Just in time for Earth Day, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman honored Warners’ Stellian with a Sustainable St. Paul Award for our efforts to reduce waste and recycle.
So, when you do your part to reduce your environmental impact by using Energy Star appliances, we do ours, by savings hundreds of tons of packaging from clogging our local landfills. Thanks to all our customers for their support in helping us make this crucial commitment.
This post is the latest in the series “How long do appliances last?” They’re written in a style I learned in journalism, called “By The Numbers,” which was often just another way to say “I need to take up space and do something visual.” Voila.
The number of years in the average dishwasher’s lifespan, according to data published by Appliance Magazine in 2010. The life span reflects how long the first owner of a dishwasher owned it, which doesn’t necessarily mean that it broke down.
The number of cycles washed annually by the average dishwasher, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That’s a little over four cycles per week.
How many gallons of water an Energy Star dishwasher uses per cycle.That’s 860 gallons annually.
How many gallons of water a standard dishwasher uses per cycle. That’s 1,290 gallons annually.
Up to this many gallons of water are wasted by well-meaning homeowners still stuck on pre-rinsing their dishes. Repeat after me: scrape, don’t rinse!
I’m replacing my 15-year-old refrigerator this month with a more roomy, smarter-designed and better-looking new fridge.
Best of all, it’s an Energy Star refrigerator, which means that it uses at least 20 percent less energy than a non-Energy Star fridge. Plus, although Energy Star refrigerators generally cost more upfront, you should consider overall cost of the appliance — which includes how much energy it uses compared to other models.
Energy Star estimates that over the lifetime of your refrigerator, you will cut your energy bills by $165 versus if you used an non-Energy Star model.
So think of how much you save when you unplug the refrigerator you’re using right now? Actually, see the handy chart below.
So my fridge from the ’90s costs about $97 per year compared to an Energy Star refrigerator, which uses an average of $48, according to this chart. (And actually, my new fridge is 10 percent better than the Energy Star standards; its energy use is estimated to cost about $43 per year.)
Obviously, I have to buy the new fridge, but I’ve budgeted for that. Now, what will I do with the $50? Better question: what will do with the $600 in usage cost savings I’ll realize over the average life (12 years) of my refrigerator?
Energy Star refrigerators already use 20 percent less energy than the federal standard, so basically, new fridges in 2014 will become at least as efficient as today’s Energy Star fridges, meaning annual operating costs will drop about $11. And if Energy Star standards increase alongside minimum standards in response (using a conservative 20 percent efficiency increase), average operating costs of an Energy Star refrigerator will look more like $34 per year. That’s of course assuming energy costs remain constant, but I just wanted to make savings concrete rather than throw this at you (from the release):
According to the Department’s analysis, the proposed standards could save nearly 4.5 quads (quadrillion BTUs) over 30 years, equivalent to three times the amount of energy used in refrigerators and freezers in American homes in one year. The standard, as proposed, would also eliminate the need for up to 4.2 gigawatts of generating capacity by 2043, equivalent to 8-9 coal-fired power plants nationwide. The savings would reduce cumulative carbon dioxide emissions by 305 million metric tons between 2014 and 2043.
“Even though refrigerators have become much more energy efficient, they still account for about 10 percent of household electricity use,” observed Alliance to Save Energy Vice President for Programs Jeffrey Harris. “With the new standards, consumers will not only save energy, they’ll also have a better picture of total energy use, because the ratings will include automatic ice makers.”
Over the next year, the DOE also plans to evaluate standards for central air conditioners, room air conditioners, furnaces, clothes washers, clothes dryers and dishwashers.
My fridge is 15 years old, so I expect huge improvements when I replace it. How old is your refrigerator? Will new improved energy efficiency motivate you to replace your unit faster, because of faster payback? More importantly, did reading this article make you feel guilty about using your “but it still runs” fridge from the 70s to cool a couple of beers in your basement?
Which is funny, because we’ve often suggested environmentally friendly cleaning products, such as Seventh Generation dishwashing detergent, to customers because we’ve foundits lack of phosphates actually prevents cloudiness and etching.
Residual proteins from leftover foods activate the detergent’s cleaning enzymes. So if you’ve cleaned all or most of the food off your dishes, the detergent can’t activate and stays in its crystal format, scratching your dishes on a microscopic level.
4. Before starting your dishwasher, run the tap water until it’s hot
Not only does this save energy, but older dishwashers don’t run as long as new dishwashers — better designed for less-harsh detergents – – and so every minute counts. Don’t waste it with lukewarm water that’s being heated up.