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Special Series: Appliances: Energy-Saving Home Appliances

By selecting green appliances, you’ll not only protect the Earth but save money on your energy bills. Here's how to incorporate energy-saving appliances into your home.
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The green movement has hit home—literally. More and more people are requesting earth-friendly options not only in the materials used to build their homes but the appliances that fuel their everyday lives.

Whirlpool Corp.’s GreenKitchen is a vision of a greener future.
Whirlpool Corp.’s GreenKitchen is a vision of a greener future.
Appliance manufacturers are answering the call with refrigerators, dishwashers and washing machines that use less water, less energy and do more in less time. These innovations are meeting a burgeoning demand, according to a Better Homes and Gardens April 2008 magazine survey. Today, more than half of so-called “home enthusiasts” want to be informed of the options available in green building and remodeling. And the younger you are, the more likely you’ll be interested in this trend. Two out of every three 20-somethings are thinking “green” when it comes to their homes.

Looking for the Energy Star seal is the easiest way to find energy-saving appliances. The Energy Star program is a joint effort by the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to create energy usage standards for appliances that help consumers save money and energy. Log on to their Web site and you can search for the most energy-efficient appliances in each category.

In addition to looking for the Energy Star label, here are some added ways to keep your energy bills low and your carbon footprint small.

Green Refrigeration
The first place to look when trying to save energy is the kitchen’s biggest guzzler: the refrigerator. If yours was purchased before 1993, odds are it uses twice as much energy as today’s Energy-Star rated refrigerators. And just as recently as April 2008, energy standards for refrigerators were further tightened, requiring current models to be at least 20 percent more efficient than the federal standard. The previous standard for an Energy Star rating was 15 percent.

The Miele Independence Refrigerator is the most energy-efficient in its class.
The Miele Independence Refrigerator is the most energy-efficient in its class.
Energy Star rates the Miele Independence Refrigerator (Models 1811 and 1801) as the most energy-efficient in its class, using 33 percent less energy than the Energy Star requirement. This is accomplished with the help of a dual compressor system that features a dedicated cooling system for each interior compartment. Temperature controls are also available that keep milk at 40 degrees and fruits and vegetables at a chillier just-above-freezing state. This dual-temperature functionality keeps a variety of food fresh without wasting energy setting the entire fridge at the lower temperature.

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