July 21, 2014

How Much is That Old Fridge Costing You?

My mother always bought meat on sale to store in the garage freezer for future use. The same with bread and ice cream. She was and is a frugal shopper. But today, with energy costs so high, it makes sense to calculate how much energy is being used to keep the food in storage.

If you are trying to save energy and lower your electric bill, and have a second refrigerator running, you might want to check out the government’s energy star site where you can use the “Refrigerator Retirement Savings Calculator” to see just how much that old fridge in your garage is costing you.

Whirlpool Earns Third Energy Star Award

Whirlpool Corp. has been recognized with its third consecutive ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence award. Provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the award honors Whirlpool Corp.’s contribution to providing innovative efficient products that help consumers reduce utility bills and greenhouse gas emissions.

Whirlpool will accept the award at ceremonies in Washington, D.C., on April 1, 2008. This is the company’s ninth ENERGY STAR award win.

“Whirlpool Corporation is proud to again receive the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence award,” said Mike Todman, president, Whirlpool North America. “At Whirlpool, we believe that focusing on energy, water and the environment isn’t about narrowing the field of choices, it’s about broadening horizons. We continually strive for efficiency improvements while always keeping in mind that exceeding the expectations of the consumer is our goal.”

The company has been a long-term ENERGY STAR partner, helping create the guidelines for the Green Lights Program, the EPA’s precursor to the appliance ENERGY STAR program. “We are proud to recognize Whirlpool Corporation’s continued efforts with the 2008 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence award,” said Robert J. Meyers, principal deputy assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air & Radiation. “Year after year partners like Whirlpool are examples of the benefits of a long-term commitment to energy efficiency. Their actions are leading the way in saving energy and helping to protect the environment.”

While other appliance manufacturers have been talking about sustainability, Whirlpool Corporation has been taking action for more than 30 years. The company is the global industry leader in developing high-performance appliances that help conserve the earth’s resources and allow homeowners to use energy and water more efficiently. It is the only appliance manufacturer that brings an “across the board” focus to energy and water conservation, from design to manufacture and distribution, to the end of the product life-cycle.

Whirlpool Corporation offers consumers the largest breadth of ENERGY STAR qualified appliances. Its more than 700 innovative models include:
The Whirlpool(R) Duet(R) Steam Washer. The washer naturally steams away tough stains, from grass to grease, without pre-treating. This model also saves consumers 73 percent water and 77 percent energy, compared to top-load washers manufactured before 2004, and using the normal cycle.
The Whirlpool(R) Cabrio(R) Steam Dryer combines mist and heat in the dryer to naturally steam away wrinkles and odors, reducing trips to the dry cleaner and providing front-load laundry efficiency in a top-load configuration.
Energy efficient refrigeration combined with flexible technology options through the Whirlpool(R) centralpark(TM) connection. The refrigerator offers a plug-and-play platform right on the door, providing support to consumer electronics including a digital picture frame and digital music player without compromising on energy efficiency.
The Maytag(R) Bravos(TM) high-efficiency, large-capacity top-load washer. The Bravos system features an impeller wash system with Sensi-Care technology and a commercial-grade stainless-steel wash basket – providing the thorough, dependable clean of a front-load system in a top-load configuration.
The Maytag(R) EPICz(TM) high-efficiency front-load washer’s space-saving design, providing dependable performance features and commercial-grade components, is one of the most energy efficient in the industry. The washer received NSF International (formerly National Sanitation Foundation) certification for its sanitary cycle, which heats wash water up to 153-DegF.
The Maytag brand Dishwasher with a SteamClean option. SteamClean delivers enhanced cleaning performance on glassware for soil and spot removal.. Whirlpool Corporation was the first in the appliance industry to launch a steam option in dishwashers.
A new SteamClean option for Jenn-Air brand dishwashers. The SteamClean option enhances an existing wash cycle, such as the China/Crystal cycle, with improved soil and spot cleaning to produce an even more lustrous shine. In addition to steam, these models also have a new silent sound package, making an already quiet, energy efficient dishwasher even quieter.

Whirlpool works to exceed expectations with appliances that help building professionals create homes of distinction. For this purpose, the company developed – The Inside Advantage(TM). This targeted program offers Powerful Brands, Innovative Products, Targeted Services and Consumer Insight to support building professionals. By staying closely involved with the building industry, Whirlpool Corporation is able to help support sustainable construction that ultimately saves energy and natural resources while providing homebuyers with comfortable, efficient and healthy homes.

