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> Dryers with moisture sensors can greatly reduce energy use.

> Most HE (high efficiency) washers use special low-sudsing detergent.

> Energy Star does not rate clothes dryers.


Energy savings and water savings are closely linked; the more hot water you use in your appliances, the higher your energy bills. Dishwashers produced before 1994 typically use 10 gallons per load more water than modern units. Considering that the average home washes over 300 loads per year, reducing the amount of water used can quickly lower utility bills. Dishwashers that offer cycle selections and energy-saving options can help reduce the amount of water you use.

To dissolve detergent and remove grease, dishwashers require extremely hot water. Many dishwashers now come with a “booster” or internal heating element that raises the incoming water temperature to the required 140 F.

This can allow you to lower the temperature on your water heater and still allow your dishwasher to operate at optimum levels. Some dishwashers offer the booster cycle but only if you select “heavy duty.”

Besides energy and water savings, noise is also something to consider. Measured in decibels (dB) the amount of sound a dishwasher makes during operation can either make for a pleasant or annoying purchase.

Normal conversation levels range around 60dB, so choosing a unit that is quieter than that is important. Because of advances in insulation and sound proofing, some dishwashers can be “whisper quiet,” creating as little as 41dB during operation. That is the just slightly louder than the hum of your refrigerator.


> Modified Energy Factor (MEF)
MEF is the official energy efficiency metric used to compare relative efficiencies of different clothes washers. MEF considers the energy used to run the washer, heat the water, and run the dryer. The higher the MEF, the more efficient the clothes washer.

> Water Factor (WF)
WF is a measurement of water efficiency that is calculated as gallons of water used per cubic foot of capacity. The lower the number the more water efficient the clothes washer.

> High Efficiency (HE)
HE is used to describe clothes washers that typically use 50% less water than traditional units. Special low-sudsing detergent is used with these models.

> EnergyGuide Label
This yellow label created by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is on most home appliances and will help you compare the energy use (and cost) of operating one appliance relative to another.

> Induction Cooking
Induction heating elements heat only the pan and its contents and offer energy efficiency by reducing wasted heat when compared to radiant and gas cooktops. The actual induction element stays cool, while the metal pot or pan up rapidly making induction heating safer and more energy efficient than traditional cooking methods.

> Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE)
The CEE is a consortium of efficiency program administrators from across the United States and Canada who evaluate and rate appliances, electronics, and HVAC systems on energy efficiency.

> Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)
HCFC-based refrigerants are the most common type of refrigerant used in the United States today and are considered significant contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.


The Miele Lumen hood not only removes the smoke and airborne chemicals released while cooking that can be detrimental to respiratory health, but also offers stylish task lighting. The multi-color LED vent hood creates a practical white task light, but also has preset green, red and blue colors. The unit can also be set to slowly transition through all 196,000 colors in the spectrum.

The Bosch 800 series clothes washer is a gas unit that offers steam cycles to reduce wrinkles, protect delicate items, and optimize drying performance. The 800 series dryer can reduce energy use by up to 10% over similar dryers. The dryer comes with cycles that can refresh clothes not needing a full washing.

GreenBuilder 11.2010

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