APPLIANCE EFFICIENCY RATINGS - CONTENTS: Where to find out the energy efficiency of home appliances. Where to find out the energy efficiency of water heaters, refrigerators, cook stoves, clothes dryers and other home appliances. Directory of Appliance Energy Efficiency Rating Programs and Labeling Regulations from Around the World. U.S. & Canadian Energy Star Rating Programs for appliance efficiency
Solar Age Magazine Articles on Renewable Energy, Energy Savings, Construction Practices
The current energy efficiency ratings of building appliances are available from a variety of sources listed here, including energy efficiency of air conditioners, clothes dryers, clothes washers, fans, refrigerators, stoves, water heaters, well pumps, etc. Our page top photo shows an A.O. Smith natural-gas fired, direct-vented high-efficiency water heater in the website author's forensic laboratory. Accompanying text is reprinted/adapted/excerpted with permission from Solar Age Magazine - editor Steven Bliss.
The question-and-answer article below paraphrases, quotes-from, updates, and comments an original article from Solar Age Magazine and written by Steven Bliss.
Question: Finding Energy Efficient Appliances
I'm frequently asked about the energy efficiencies of appliances by those for whom I'm building a house. Usually I suggest that they check Consumer Reports, or the label of the product. This is pretty poor help.
I have just been asked about energy efficiencies again, this time for domestic water heaters. Can you give me a list of names (without favoritism) of the most energy-efficient electric water heaters?
"The Most Energy Efficient Appliances" is a document published by the American Council for Energy-Efficient Economy. Top-rated water heaters (and the most efficient water heaters - the only kind listed there) include many models from Mor-Flo, Therma-Star Products, E-Tech, Ruud, and Rheem. [DJF note: Be sure you are comparing "apples to apples" when comparing appliances by noting the water heater energy source (electric, LP gas, natural gas, home heating oil, solar, etc.), the water heater size, its recovery rate, and other performance measures, not just the annual energy or fuel use.]
Other sources of energy efficiency directories include
The US DOE document linked-to above points out that in a typical U.S. home, appliances and home electronics are responsible for about 20% of your energy bills. These appliances and electronics include the following:
Clothes washers and clothes dryers
Home audio equipment
Refrigerators and freezers (in many homes this appliance is the big energy user because it is "on" much of the time).
Room air conditioners
Televisions, DVD players, and VCR's
Note that this list excludes heating and central air conditioning equipment - major energy consumers in most homes.
The U.S. DOE Energy Guide includes advice on shopping for energy-efficient appliances, estimating appliance energy use, energy efficiency standards, electronic power-controlling devices for appliances (we had good luck putting one of these on our lab refrigerator), and when to turn off personal computers.
Canadian Energy Star Program lists energy savings ratings for major appliances from which we quote: ENERGY STAR is the symbol for energy efficiency for many products in Canada and the world. Major household appliances that qualify for the ENERGY STAR symbol save consumers money because they use less energy than conventional products while offering the same or better performance. From an environmental perspective, improving energy efficiency reduces greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.
Here we include solar energy, solar heating, solar hot water, and related building energy efficiency improvement articles reprinted/adapted/excerpted with permission from Solar Age Magazine - editor Steven Bliss.
Original article in PDF format:
The link to the original Q&A article in PDF form immediately below was preceded by an expanded/updated online version of this article.
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Solar Age Magazine was the official publication of the American Solar Energy Society. The contemporary solar energy magazine associated with the Society is Solar Today. "Established in 1954, the nonprofit American Solar Energy Society (ASES) is the nation's leading association of solar professionals & advocates. Our mission is to inspire an era of energy innovation and speed the transition to a sustainable energy economy. We advance education, research and policy. Leading for more than 50 years.
ASES leads national efforts to increase the use of solar energy, energy efficiency and other sustainable technologies in the U.S. We publish the award-winning SOLAR TODAY magazine, organize and present the ASES National Solar Conference and lead the ASES National Solar Tour – the largest grassroots solar event in the world."
