Many homeowners associate green technology and eco-friendly practices with huge solar arrays attached to the top of a house, but today’s energy efficient designs and machines offer an immense number of alternatives to old energy-sucking appliances and practices. In 1992, the United States government’s Energy Star program began offering manufacturers the opportunity to label appliances as exceptionally energy efficient.
In the last two decades, inventors and designers have created some incredibly creative solutions for using less energy. Today’s appliances don’t just use less energy than their predecessors. Many machines today actually provide options and design features that help reduce consumption of natural resources beyond the monthly electricity bill.
For example, there are toilets that have two handles (or two buttons) to use different levels of water depending on how much flushing power might be required to transport waste. “Low flow” toilets have been in use for almost two decades, but toilet designers continue to invent ways to reduce water consumption with each new generation of toilet. The bathroom is the largest source of water usage in the home, and replacing a toilet offers incredible water savings.
Central Air Conditioning
Major systems within today’s homes that have consumed extraordinary amounts of energy each month have been made obsolete by new technology, such as the newest central air-conditioning units that greatly outperform the machines sold just a short decade ago. In addition to operating with much less noise than older units, new air conditioners use anywhere from 30 to 50 percent less energy than the machines used in the 1970s. Stricter energy standards for air-conditioning units were introduced in 2006, which forced the creation of new, highly-efficient units.
Another major machine that has undergone incredible change in the past few decades is the dishwasher. Dishwashers rated under the Energy Star program must use no more than four gallons of water during a single use, and the government has also required that these machines use less energy for each load. Manufacturers have created incredibly creative solutions for water usage, including options to wash just a single rack in the machine and washers with weight sensors that adjust water usage based on how many items have been placed inside the appliance.
One of the most technologically advanced appliances for the home that offers futuristic design as well as incredible energy efficiency is the induction stovetop, which heats pans through the transference of electromagnetic energy. This technology not only keeps the surface of the stovetop incredibly cool to the touch, but it reduces heat lost that occurs with traditional gas and radiant cook tops. Induction cook tops offer faster cooking and also use less energy during the cooking process.
Creative approaches to saving energy in the kitchen also include refrigerators that not only use far less energy than their older, wasteful relatives, but also include technology for storing different food at different temperatures. A homeowner might want to store wine in the refrigerator, but not at the icy temperature required of foods like meat. Certain areas of the refrigerator may be placed on higher temperature settings, which reduces the energy required to power the appliance.
In the near future, homeowners can expect further advances in energy-efficient technology that seems quite “space age” in nature. For example, there’s a company currently developing a washing machine that doesn’t use any water, as well as a Russian inventor trying to create a refrigerator that stores items in viscous “goo” instead of a traditionally cooled box. Further advancements in home appliance design will continue to enter the market each year, and homeowners that want to live a green-friendly lifestyle should routinely investigate these potential energy savers.
This article was written by Sheldon Armstrong, a regular contributor here at INFOtainment News. He writes this on behalf of Amigo Energy, your number one Texas electricity provider. Check out their website today and see how they can help you cut down on energy costs!