Electrolux to Debut New Line of Premium Appliances in North America

 Called Electrolux, the new appliance line is set to debut on North American shores in spring 2008. Boasting a distinctive look with a curved front design and signature blue LED displays, the new European-designed collection from Electrolux also offers ingenious features such as advanced Wave-Touch™ controls, one touch and more than 60 controls appear and disappear at the touch of a button; Luxury-Glide™ Racks, oven racks with patented ball-bearings that effortlessly extend at the touch of a finger; and the Perfect Turkey Button™, one button you push to cook a perfect turkey

Recognized throughout Europe as the gold standard of appliances, Electrolux appliances have been used in fine European homes and restaurants for more than 70 years. Now, Electrolux is bringing that same level of uncompromising quality and high performance to North America with the launch of its new Electrolux line.

Your Kitchen. Your Style.
With first in its class features, such as induction hybrid cooktops that boil water in 90 seconds or Luxury-Lighting™, ramp up designer lighting that is as beautiful as it is functional, or the industry’s largest total cooking capacity electric range, Electrolux appliances are designed to make today’s kitchens more functional, comfortable, beautiful and easy to manage. The new line includes more than 50 high-performance, stylishly designed models, including freestanding and built-in gas, electric and dual-fuel ranges, electric wall ovens, gas and electric cooktops, induction hybrid cooktops, built-in and over-the-range microwaves, counter depth and standard depth refrigerators, freezers, refrigerator drawers, wine coolers, wine towers, ice makers, beverage centers, dishwashers and ventilation systems. Long on style and innovation, Electrolux appliances are the result of a consumer-centric approach to looks and functionality. For example:

  • The Electrolux double wall oven is designed with innovative features such as Luxury-Glide™ patented ball-bearing oven racks that smoothly extend with the touch of a finger, a Wave-Touch™ control panel that keeps controls hidden until activated by a touch of a finger, and even a Perfect Turkey ™ button that helps make holiday cooking stress-free.
  • The Electrolux dishwasher boasts the largest useable capacity[i] and is the quietest dishwasher in its class[ii], so you can run it whenever you want and no one will notice. The exclusive Perfect Stemware ™ cycle means spotlessly clean stemware – every time.
  • The Electrolux dual fuel range features a Min-2-Max™ burner system offering the widest range of BTU performance in the industry so you can go from a roaring 18,000 BTU boil to a gentle 450 BTU simmer. It also offers the ultimate in versatility, combining the power of a gas cooktop with the precision of an electric oven for baking. The Electrolux dual fuel range also features Luxury-Glide™ ball-bearing oven racks that smoothly extend with the touch of a finger.
  • With its PureAdvantage™ air and water filtration systems, the Electrolux refrigerator keeps fresh air circulated throughout to prevent odor transfer and also ensures fresh, clean water at your fingertips. In addition, the Fast Ice™ option makes up to 50% more ice so you’ll be set for your parties and dinners.
  • The Electrolux over-the-range microwave boasts Cook-2-Perfection™ Technology designed so your dishes cook evenly. The proprietary Sure-2-Fit™ design even accommodates a full-size (13” x 9”) casserole pan.
  • The Electrolux 21’ Cu. Ft. Freezer exclusively offers three full extension Luxury Glide™ baskets with adjustable dividers that fully extend to provide convenient storage and easy access. No more searching for lost leftovers.
  • The Electrolux European Style wine tower holds up to 160 bottles of wine perfectly.

According to Frank Downing, Director of Product Design at Electrolux, the goal was to create versatile appliances that let people do what they need — and love to do — better, faster and easier. “Electrolux appliances offer more choices, such as eight cooking modes on Electrolux wall ovens and ranges, and an induction hybrid cooktop with both electric and induction elements,” said Downing. “We also offer more room – we have got the largest total cooking capacity range with second oven and the largest useable capacity dishwasher in the market. And finally, Electrolux appliances deliver more flexibility, like our dishwasher with custom cycles to coddle your crystal, and ranges and cooktops with a Min-2-Max™ burner, offering the widest performance range in the industry – from simmer to boil,” Downing said.