Steve Bliss's Building Advisor at buildingadvisor.com helps homeowners & contractors plan & complete successful building & remodeling projects: buying land, site work, building design, cost estimating, materials & components, & project management through complete construction. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Steven Bliss served as editorial director and co-publisher of The Journal of Light Construction for 16 years and previously as building technology editor for Progressive Builder and Solar Age magazines. He worked in the building trades as a carpenter and design/build contractor for more than ten years and holds a masters degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Excerpts from his recent book, Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction, Wiley (November 18, 2005) ISBN-10: 0471648361, ISBN-13: 978-0471648369, appear throughout this website, with permission and courtesy of Wiley & Sons. Best Practices Guide is available from the publisher, J. Wiley & Sons, and also at Amazon.com
American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, 1001 Connecticut Ave. N.W., Washington D.C., 20036.
Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60606 312-984-5800
Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute, 1501 Wilson Blvd., Arlington VA 22209 703-524-8800 (central air conditioners)
"Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) ASHRAE Standard", Ranish Joshi, Arctic India Sales, reviews the basics of IAQ, emphasizes the importance of both source control and removal of contaminants when improving indoor air quality, warns about bringing inside contaminants from outdoors, and reviews the pertinent ASHRAE IAQ standards for buildings.
"Updated ASHRAE 90.1 Energy Code May Help
Maximize The Benefits Of Energy Efficient
Technologies", Lindsay Audin, Building Operating Management, May 2005, discusses ASHRAE Standard ASHRAE 90.1-2004, the latest version of ASHRAE's energy code, encompassing updates to the ASHRAE 90.1-2001 standard. "Written to allow easy incorporation into specifications for new buildings and renovations, 90.1-2004 lays
out minimum requirements for a building’s envelope, electrical power systems and equipment, lighting,
heating, Ventilation and air conditioning, service, water heating, and energy management.
Under the 1992 federal Energy Policy Act (EPAct), ASHRAE 90.1 was mandated as the basis for all
state building codes as they affect energy use, starting with ASHRAE 90.1-1989. Under EPAct, the 1999
version became law in July 2004, but has yet to be adopted by all states. Since the 1999 version was
somewhat dated by the time it became a requirement, some states, especially those having high energy
prices, have already updated their building codes to the 2001 version. Some states and cities, such as
Phoenix, are now going further by leapfrogging the 2001 edition and enacting part or all of the 2004
Christmas in April program - see Rebuilding Together at their website, rebuildingtogether.org or contact Rebuilding Together National Headquarters, 1899 L Street NW, Suite 1000, Washington DC 20036 - 800-473-4229,
Energy Star Program - see the Energy Star website at energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=bldrs_lenders_raters.energy_efficient_mortgage
Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association, 1901 North Ft. Meyer Dr., Arlington VA 22209 703-525-9565 (energy efficiency ratings of furnaces, boilers, water heaters)
Habitat for Humanity, for the U.S. and Canada: http://www.habitat.org/ also has offices in other countries including supporting Latin America.
U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Guide, U.S. Department of Energy, Consumer Products Efficiency Branch, Appliance Labeling Section, Washington D.C. 20585 202-252-9127 has fact sheets on appliance labeling.
Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
Carson, Dunlop & Associates Ltd., 120 Carlton Street Suite 407, Toronto ON M5A 4K2. Tel: (416) 964-9415 1-800-268-7070 Email: email@example.com. The firm provides professional home inspection services & home inspection education & publications. Alan Carson is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors. Thanks to Alan Carson and Bob Dunlop, for permission for InspectAPedia to use text excerpts from The Home Reference Book & illustrations from The Illustrated Home. Carson Dunlop Associates' provides extensive home inspection education and report writing material.
The Illustrated Home illustrates construction details and building components, a reference for owners & inspectors. Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Illustrated Home purchased as a single order Enter INSPECTAILL in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
TECHNICAL REFERENCE GUIDE to manufacturer's model and serial number information for heating and cooling equipment, useful for determining the age of heating boilers, furnaces, water heaters is provided by Carson Dunlop, Associates, Toronto - Carson Dunlop Weldon & Associates Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Technical Reference Guide purchased as a single order. Just enter INSPECTATRG in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume.
Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order. Enter INSPECTAHRB in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on these courses: Enter INSPECTAHITP in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
The Horizon Software System manages business operations,scheduling, & inspection report writing using Carson Dunlop's knowledge base & color images. The Horizon system runs on always-available cloud-based software for office computers, laptops, tablets, iPad, Android, & other smartphones