When looking to buy a new product, here are some tips on what to look for.
Always think about the “second price tag” when you purchase an appliance. While one item may have a lower price tag at the time of purchase, if it is less efficient, or inappropriate for your needs, it will likely cost you more in the long run – the “second price tag”.
Refrigerators & freezers
Choose the most energy efficient model you can find. Your lower energy expenses will soon make up for any extra purchasing costs. Reducing energy use also helps the environment.
ENERGY STAR-qualified washers use 50% less energy and 35-50% less water than traditional models. These clothes washers feature sensors that automatically adjust water levels to the size of your laundry loads to prevent the unnecessary waste of water. Also included are advanced high-speed motors, which reduce the length of spin cycles while removing more water from your clothes, so less time and energy are needed for drying.
ENERGY STAR-approved dishwashers will be the most energy- and water-efficient models.
When shopping for a TV, purchase one only as large as you require, since larger TVs use up more energy. To determine the right size for your viewing area, divide the distance between where you want to sit and the front of the screen by 2.5 (i.e. if you sit 80 inches from your TV, choose a 32-inch HDTV). This guideline will help you get the most out of your viewing experience. Also, consider the placement of your TV, and how that will affect the size. If you plan to mount your TV to a wall, for example, make sure it's a thin and light model. ConnectPro can install your home theatre system (fee).
Room and TV lighting.
Consider the lighting in your TV room to help determine which TV to buy. Plasmas generally consume more energy than LCDs, so if your TV is going into a bright room, considering getting an LCD TV with anti-glare technology instead of a plasma.
Once you’ve brought your TV home, calibrate the video settings for your room’s lighting conditions and reduce the level of backlighting. This will help reduce energy, as well as improve overall viewing quality and preserve the life of your screen. (If you need help with your video calibration settings, let our ConnectPro Experts help.)
Invest in energy efficiency.
Some energy-efficient TVs may have a higher upfront cost, but the energy you save over the long term can actually save you money. Plus, look for TVs with new and improved technology that incorporates green design features, including better longevity, more durability, and power-saver modes.
Consider the features you need.
Before choosing a new TV, consider the features you're interested in. TV features such as Netflix, YouTube, and Internet access all consume power and are not part of the energy rating tests, which may actually result in a TV that is less efficient than a model that isn't identified as an energy-efficient model.
Evaluate your needs.
What you plan to use your computer for will help you purchase the most efficient one for your needs. If you plan on using it mostly for simple tasks such as checking e-mail, surfing the Web, or watching a DVD, then take a look at netbooks or tablet computers, which not only cost less, but have processors that use less energy. Using a tablet could also help you consolidate, eliminating the need for a separate e-reader.
The above tasks don't require a lot of computational muscle, so a lower-power processor would run them without problem.
If you use resource-intensive applications such as photo-editing software, then a laptop with a dual-core processor would be more appropriate. If you plan to use the unit in extreme environments such as in moving vehicles or outdoors in damp climates or extreme temperatures, then paying for a rugged model may be the greenest choice because they'll last longer.
Look for low-power components.
The computer industry is starting to learn that in order to make more power-efficient computers, they need to be made with more power-efficient components. Solid-state drives, although more expensive, consume less power than standard hard drives (and are a lot more rugged and can be faster as well).
Look for computers with the new generation of low-power processor chips. Processor chips consume up to half of all the power a computer draws. Intel has released a line of low-power chips, code-named Atom, that consume less power and provide nearly the same performance. Another company called VIA has a Nano line of processors that are used in numerous netbooks. Look for the names of these processors in the specification sheets.
Be wise with your monitor choice.
Use an LCD monitor because LCD technology is more efficient in energy consumption than those older, bulky CRT monitors. Also, larger screens use more energy – a 17" monitor uses 30% more energy than 15" monitor – so select the screen size that fits your needs. Look for ENERGY STAR-labelled monitors as they are more energy-efficient.
Refrigerators & freezers
- Open the door to your fridge only when you have to.
- Set your fridge and freezer to their most energy-efficient settings — just cold enough, but not too cold. For fridges, that’s 2 - 3°C (35 - 37°F); for freezers, it’s minus 18°C (0°F).
- Locate your fridge and freezer as far as possible from any source of heat, such as a radiator or space
heater, washer, dryer, or furnace.
- Wash your clothes in cold water. About 90% of the energy your washer consumes goes to heating
water. If you wash with cold water, you’ll save that energy, and your clothes will come out just as clean.
- Clear your lint trap after every load. A clogged trap means your dryer has to work harder and use more
energy than it should.
- Load the washer to capacity whenever possible. One large load of laundry will use less energy than
two small or medium loads.
- Use the right amount of detergent. Too much detergent makes your machine work harder and use
more energy, so check your machine’s manual to find out how much you should use for your type of
water. (Water is considered either “hard” or “soft” — contact your town or city council to find out what
kind of water you have.)
- A high-efficiency washer saves money on your dryer use by spinning more water out of the clothes so
they’re less damp when you put them in the dryer.
- Run your dishwasher with a full load only — why wash empty space?
- Skip the heat-dry setting and let your dishes air dry,or use the economy or energy-saver setting.
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