Electrolux appliances also offer ingenious features, exclusive to Electrolux including:

  • Advanced Wave-Touch™ Controls — one simple touch and the control panel activates, showing the virtually endless cooking options and control settings. Seconds after you make your choices, all but the options selected will fade to black, returning to an elegant and uncluttered display.
  • Luxury-Glide™ racks and shelves — with a ball-bearing system — smoothly extend at the touch of a finger. Luxury Glide™ racks and shelves are standard in Electrolux free-standing and built-in ranges, wall ovens, refrigerators and dishwashers. The Luxury-Glide™ system can also be found in our freezers and warmer drawers and other specialty products.
  • Luxury Lighting™– ramp-up designer lighting that is as beautiful as it is functional.
  • Luxury-Hold™ doors – oven, range and dishwasher doors that stay put at whatever angle you place them.
  • Perfect Set™ Controls on Electrolux cook tops and ranges feature a virtually endless choice of pre-set settings for predictably perfect results.
  • Sure-2-Fit™ Racking System is the most versatile racking system of any dishwasher. It offers a perfect place for more than 180 items from chopsticks to stockpots to stemware. There’s also an adjustable/removable top rack for the utmost flexibility. In its lowest position, it can accommodate 10” tall stemware in the top rack and adjust the rack to its highest position to fit 14” plus serving platter in the bottom.
  • Flex-2-Fit™ expandable element system — Elements adjust up to three sizes, so the element fits the cookware, not the other way around.
  • Refrigerator Alarm System – Notifies you if there’s been a power failure, if a door stays open longer than five minutes and if the interior temperature ever rises above 55 degrees.
  • My Favorite™ Settings – Allows you to customize settings to meet your needs, so the option you want is available at the touch of a button.  Now you can do more, just the way you want.

All Electrolux products are ENERGY STAR® qualified, where applicable. They are at least 20% more energy-efficient than non-ENERGY STAR® qualified appliances. The entire Electrolux appliance collection will be available nationwide at Best Buy, Lowe’s, Sears and select independent appliance dealers beginning in spring 2008.

Save Money with a Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats automatically adjust your home’s temperature settings, allowing you to save energy while you’re away or sleeping.  Some features are:

  •  more convenient and accurate than manual thermostats and improve your home’s comfort
  • contain no mercury
  • save energy and save money on utility bills — when used properly, about $150/year
  • are better for the environment, since using less energy helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy production
  • Programmable thermostats earn the ENERGY STAR by meeting strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the government. These units save energy by offering 4 convenient, pre-programmed temperature settings — settings that try to anticipate when it’s convenient for you to scale back on heating or cooling.

    If you are like many homeowners and work outside the home during the day and have a different schedule on the weekend, a programmable thermostat can offer many benefits, and the return on your investment is usually within 1 year.

    On the other hand, if you are home throughout the day, seven days a week, then a programmable thermostat will offer more limited benefits.

    Through proper use of a programmable thermostat (using the 4 pre-programmed settings) you can save about $150* every year in energy costs.

    Rules of Thumb for Proper Use:

    1. Keep the temperature set at its energy savings set-points for long periods of time (at least eight hours), for example, during the day, when no one is at home, and through the night, after bedtime.
    2. All thermostats let you temporarily make an area warmer or cooler, without erasing the pre-set programming. This override is cancelled automatically at the next program period. You use more energy (and end up paying more on energy bills) if you consistently “hold” or over-ride the pre-programmed settings.
    3. Units typically have 2 types of hold features: (a) hold/permanent/vacation; (b) temporary. Avoid using the hold/permanent/vacation feature to manage day to day temperature settings. “Hold” or “vacation” features are best when you’re planning be away for an extended period. Set this feature at a constant, efficient temperature (i.e. several degrees warmer temperature in summer, several degrees cooler during winter), when going away for the weekend or on vacation. You’ll waste energy and money if you leave the “hold” feature at the comfort setting while you’re away.
    4. Cranking your unit up to 90 degrees or down to 40 degrees, for example, will not heat or cool your house any faster. Most thermostats, including ENERGY STAR qualified units, begin to heat or cool at a programmed time, to reach set-point temperatures sometime thereafter. Units with adaptive, “smart,” or “intelligent” recovery features are an exception to this rule — they reach desired temperatures by the set time, since they use formulas that are based on your historical use.
    5. Install your unit on an interior wall, away from heating or cooling vents and other sources of heat or drafts (doorways, windows, skylights, direct sunlight or bright lamps).
    6. Many homes use just one thermostat to control the whole house. If your home has multiple heating or cooling zones, you’ll need a programmed setback thermostat for each zone to maximize comfort, convenience and energy savings throughout the house.
    7. Don’t forget to change the batteries each year. Some units indicate when batteries must be changed.

