Posts Tagged ‘Energy Star appliances’

Appliance energy savings (on a stick)

August 23, 2013
stainlesssteelfrenchdoorrefrigerator

Check out the energy savings on THAT one! A fairgoer learns about the payoff of Energy Star appliances.

Again this year we’re educating Minnesota State Fair-goers about the money and energy you’ll save by using Energy Star appliances.

The Eco Experience, housed in the Progress Center building, educates Minnesotans about sustainable living practices from not throwing away your aluminum can (can you believe 60% do?) to keeping our drinking water clean to — the main event — Energy Star appliances!

energystarsappliancesThe federal government created the Energy Star label 20 years ago to promote to consumers appliances that went above and beyond the standards set for energy efficiency.

These energy-efficient appliances, though sometimes more expensive at point of purchase than standard appliances, represent a greater lifetime value when factoring in the money saved through lower utility costs.

Only refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers and washers currently carry Energy Star ratings, though the word is that dryers will soon follow. Not all appliances can be Energy Star rated because there’s not enough difference in energy use within the category to create a meaningful distinction for buyers. We’ll see if that changes.

New this year!

Warners’ Stellian is proud to partner with the University of Minnesota College of Design for the Gen Y Eco House  exhibit, designed by students to reflect the future of home design for Millennials. The students say that their generation cooks little but values energy and water efficiency so we’re featuring appliances that pack a punch in a smaller footprint: a Bosch induction cooktop, a Fisher & Paykel DishDrawer and a U-Line compact refrigerator/freezer. The laundry is stackable with an Energy Star washer and a sensor dryer. Instead of an oven, the students chose an Electrolux convection microwave, which works double duty to both reheat and bake.

 

Smart appliances: A Q&A with Warners’ Stellian’s Carla Warner on the latest in high-tech items for your home

March 28, 2013

We were so excited when Southwest Journal editor Sarah McKenzie interviewed Carla Warner for the Spring 2013 Home Guide. We love the Southwest Journal and have counted its readers among our customers for decades. We couldn’t find it online, so we’re sharing the tips with our readers here: 

Do you often forget what you have in your refrigerator when you’re out grocery shopping? Have no fear! There will soon be an app for that. LG is developing technology that will allow you to investigate the contents of your fridge from your smartphone. The Southwest Journal recently interviewed Carla Warner, vice president of Warners’ Stellian, to get up to speed on the latest in high-tech home appliances.

 

SWJ: What are some interesting/noteworthy trends in appliances you’re noticing these days?

Steam is popular for both cooking and cleaning. Steam ovens prepare anything from fish and veggies to baked goods in an efficient and healthy way.

 

ImageFor cleaning, steam washing machines sanitize clothes and linens, which is great for families with babies and elderly or allergy and asthma sufferers. These groups also appreciate a steam dryer, which can eliminate dust and allergens from nonwashable items like decorative pillows and stuffed animals. 

 

Stainless continues to be the most popular finish, but many choose to integrate appliances like their refrigerators and dishwashers with their cabinetry. The result is a “hidden” almost furniture like look.

 

Also, aside from just increasing their capacity (bigger fridges, laundry and ranges), consumers also look for appliances that multitask, like double oven ranges and convection microwaves. 

 

What are the most innovative, high-tech appliances out there now?

Samsung is coming out with a four-door refrigerator in April that will dispense sparkling water at the push of a button. Using the same control panel you would use to select between water or ice, you can select up to three levels of carbonation for sparkling water. It uses a standard SodaStream 60L CO2 cylinder that rests in a small, concealed area inside the left refrigerator door. 

 

Image

Though induction has been around since the 1970s, the super-efficient method of electric cooking that uses magnetic fields to directly heat cookware didn’t catch on until the last several years.

 

Thermador’s Freedom induction cooktop takes that technology one step further by recognizing the cookware size, shape and position to deliver heat without the boundaries of burners. Basically, the entire surface can work as a burner. Think of heating the entire surface of your roasting pan when making gravy or being able to accommodate side by side griddles for breakfast preparation.

