What You Should Know About New Appliances
Spending a little time researching appliance purchases can help homeowners save big on energy costs. When looking for a clothes washer or dishwasher, it can pay to look for one that meets the 2007 Energy StarŪ criteria and uses next-generation technology to cut energy and water consumption. These products do more than help homeowners save money, and they can help protect the environment. For example, Energy Star-qualified clothes washers--whether they are front-loaders or redesigned top-loaders--include technical innovations that help save substantial energy and water. The average household does almost 400 loads of laundry each year, consuming over 13,000 gallons of water. Selecting a qualified washer instead of a regular top loader can cut utility bills by $60 and save over 7,000 gallons of water per year.
New washing machines that don't have the bulky agitator found in older models have more usable space in the tub for large laundry items, which means you can wash larger items and do fewer loads of laundry each week. Some of the newer agitator-free washers can wash over 20 pounds of laundry at once, compared to 10 to 15 pounds for a conventional top-loader. Because they use less energy, these products help preserve our nation's limited natural resources. The newer washers also help save clothes. Instead of the centrally located agitator moving the clothes through a full tub of water, the new washers treat clothes gently by tumbling clothes through a small stream of water, lengthening the life of often-washed items and leading to less lint in the dryer.
Because they are so gentle, many models can safely clean hand-washables. Let the dishwasher do the work The newest dishwashers are also remarkably efficient and are expected to save consumers over $26 million annually on their utility bills. An Energy Star-qualified dishwasher can save enough water each year to fill over 160 standard water cooler bottles and if all dishwashers sold in 2006 were Energy Star qualified, the country could save enough water to fill more than 10,000 Olympic-size swimming pools. Purchasing an Energy Star dishwasher saves even more money for people washing dishes by hand. According to Ohio State University, the average person uses 24 gallons of water to hand wash a full load of dishes, compared to approximately seven gallons used by an Energy Star-qualified dishwasher, saving consumers over 3,500 gallons of water annually.
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