    *The $150 savings assumes a typical, single-family home with an 8 hour daytime setback and a 10 hour nighttime setback of 8°F in winter and 4°F in summer.

    Features

    ENERGY STAR qualifies these types of units:

    7-day models are best if your daily schedule tends to change, say, if children are at home earlier on some days. They give you the most flexibility, and let you set different programs for different days – usually with four possible temperature periods per day.

    5+2-day models use the same schedule every weekday, and another for weekends.

    5-1-1 models are best if you tend to keep one schedule Monday through Friday, and another schedule on Saturdays and Sundays.

    All ENERGY STAR qualified programmable thermostats include:

    • Four default program periods per day, allowing you to save money while you’re away or sleeping
    • +/- 2 degree accuracy to keep the temperature at an even level, keeping you comfortable

    ENERGY STAR qualified programmable thermostats typically come with:

    • Digital, backlit displays
    • Touch pad screen programming
    • Voice and/or phone programming
    • Hold/Vacation features
    • Indicators which tell you when its time to change air filters
    • Indicators that signal malfunctioning of heating/cooling systems
    • Adaptive Recovery/ Smart Recovery features – control features that senses the amount of time it will take to reach the next set-point temperature, and reach desired temperatures by the set time

    Installation

    Programmable thermostats are a low voltage wiring installation (however, you should shut down your electricity during the replacement), and involve anywhere from 2–10 wires, depending on your type of heating and cooling system. The previous attachment points will reconnect your new unit. Read all instructions and proceed carefully.

    If the job requires more than just a replacement, call your certified HVAC professional to ensure proper installation, as well as operation of your heating and cooling system. It’s a good idea to upgrade an old manual thermostat to a programmable unit, if you’re replacing a CAC or heating system given that programmable units are far more accurate and will maximize the efficiency of your new system For heat pumps, you may need a special unit to maximize energy savings year-round. Talk to your retailer or HVAC contractor before selecting the unit.

    Also, if you’re replacing a conventional thermostat that has a mercury switch, be careful not to break the tube that holds this toxic substance. Contact your local recycling/hazardous materials center, or the manufacturer of your new thermostat, for advice on proper disposal.

    Save Money with a Programmable Thermostat

    If you are interested in saving energy, the government’s Energy Star program offers their seal of approval on programmable thermostats as well as a variety of household appliances. 

    Programmable thermostats automatically adjust your home’s temperature settings, allowing you to save energy while you’re away or sleeping.

    They:

    • are more convenient and accurate than manual thermostats and improve your home’s comfort
    • contain no mercury
    • save energy and save money on utility bills — when used properly, about $150/year
    • are better for the environment, since using less energy helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy production

    Programmable thermostats earn the ENERGY STAR by meeting strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the government. These units save energy by offering 4 convenient, pre-programmed temperature settings — settings that try to anticipate when it’s convenient for you to scale back on heating or cooling.

    If you are like many homeowners and work outside the home during the day and have a different schedule on the weekend, a programmable thermostat can offer many benefits, and the return on your investment is usually within 1 year.

    On the other hand, if you are home throughout the day, seven days a week, then a programmable thermostat will offer more limited benefits

    Through proper use of a programmable thermostat (using the 4 pre-programmed settings) you can save about $150* every year in energy costs.

    Rules of Thumb for Proper Use:

    1. Keep the temperature set at its energy savings set-points for long periods of time (at least eight hours), for example, during the day, when no one is at home, and through the night, after bedtime.
    2. All thermostats let you temporarily make an area warmer or cooler, without erasing the pre-set programming. This override is cancelled automatically at the next program period. You use more energy (and end up paying more on energy bills) if you consistently “hold” or over-ride the pre-programmed settings.
    3. Units typically have 2 types of hold features: (a) hold/permanent/vacation; (b) temporary. Avoid using the hold/permanent/vacation feature to manage day to day temperature settings. “Hold” or “vacation” features are best when you’re planning be away for an extended period. Set this feature at a constant, efficient temperature (i.e. several degrees warmer temperature in summer, several degrees cooler during winter), when going away for the weekend or on vacation. You’ll waste energy and money if you leave the “hold” feature at the comfort setting while you’re away.
    4. Cranking your unit up to 90 degrees or down to 40 degrees, for example, will not heat or cool your house any faster. Most thermostats, including ENERGY STAR qualified units, begin to heat or cool at a programmed time, to reach set-point temperatures sometime thereafter. Units with adaptive, “smart,” or “intelligent” recovery features are an exception to this rule — they reach desired temperatures by the set time, since they use formulas that are based on your historical use.
    5. Install your unit on an interior wall, away from heating or cooling vents and other sources of heat or drafts (doorways, windows, skylights, direct sunlight or bright lamps).
    6. Many homes use just one thermostat to control the whole house. If your home has multiple heating or cooling zones, you’ll need a programmed setback thermostat for each zone to maximize comfort, convenience and energy savings throughout the house.
    7. Don’t forget to change the batteries each year. Some units indicate when batteries must be changed.