 

Many new appliances allow internet integration. Samsung’s WF457 laundry can be remotely operated using a smartphone app, which can also diagnose operation issues on your washer and dryer. LG is coming out with a line of “smart” kitchen appliances that allow you to search the contents of your fridge from your smartphone (think grocery shopping). Its LCD touchscreen gives you access to online grocery shopping, calendars, photos — even Pandora. The new LG range lets you monitor the cooking progress from your smartphone as well.

 

If you can’t afford to replace an existing appliance, do you have some tips to keep common appliances working more efficiently?

The best tip is the most simple: keep them clean.

 

Cleaner burners useless fuel. Cleaner dryer vents and refrigerator coils don’t need to work as hard. Running vinegar through your dishwasher and washer every month can improve their performance.

 

What are the benefits of investing in an Energy Star appliance? 

Often the investment to upgrade to an Energy Star appliance is minimal and the payoff is quick. Though they often cost more upfront, you can expect great overall savings throughout its lifetime. For instance, we estimate that the money you’ll save by replacing your washer with a new, Energy Star washer will pay for the new dryer to match it.

 

How do you know when it’s better to replace an appliance versus fix an existing one?

That’s the preference of the person writing the check. It will likely vary by appliance type, but generally speaking you should replace when repair costs rise to 50 percent of the replacement cost or if the product is more than eight years old.

Microwaves are the exception, though. Because of their shorter shelf life and replacement cost relative to repair, we tend to recommend replacing over repair. 

Appliance energy savings — on a stick

August 24, 2012

Warner Stellian enjoys a storied history with the State Fairgrounds. And for the last few years, our appliances have made a comeback appearance at the Minnesota State Fair.

The Eco Experience, located in the Progress Center on Randall Avenue, brings together organizations, ideas, and hands-on activities to show what the fair-goers what they can do at home to help the environment.

(By the way…while you’re saving the environment…By replacing your refrigerator, washer, dishwasher and freezer from the 1980s to new Energy Star appliances you can save an average $350 a year in energy costs. Save away!)

Warner Stellian is partnering with the Fair again this year to demonstrate the options for choosing energy efficient applicances. Our display consists of a vignette of a kitchen (with island cabinet) and ENERGY STAR refrigeratordishwasher, and other appliances with an adjacent laundry room demonstrating a HE washer and dryer.

ENERGY STAR qualified appliances incorporate advanced technologies that use up to 50% less energy and water than older models. If you’re already in the market for new appliances, choosing ENERGY STAR appliances over standard appliances will cost you an average $80 less annually in water and energy (even if they cost a few more smackeroos upfront).

Also included is an ENERGY STAR freezer, air conditioner and dehumidifier.

You’ll find tips on how to decrease the energy you use on the appliances you already own.

If you like PowerPoint, awkward blondes and saving energy, come see me at the Eco Experience Sustainability Stage this Sunday, Aug. 26 at 2:30 p.m. I’ll be showing you how to save money and energy both when you purchase new appliances  and when you use what you’ve already got at home.

ENERGY STAR appliances add ‘Most Efficient’ category

September 1, 2011

(At the risk of sounding pretentious) My beloved theory of chase and flight posits a privileged class of people whose behaviors and tastes subordinate others “chase,” thus motivating the former to run — fast.

What does this have to do with appliances? Think of commercial-grade appliances and then look at the stainless steel kitchen package we sell for $1499 (through Sept. 5!).

Same goes for energy efficiency.

ENERGY STAR was created by The Man in 1992 to encourage the purchase and manufacture of energy-efficient home products through a voluntary program labeling the most-efficient products.

Think Studio 54 for dishwashers.

But now that ENERGY STAR is old enough to vote and buy cigarettes, entry to the club is less exclusive; 75% of dishwashers qualified as ENERGY STAR by 2009 standards.

Says Consumer Reports:

It’s good news that products have become more energy efficient. But when many or most of the products in a category qualify for the Energy Star, it makes it harder, not easier, for consumers to identify the truly exceptional products.

