all about electronics and appliances in energy efficient homes

The energy consumption of consumer electronics - TVs, DVD players, audio systems, computers and so on - are on the rise, as much as the energy consumption of clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, and other house appliances.

Their overall energy consumption amounts to about 50% or more of the typical household’s total consumption – a problem in energy efficient homes, especially those relying on renewable energy systems.

Installing a small solar photovoltaic system - or in some cases a small wind system - is not viable without lower levels of energy consumption, that is, with very energy efficent home appliances and electronics.

But how to achieve it?

1 - Reducing the energy consumption of home appliances

The first step: to buy energy efficient equipment, and to use them properly. It can reduce the energy consumption by 50%. Do not be tempted by cheap unlabeled products.

Consider a few basics:

-- Kitchen layout

When planning your new kitchen, take into consideration where to locate the refrigerator and the freezer . Do not locate them near windows receiving direct daylight, or near the kitchen range.

-- Refrigerators

Refrigerators consume a lot of energy (they run 356 days a year, day and night) .

Be aware of their size: big is surely not the best; features such as ice and water dispensers increase energy consumption; select an Energy Star or other qualified unit.

Side-by-side refrigerators (with freezers) are more expensive and less efficient than bottom- and top-mounted refrigerators.

-- Clothes washers

Non-efficient washing machines may consume twice the energy and the water.

Choose a clothes washer with a high Modified Energy Factor (MEF) and a low Water Factor.

Washing machines should have a MEF (energy factor) around 3.5: this factor depends on the configuration of the washer, the spin speed and also on the temperatures and the amount of water used during the washing cycles.

-- Clothes dryers

Clothes dryers consume a lot of energy; so, consider alternatives to them; consider Energy Star or other qualified models, with a high Combined Energy Factor: the higher the better.

The most energy-efficient clothes dryers have moisture sensors and also automatic cycle termination features; they also have delayed start and steam cycle options.

-- Dishwashers

Consider the most qualified models: dishwashers with multiple wash options and a low-water consumption are the best option. A large part of the energy is consumed by dishwashers while heating the water.

2 - Reducing electronics energy waste

When buying TVs, DVD players, computers and other electronic products pay attention to their Energy label, especially the yearly kWh usage. Consider energy efficient products.

The electricity consumption of each of these appliances is not very significant but since average homes have dozens of electronic products, their overall consumption can amount to 10% or 15% of the total electricity consumption. .

Pat attention to the idle and standby mode. Many of these home electronics draw power 24 hours a day in those modes. To reduce energy waste, consider switching off or unplugging these electronics when not in use, as much as possible (to the effect, you may group related devices on the same power switch; it will make switching them on and off easier).

For more information:
Home electronics
Home appliances




Contents Top .... Home Page