    *The $150 savings assumes a typical, single-family home with an 8 hour daytime setback and a 10 hour nighttime setback of 8°F in winter and 4°F in summer.

    Features

    ENERGY STAR qualifies these types of units:

    7-day models are best if your daily schedule tends to change, say, if children are at home earlier on some days. They give you the most flexibility, and let you set different programs for different days – usually with four possible temperature periods per day.

    5+2-day models use the same schedule every weekday, and another for weekends.

    5-1-1 models are best if you tend to keep one schedule Monday through Friday, and another schedule on Saturdays and Sundays.

    All ENERGY STAR qualified programmable thermostats include:

    • Four default program periods per day, allowing you to save money while you’re away or sleeping
    • +/- 2 degree accuracy to keep the temperature at an even level, keeping you comfortable

    ENERGY STAR qualified programmable thermostats typically come with:

    • Digital, backlit displays
    • Touch pad screen programming
    • Voice and/or phone programming
    • Hold/Vacation features
    • Indicators which tell you when its time to change air filters
    • Indicators that signal malfunctioning of heating/cooling systems
    • Adaptive Recovery/ Smart Recovery features – control features that senses the amount of time it will take to reach the next set-point temperature, and reach desired temperatures by the set time

    Installation

    Programmable thermostats are a low voltage wiring installation (however, you should shut down your electricity during the replacement), and involve anywhere from 2–10 wires, depending on your type of heating and cooling system. The previous attachment points will reconnect your new unit. Read all instructions and proceed carefully.

    If the job requires more than just a replacement, call your certified HVAC professional to ensure proper installation, as well as operation of your heating and cooling system. It’s a good idea to upgrade an old manual thermostat to a programmable unit, if you’re replacing a CAC or heating system given that programmable units are far more accurate and will maximize the efficiency of your new system For heat pumps, you may need a special unit to maximize energy savings year-round. Talk to your retailer or HVAC contractor before selecting the unit.

    Also, if you’re replacing a conventional thermostat that has a mercury switch, be careful not to break the tube that holds this toxic substance. Contact your local recycling/hazardous materials center, or the manufacturer of your new thermostat, for advice on proper disposal.

    Everything You Need to Know About Programmable Thermostats

    Who better to tell us all we need to know about programmable thermostats than the government’s Energy Star, part of the Department of Energy.

    Programmable thermostats automatically adjust your home’s temperature settings, allowing you to save energy while you’re away or sleeping.

    They:

    • are more convenient and accurate than manual thermostats and improve your home’s comfort
    • contain no mercury
    • save energy and save money on utility bills — when used properly, about $150/year
    • are better for the environment, since using less energy helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy production

    Programmable thermostats earn the ENERGY STAR by meeting strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the government. These units save energy by offering 4 convenient, pre-programmed temperature settings — settings that try to anticipate when it’s convenient for you to scale back on heating or cooling.

    If you are like many homeowners and work outside the home during the day and have a different schedule on the weekend, a programmable thermostat can offer many benefits, and the return on your investment is usually within 1 year.

    On the other hand, if you are home throughout the day, seven days a week, then a programmable thermostat will offer more limited benefits.

    Through proper use of a programmable thermostat (using the 4 pre-programmed settings) you can save about $150* every year in energy costs.

