How CEE Tier Information on Appliances can Help you Save on Water and Energy Consumption

The Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) is somewhat similar to the ENERGY STAR program in that its primary objective is to highlight and promote energy efficient appliances. This agency differs from ENERGY STAR in that it rates appliances that have already earned ENERGY STAR certifications with Tiers that define the most efficient appliances in each category. This intelligence can then be used by consumers to compare relative energy and water usage between appliances during the decision making process.

CEE Tiers are defined as follows:

* Tier I – This tier approximates the base level necessary to be ENERGY STAR certified, representing that the specific appliance is ranked in the top 25 percent of its category for energy efficiency and that it exceeds mandated standards by 20 percent. Much like ENERGY STAR rated products, these appliances are deemed to be cost effective due to accumulated energy and water savings and are widely available for purchase.
* Tier II – Appliances can earn CEE Tier II rankings by testing out with energy efficiencies that surpass benchmarks by 25%. While the CEE does not provide direct rebates, an increasing number of entities are making rebates available to consumers to ensure that the purchase of these appliances remains cost effective.
* Tier III – These appliances are considered to be the most energy efficient in each category. The purchase price of these appliances is typically at the high end of the range, and rebates are considered as a primary factor in making them cost effective. When available, rebates on Tier III appliances can be almost twice as much as those awarded for Tier II appliances.

CEE Tier information can reveal significant differences in the energy usage of appliances that have already earned ENERGY STAR certification. These energy savings, when combined with available rebates, can turn relatively expensive appliance purchases into cost effective investments that save money each month.

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Your Major Appliances: One Energy Saving on Habit on Each One that can Lower Utility Bills

Major appliances, even when a household has installed ENERGY STAR rated products, can account for 20 to 30 percent of a household’s energy bills. In temperate climates where heating and cooling are not required on a regular basis, major appliances typically consume an even greater percentage of total energy usage. Fortunately, there are energy savings habits related to each major appliance in the typical household that can reduce energy consumption even further.

* The refrigerator – Keeping temperatures too low in the refrigerator and the freezer can result in a motor that consumes far more energy than is necessary. The optimal temperature for the refrigerator compartment is 38 degrees while the temperature level in freezer should be maintained at 4 degrees. These temperatures can maintain freshness while consuming energy efficiently.
* The dishwasher – The heated drying cycle consumes energy unnecessarily, especially if there isn’t a need to pull dry dishes out of the machine at a specific time. Instead, use the air dry option which uses air blown by fans to dry the wash load.
* The washing machine – Opt for cold water washes whenever possible. In a hot water wash 90 percent of the energy consumed goes to heating water. Defaulting to hot cycles has become unnecessary as advancements in cold water washing detergents can now yield the same results as those of energy consuming hot water cycles. The advanced cleaning capabilities using cold water and cold water detergents now mean that hot water cycles need to only be used when greasy or oily stains need to be removed.

Each of these actions can capitalize on improved efficiencies of today’s appliances. By turning them into habits, you’ll be able to optimize your savings on a monthly basis.

Considerations for Prosumers before Going Appliance Shopping

The term “prosumer” is applied to a growing group of consumers who have reached a level of skill, sophistication or wherewithal that bridges the knowledge gap between professionals in a specific field and the consumers that buy non-commercial products related to that area of interest. While prosumers typically purchase non-commercial products as well, their purchases generally gravitate toward high end products that are similar to those used by professionals.

One of the fastest growing sets of prosumers is in the field of cooking, an area that gets regular exposure on television through chef competitions, etc. If you consider yourself a cooking prosumer, here are a few factors to consider before going appliance shopping for your kitchen:

* How your kitchen will be configured – Professionally styled appliances take up considerably more linear space than standard versions. As a rule of thumb, you should expect pro-style appliances to require about twice as much linear space than their standard counterparts. You should also factor in the possibility that larger sized appliances will influence cabinetry and storage configurations as well.

* The weight of pro-style appliances – Increased appliance size translates to heavier weight, which may require additional structural support. Manufacturers are constantly seeking to decrease the weight of these pieces and an increasing number of them do not require the support of custom built cement bases. Still, prosumers should find out whether the intended flooring locations can support the new appliances before it’s too late.

* Ventilation – Professionally styled ranges and cooktops require 8 to 10 times the amount of ventilation as standard versions to remove the increased heat. Anything less than that and the home runs the risk of being overtaken by high temperatures, smoke or steam/vapors. Another issue is that the added ventilation sucks so much air out of the house that it causes other risks. These situations can be avoided by installing a unit that equalizes the air pressure between the outside and inside of the home. One way to avoid the ventilation and air pressure issues is to go with an induction-style cooktop, which uses electromagnetic technology to heat the cookware. These burners offer high efficiency and energy savings but are priced at the highest end of prosumer-related kitchen appliances.

* Additional options – Any new item or feature that gets shown on the variety of cooking shows has the possibility of becoming the next hot thing. One feature that has had some staying power is the placement of a faucet in the wall above the cooktop that allows for pots to be filled in place, saving the cook/chef the work of carrying a big pot full of water across the kitchen. The extra faucet also eliminates the need to clear the sink before filling the pot.

Taking these factors into consideration before purchasing your appliances can help to set your budget and determine the best path toward getting your pro-style kitchen set up for form and function in the most efficient manner possible. With your kitchen set up to your specifications, you’ll be ready to work like a pro.

Whirlpool Top Load Washers that are Gentle on Clothes and the Environment

The new line of Whirlpool top load washers are designed to be gentle on clothes and the environment while delivering wash loads that are cleaner than ever. Built with a new suite of upgrades and intelligent technological innovations, these washers have been engineered to offer the highest levels of convenience as well as savings of time, energy and money. While these benefits are being realized, the new Whirlpool top load washers, known as the Cabrio line, also run a gentle yet extremely efficient wash cycle.

Powered by “6th Sense” technology, savings start before the wash load is started with “Precision Dispense”, which measures the size of the wash load and then determines the best levels for water, detergent, softeners, and other washing additives. In addition to using less water, this feature also ensures that wash items are not exposed to higher levels of detergent, bleach, etc. than is necessary. To provide the cleanest wash possible, washing begins with a jet spray of water and detergent that penetrates stains early in the cycle to ensure their removal.

Additional savings are realized with Whirlpool’s H2Low system, which maximizes cleaning with lower water usage than competing washers.

The Eco Boost feature maintains water temperatures throughout the wash cycle, which saves energy and keeps wash items from being exposed to excessive water temperatures.

To remove bacteria and allergens such as bacteria, dust, pollen, etc., Whirlpool top load washers are certified by the Nation Sanitation Foundation (NSF). The certification from the NSF recognizes the fact that Whirlpool wash loads are run at hot enough temperatures for time frames that are just long enough to remove allergens, resulting wash items that are far cleaner than those done non-NSF certified washing machines.

To run Whirlpool top load washers at the quietest level possible, a suspension system has been incorporated into these machines that decreases noise from vibration, even with loads where balancing is an issue.

To maximize savings in the laundry room, these washers can be combined with Whirlpool’s Cabrio line of high efficiency dryers. According to estimates, this pairing can save thousands of dollars over the lifetime of the machines. For more information on Whirlpool top load washers, visit: http://eastcoastappliance.com/index.html