What Are the Most Efficient Appliances?

What Are the Most Efficient Appliances?


Photo courtesy of Control4.

TecHome Builder recently toured homebuilder models throughout Southern California, where saving energy is key. And a big part of saving energy is in appliances, as they can be so darned energy intensive.

We popped open microwave drawers, fawned over ovens and inspected dishwashers. We (attempted) to take arresting photos of clothes washers and dryers. We talked appliances to just about everyone we met and asked a lot of annoyingly detailed questions about them. At times we must have appeared as people who would build a house around appliances alone.

Everyone knows that when buying a car you look at MPG, but no one thinks that way when buying appliances and electronics.

Smart kitchen appliance

What was once mundane machinery in the home has become fertile ground for high-technology and efficiency—especially in places like California where such a premium is placed on energy conservation.

We recently asked Enervee, a web portal that rates the energy efficiency of appliances, to help us identify the top appliance efficiency technologies that builders, designers and consumers should consider when selecting these household workhorses. The Enervee Score of 0 to 100 rates appliances by aggregating power consumption data from the manufacturer, Energy Star, the Federal Trade Commission, and so forth—and does so in relation to the appliances’ performance.

It’s is like a MPG rating for cars. “Everyone knows that when buying a car you look at MPG, but no one thinks that way when buying appliances and electronics,” says Enervee cofounder Matthias Kurwig.

You can even select your local electricity rate from a database of over 3,000 residential utility rates and customize a product usage profile. Getting any ideas for marketing your homes’ efficiency with appliances?

Smart washer and dryer

Enervee’s idea is to simplify the hopelessly complex task of shopping for energy efficiency in products like appliances at a time when their efficiency is in high demand. Think of Enervee as crunching Big Data for appliance efficiency.

The company has even licensed its data to the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE), and the Enervee Score can be embedded into online shopping and other web sites.

Here are some efficient appliance shopping tips from Enervee. We’ll be following this up in coming weeks with more detailed coverage of hot and energy-saving appliance technologies.

Clothes Washers

  • Front-load are much more efficient than top-load.
  • Look for models with water consumption of less than 3.5 gallons/cycle.

Dryers

  • Look for models with moisture sensors that automatically stop the dryer cycle when clothes are dry.

Dishwashers

  • Look for models with water consumption of less than 3.2 gallons/cycle.
  • Look for features such as soil sensors and plate sensors that can regulate cleaning cycles and the amount of water used, according to the load size and dirtiness of dishes.

Refrigerators

  • Top freezer models tend to be most efficient.
  • Size of freezer has a big impact on energy cost (make sure to get the correct size).

Freezers

  • Chest models tend to be most efficient.

TVs

  • LED backlit TVs tend to be most efficient.

Monitors

  • LED backlit models tend to be most efficient.

Projectors

  • LCD models tend to be most efficient.

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