    Rules of Thumb for Proper Use:

    1. Keep the temperature set at its energy savings set-points for long periods of time (at least eight hours), for example, during the day, when no one is at home, and through the night, after bedtime.
    2. All thermostats let you temporarily make an area warmer or cooler, without erasing the pre-set programming. This override is cancelled automatically at the next program period. You use more energy (and end up paying more on energy bills) if you consistently “hold” or over-ride the pre-programmed settings.
    3. Units typically have 2 types of hold features: (a) hold/permanent/vacation; (b) temporary. Avoid using the hold/permanent/vacation feature to manage day to day temperature settings. “Hold” or “vacation” features are best when you’re planning be away for an extended period. Set this feature at a constant, efficient temperature (i.e. several degrees warmer temperature in summer, several degrees cooler during winter), when going away for the weekend or on vacation. You’ll waste energy and money if you leave the “hold” feature at the comfort setting while you’re away.
    4. Cranking your unit up to 90 degrees or down to 40 degrees, for example, will not heat or cool your house any faster. Most thermostats, including ENERGY STAR qualified units, begin to heat or cool at a programmed time, to reach set-point temperatures sometime thereafter. Units with adaptive, “smart,” or “intelligent” recovery features are an exception to this rule — they reach desired temperatures by the set time, since they use formulas that are based on your historical use.
    5. Install your unit on an interior wall, away from heating or cooling vents and other sources of heat or drafts (doorways, windows, skylights, direct sunlight or bright lamps).
    6. Many homes use just one thermostat to control the whole house. If your home has multiple heating or cooling zones, you’ll need a programmed setback thermostat for each zone to maximize comfort, convenience and energy savings throughout the house.
    7. Don’t forget to change the batteries each year. Some units indicate when batteries must be changed.

    Features

    ENERGY STAR qualifies these types of units:

    7-day models are best if your daily schedule tends to change, say, if children are at home earlier on some days. They give you the most flexibility, and let you set different programs for different days – usually with four possible temperature periods per day.

    5+2-day models use the same schedule every weekday, and another for weekends.

    5-1-1 models are best if you tend to keep one schedule Monday through Friday, and another schedule on Saturdays and Sundays.

    All ENERGY STAR qualified programmable thermostats include:

    • Four default program periods per day, allowing you to save money while you’re away or sleeping
    • +/- 2 degree accuracy to keep the temperature at an even level, keeping you comfortable

    ENERGY STAR qualified programmable thermostats typically come with:

    • Digital, backlit displays
    • Touch pad screen programming
    • Voice and/or phone programming
    • Hold/Vacation features
    • Indicators which tell you when its time to change air filters
    • Indicators that signal malfunctioning of heating/cooling systems
    • Adaptive Recovery/ Smart Recovery features – control features that senses the amount of time it will take to reach the next set-point temperature, and reach desired temperatures by the set time

    Installation

    Programmable thermostats are a low voltage wiring installation (however, you should shut down your electricity during the replacement), and involve anywhere from 2–10 wires, depending on your type of heating and cooling system. The previous attachment points will reconnect your new unit. Read all instructions and proceed carefully.

    If the job requires more than just a replacement, call your certified HVAC professional to ensure proper installation, as well as operation of your heating and cooling system. It’s a good idea to upgrade an old manual thermostat to a programmable unit, if you’re replacing a CAC or heating system given that programmable units are far more accurate and will maximize the efficiency of your new system For heat pumps, you may need a special unit to maximize energy savings year-round. Talk to your retailer or HVAC contractor before selecting the unit.

    Also, if you’re replacing a conventional thermostat that has a mercury switch, be careful not to break the tube that holds this toxic substance. Contact your local recycling/hazardous materials center, or the manufacturer of your new thermostat, for advice on proper disposal.

    Bosch Showcases Appliances that Offer Complete ECO Solutions at Builders’ Show 2008

    Bosch showcases it most advanced lineup of kitchen and laundry appliances that offer complete ECO solutions at the 2008 International Builders’ Show. Bosch remains the undisputed leader with the ENERGY STAR qualification on all its models in every major appliance category that the program rates. With the most energy-efficient dishwashers in the country, and the leading energy-efficient laundry – including the new compact 24” Axxis® Washer, as well as the award-winning Nexxt® Series with the unique ECOACTION™ option – the brand continues deliver efficiency. Additionally, the brand is debuting a space-efficient 30” gas cooktop featuring increased cooking flexibility with a fifth burner, sleek metal knobs and the powerful capabilities of the exclusive POWERSIM™ and OPTISIM™ burners.

