Knowing the ins and outs of high efficiency household appliances is key to saving money off a monthly budget. Not only are energy costs factored into an HE rating, but also in relation to the manufacturing, purchasing, and operational costs of the machine. All of these must be taken into account to determine what appliance is right for the family.
A home-modeled HE refrigerator works on the same principal as any commercial unit. A series of coils carry refrigerant from a compressor throughout the machine, regulating temperatures in separate locations within the unit. A greater concentration of coolant focuses on the freezer section for long-term storage of food, while a lesser amount is channeled toward the crisper for immediate use. High efficiency models focus on the operation of the compressor, utilizing less energy to perform the same tasks as older models. Energy Star is the overseer for these standards, and in the competition for most efficient manufacturers, LG comes out on top with units capable of reducing running costs by nearly 80%.
Kitchen dishwashers focus on both initial energy use to operate the unit, as well as the effectiveness of the cleaning cycles. To this end, many HE dishwashers rely on specially formulated detergents to accomplish more in less time. These detergents are available on the same shelf as regular dish washing detergent, but can cost more depending on what they are and where they are purchased. These detergents have increased caustic agents to break down grease and food particles with less time, keeping the running cycle of the appliance down. The less time a dish washer runs, the less it costs to operate it.
The kitchen isn’t the only place where high efficiency appliances are finding their way. Laundry machines use up a great deal of household energy as well, so researching what dryer works best will go a long way in reducing a household budget. Whether the dryer is part of a stacked unit or a stand alone, such as the one’s offered by Maytag, it is important to compare prices and efficiency ratings. HE dryers focus on delivering more heat with less energy input to create a shorter drying cycle.
HE Washing Machines
As with any major purchase, it is a good idea to review ratings over at Consumer Reports. Washing machines are rated based on energy input, length of the laundry washing cycle, and requirements for detergents. Like dish washing machines, clothes washing machines recommend using special detergents to reduce washing time with the same results.
The initial investment can be considerable, but with standard use, these costs are soon realized in home energy savings.