Office Equipment

Energy-Saving Tips:

Use power strips for easy shut off and to eliminate stand-by power usage.

Use rechargeable batteries rather than disposable ones.

Find and use your local battery and printer cartridge recycling center.