    Laundry
    Bosch introduces its new 24” compact stackable Axxis Laundry that offers the largest capacity in its class at 3.4 cubic feet, accommodating up to 14 pair of jeans. When combined with the Axxis Condensation Dryer, which does not require any ducting or venting, Bosch 24” laundry becomes the ultimate high-quality solution for any type of multi-family builder development or consumer application. In addition, the Axxis Laundry system features a unique structured drum with steep edges to ensure that the most heavy-duty jobs are handled efficiently. Paired with the new curved and asymmetric agitator paddles in the washer, clothes are treated gently as the water cascades down like rain. Ensuring the most precise and efficient results, the Logixx™ control system automatically determines revolutions per minute, number of rinses, soak time and spin speed for every fabric selection, while the new touch controls make the overall operation easy-to-use.

    Bosch’s 27” depth front-loading Nexxt Washers also make it easier than ever to achieve maximum energy savings. Simply push the green-colored “e” button to take advantage of the advanced ECOACTION option, on select 500plus and 800 Series models, which decreases the temperature and amount of energy used during the wash cycle by up to 20% – without affecting cleaning results. Also, Nexxt Dryers conserve energy with its ECOSENSOR™ feature, which uses less energy to dry clothes than conventional dryers by adjusting the temperature based on the moisture level in the clothes. While all Nexxt Laundry exceeds the strict 2008 federal regulatory standards for energy, the combination of these eco-friendly programs further distinguishes Bosch as the high-efficiency champion.

    Dishwashers
    Bosch’s Evolution™ and Integra® dishwashers feature the quietest and most energy efficient models in the country: the Evolution SHE98 and Integra SHX98. Both models exceed the minimum federal energy standard by 147% with a yearly usage of only 190 kWh – approximately the same amount of energy as a dishwasher half their size. The Evolution and Integra lineups also offer a variety of convenience and efficiency options clearly structured into three classes – the 300, 500 and 800 Series – making it easy for consumers to choose the model best suited for their lifestyle.

    Cooking
    Bosch also delivers a variety of powerful cooking solutions, including bold and beautiful 30” wall ovens that offer 4.7 cubic feet of interior space – the largest capacity in the marketplace. Available in three classes, all models feature Genuine European Convection®, an ultra-fast preheat in just seven minutes and the Bosch exclusive ECOCLEAN™, a two-hour – from start to finish – self cleaning function.

    Beyond manufacturing high-efficiency products, Bosch has established key partnerships with other leaders in the green building movement, such as the U.S. Green Building Council/LEED® for Homes, National Association of Home Builders, many other national and local environmental organizations, and sustainable building developments. Bosch is the proud recipient of both the prestigious 2007 Excellence in ENERGY STAR® Promotion Award and 2007 Annual Flex Your Power Award. Additionally, the brand’s award-winning online Green Resource Center, a microsite developed to help consumers and builders calculate their immediate savings by using its products, is being expanded to provide even more information and tools for its users.

    “Partners like Bosch are valued leaders in energy efficiency,” said Alexander Karsner, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the Department of Energy. “Bosch’s long-term commitment to energy efficiency is good for business, the environment, consumers, and for the country as a whole.”

    Choosing Kitchen Appliances- Dishwashers

    If you have a dishwasher in your home, you know how convenient it is. Many don’t consider a dishwasher to be a luxury anymore, but a necessity. (Especially if you have a large family) I happen to know of some homes that now have two dishwashers – one is always full. If you are shopping for a dishwasher, here are a few facts from appliance.net and about.com to consider before you head out to the store.

    The first consideration is capacity: An 18″ dishwasher generally is adequate for 2 – 3 persons and can hold up to 6 or 8 standard place settings. A regular 24″ model has a capacity for 12 to 14 standard place settings and is sufficiently family-sized. The number of place settings can be deceiving and for this reason, I would recommend a standard 24″ dishwasher for family use. A compact 18″ unit is great for a couple or small kitchen and occasional use.

    Your choice of whether to buy a built-in, portable or countertop model will depend greatly on whether you are renting or own your home. Each model has its own benefits and constraints.

    Built-in Under-Counter Dishwashers and Dish Drawers

    dishwasher drawers

    These built-in installed units provide the best operating convenience, being permanently located for easy access with no need to relocate it to the kitchen sink every time you need to use it. Since there is no hook-up to the faucet, your kitchen sink can be used for other purposes at the same time your dishwasher is running.

    These dishwashers do require a plumbing installation to your home’s waterworks, and instructions are usually available with the purchase, or through the manufacturer or dealer.

    You will also lose a fair size cupboard for this installation, with the standard width of dishwashers being 24″, and compact ones that have an 18″ width. If you have ample cupboards in your kitchen, the convenience of a built-in dishwasher will quickly outweigh the loss of storage space.

