Last updated on January 8th, 2022 at 01:42 pm
Want to lower the carbon footprint of your household? DIY projects or green modifications like the incorporation of solar panels and wind turbines can be implemented. However, an easier way will be to purchase green household products as opposed to the conventional models.
The green alternatives are often certified under these initiatives like the Energy Star and WaterSense programs that are launched by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in conjunction with merchants.
Energy Star certified
Energy Star certified household products, which include electrical appliances, allow consumers to save on utility bills by using lesser amount of water or electricity thus lowering of one’s carbon footprint.
Moreover, installation of green household products also entitles consumers to tax credits/rebates allowing them to recover some money. For easy referencing, the appliances are divided into two main types: major appliances like the washing machines, refrigerators; minor appliances inclusive of programmable thermostats, switches, tankless water heaters and dehumidifiers.
Within these appliances, there are specific sets of criteria that each type have to fulfil before being certified under these programs.
Some minor appliance types include the following:
A programmable thermostat is a great green DIY project perfect as an initial step in building a green home. It gives you the flexibility of having a heating /or cooling schedule suitable for your household with minimal wastage of electricity.
Under the Energy Star program, several criteria are covered that are summarised in our programmable thermostats section. Several unbiased product reviews on some models of programmable thermostats are also provided for interested consumers.
Tankless Water Heaters
For tankless water heaters, there are several criteria under the Energy Star program that has to be fulfilled before certification. Despite the benefits of this green household product, there are also several points for consideration before getting one as it might not be suitable for every household. Refer to our summary that contain several pointers helping you to decide on the suitability of a tankless water heater for your household.
There is also a buying guide compiled by Green Energy Helps helping consumers to choose a tankless water heater suitable for them. Unbiased reviews on some popular models like the Eccotemp L5, and Rinnai R75LSi are also covered for interested consumers.
Compared to a similarly sized conventional unit, Energy Star certified dehumidifiers possess more efficient refrigeration coils, compressors, and fans allowing them to use 15% less energy. The annual savings in energy by such a dehumidifier is sufficient to power an Energy Star refrigerator for 4 months.
An Energy Star certified dehumidifier has an energy efficiency (measured in litres of water removed per kilowatt-hour (L/kWh) of energy consumed) ranging from ≥1.20 to ≥1.80 L/kWh for standard capacity units to ≥2.50 L/kWh for high capacity units. Unbiased reviews on popular models like the Frigidaire 50 Pint dehumidifier and 70 Pint dehumidifier are provided for interested consumers.
Major appliances include the following:
Washing machines are available in the market in two main modes – front loaders or top loaders. Energy Star certified models for both types are available for consumers to consider instead of the conventional models.
Green Energy Helps has a section on washing machines providing information to consumers on the specifications of a Energy Star model with unbiased reviews on some popular models.
Air conditioning as part of the HVAC component is also a major consumer of power in a normal household. Compared to conventional models, Energy-Star certified air conditioner uses 15% lesser energy, which is equivalent to USD85, over the lifetime of the unit. This unit often includes a timer to allow the consumer better control of temperature and using minimal energy to cool the room.
Replace the old incandescent style bulbs in your household with either CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs) or LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes). CFLs require 75% lesser electric power and a 10x longer lifespan than a traditional incandescent light bulb. However, the presence of mercury vapor that contributes to the longer lifespan of CFLs complicates disposal and recycling.
Hence, there is a shift in production focus by major companies like General Electric from CFLs to LEDs. LEDs has a higher light production efficiency of 90% compared to incandescent light bulbs. Coupled with declining costs in manufacturing and installation, the usage of LEDs as a lighting source is becoming a more attractive and eco-friendly option.
Energy-star certified LEDs should be considered as they are tested that they have a properly managed heat sink ensuring that a stable light output until the end of its rated life.
Other Green Household Products
Look out for green household products with the WaterSense label as they help you to save water. A wide range of products ranging from water saving showerheads, bathroom faucets to toilets and urinals is covered under this program.
Installing these products also entitle you to rebates by the partners under this program though it is only offered in certain areas. Currently, we only have a section on water saving shower heads. For the rest of the range, subsequent reviews will be provided.
Water saving shower heads
Studies conducted by US EPA have shown that an average American family could save 2,900 gallons (22,040 litres) of water annually just by installing WaterSense certified showerheads. These showerheads also reduce the demands on your water heaters allowing annual savings in electricity of up to 270 kilowatt hours.
For interested consumers, there is a section on what constitutes a water saving shower head with some recommended models.