It would seem the manufacturers won this chase, until ENERGY STAR’s Most Efficient program was launched this year.

The 2011 efficiency clique calls out the best in four categories, including clothes washers and refrigerators.

Here’s a sampling of the best washers and refrigerators:

LG 3.9 cu. ft. True Steam Washer in Cherry Red (#WM3360HRCA)

Not only is it sexy, this LG washer kills allergens, can maintain cleaning performance without heating the water and has a 15-minute wash option for us procrastinators. And it’s also on sale through Labor Day.

Frigidaire 4.2 cu. ft. Affinity Washer with Ready Steam (#FAFS4272LW)

This Frigidaire steam washer offers a little more capacity, NSF certified cleaning power and power saver cycle that apparently reduces energy use by 60%.

Frigidaire Affinity 4.4 cubic foot washer with Ready Steam (#FAFS4474)

This Frigidaire washer is the big sister to the previous (more capacity) plus an allergen cycle.

Electrolux 5.1 cu. ft. Perfect Steam Washer (#EWFLS70JSS)

This Electrolux steam washer also is NSF certified plus it fit the most clothes in one cycle and it has the fastest wash and dry time (if you have the dryer: 15 and 14 minutes, respectively).

And refrigerators: there were only two and there’s practically the same, save for depth. One will stick out from your cabinets, the other will sit back in line with them and set you back an additional $400.

LG cabinet-depth French-door refrigerator (#LFC21776ST)

LG's French Door Refrigerator (#LFC25766ST)

Visit Energy Efficient Homes on Tour for your Warners’ Stellian coupon

March 16, 2011

Those who’ve been on the Parade of Homes tour know the fun of imagining their own dream home, and perhaps even building it.

Hanley Wood just rated three Minnesota counties within its top 10 of 25 counties for remodeling potential in 2011, but there’s something to be said for new homes.

Not only are they just plain new with style and amenities unavailable elsewhere, they offer unparalleled options for energy efficiency.

From the tour:

All Minnesota new homes are constructed to some of the strictest energy standards in the nation. But some go a step beyond. That’s what our new Energy Efficient Home Tour is all about. The Parade of Homes is showcasing those homes that are proven energy savers, in which the builder has taken an added measure to ensure that they perform to even tighter energy standards.

While some are certified ENERGY STAR®, MN GreenStar, LEED-H, or Wisconsin Green Build, all have been rated by an independent firm to verify that they are, indeed, energy-efficient homes.

Energy efficient doesn’t mean inaccessible. EEHT homes begin as low as a $138,000 townhouse in Rosemount.

And, if you visit an Energy Tour home, pick up a special coupon good at Warners’ Stellian for 10% off Select ENERGY STAR appliances and cooking appliances. Offer good on orders $499.95 through April 30 (restrictions apply). ENERGY STAR appliances use up to 50% less energy and water than standard new appliances, saving you money in the long run even though they usually cost a little bit extra at the time of purchase.

5 Energy Star washers that almost pay for themselves

September 24, 2010

Appliances aren’t cheap. And Energy Star appliances cost even more than standard, new appliances.

But that’s just the sticker price. I’ve blogged before about how the long-term savings of Energy Star washers will not only end up costing less than regular washers in the end, they’ll pay for a dryer.

An Energy Star washer costs an average of $258 more at purchase time, but saves about $481 in energy and water costs over its lifetime.

Now, unless you get it at heavy discount or as part of a government stimulus/utility rebate program, $481 won’t pay for an Energy Star washer. But it comes close.

Here’s a roundup of the least-expensive Energy Star washing machines to prove that energy efficient appliances can be accessible to all.

GE 4.1 Cu. Ft. Energy Star Washer (EWA5600KWW)

Frigidaire Front-Load Washer (FTF530FS)

Maytag 4.0 cu. ft. Energy Star Washer (MVWC6ESWW)

Whirlpool 4.3 Cu. Ft Energy Star Washer (WTW5500XW)

MY PICK: Fisher & Paykel EcoSmart 4.2 cu.ft washer (WA42T26GW1)


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