    After installation, if perchance you have a 6″ to 8″ width of cupboard space left under-counter, this provides a terrific narrow storage cupboard for cookie sheets, trays and muffin tins and a custom hinged door is easy to cut and hang for this size of cupboard.

    Dish drawers are a wonderful dishwasher style providing a very stylish look for any decor with ease of drawer access and increased capacity convenience. However this newer styling comes with a higher price tag, and installation may differ slightly from a regular built-in model.

    Keep in mind that if you are planning a move in the future, a permanently installed dishwasher would be expected to remain with the home. For this reason, built-in dishwashers or dish drawers are not advisable for a rental home or apartment.

    Portable Free-Standing Dishwashersportable dishwasher

    Suitable for a family and with no special plumbing installation required, portable dishwashers are a great option for apartment and rental home dwellers. They only require a parking space in your kitchen, and operation requires relocating it and connecting with an adapter to the kitchen hot water faucet when required.

    These units generally have the same features and capacity as their built-in counterparts, and they also provide additional counter workspace since most have a butcher block or durable counter top. There is also no storage space sacrificed for these models, but it is advisable to review your kitchen format for the most convenient location for it. At one time these units were higher priced, but now they are comparable in price to built-in models. It’s the capacity and additional features that mostly affect price.

    Countertop or Tabletop Dishwashers

    These are the most economical of all models and require a counter space to locate them close to the sink. Operating connection is a simple faucet hook-up and units generally run as long as the faucet is turned on. Capacity is usually a place setting for four and cookware or serving pieces would require handwashing. Dishes can either be air or hand dried. However, these are impractical if counter space is at a premium and inadequate for a large family.

    A dishwasher that proudly displays the Energy Star symbol will save you energy dollars compared to non-qualified models. Some dishwashers even have low water features or ‘quick wash’ options which will benefit you if you are paying for measured water use. A delay-start timer will start your dishwasher when the energy rates are lower. Read here about Energy Star and how much energy and money you can save.

    Another feature you’ll like is a built-in food disposer. It grinds up food particles and flushes them out with the waste water. So they won’t end up re-deposited on your dishes. This is certainly a priority feature if you do not like to scrape, pre-wash or rinse your dishes before loading them into the dishwasher. Installed right in the unit, you wouldn’t even know it’s there. If unsure if this feature is included, don’t hesitate to ask the dealer.

    The most important dishwashing cycles  are Light, Regular, Pots & Pans and Econo settings. The econo cycle will air dry dishes saving on heating element energy costs. Additional enhanced cycles are Glass or Stemware, Rinse, Quick Wash and Sani Wash, which all add to convenience benefits. Some dishwashers use sensor technology to detect how dirty the dishes are and then adjust the cycle accordingly. You can start the washer with a touch of a button, and this feature prevents water from being wasted. There has been a trend toward stainless steel interiors. Many manufacturers now make–or are introducing–models that have durable stainless-steel tubs. stainless steel dishwasherThese can’t compete in price with models utilizing plastic tubs, but they are quieter, easier to maintain and more efficient during drying cycles because the metal reflects heat better. They can employ a lower-wattage heating element for drying, which saves energy and helps protect heat-sensitive items on the lower rack. A stainless steel washing arm will not rust and will be more durable.

    Performance is influenced by the number of washing levels – how and where the jets of water are distributed during the washing cycle. Check the size of the spray holes on the wash arms. The smaller the holes are, the more scrubbing power they provide your dishwasher. A three tier system will provide a good washing and more levels will ensure even better coverage, but price will be influenced. Detergent and rinse agent dispensers are usually standard features. A child safety lock is important if you have small children.

    If you have an open floorplan, and your kitchen connects directly to your family room, or if you plan to entertain in your kitchen, sound  will be an important consideration. The amount of insulation around the dishwasher tub reduces the noise, so check to see how thick the insulation is. Thicker insulation will make the dishwasher more quiet.
    Standard dishwashers usually have two racks for dishes but some models now have three expanding on loading options and capacity. Special features can also include adjustable shelves, racks built to accommodate tall glasses or stemware, odd shaped and tall items, or convertible racks for multi uses. A small closed rack for baby bottles and rings is also available on some models. The position of the silverware tray is usually a matter of preference, and is generally not influenced by washing performance.

    Dishwasher size, type, washing cycles, special features and energy savings are a few things you’ll want to consider before you check out those shiny new dishwashers on the showroom floor.