01Are ENERGY STAR qualified appliances worth the extra cost?
Yes. When buying an appliance, remember that it has two price tags: what you pay to take it home and what you pay for the energy and water it uses. ENERGY STAR qualified appliances incorporate advanced technologies that use 10–50% less energy and water than standard models. The money that is saved adequately compensates for the cost of purchasing a more expensive but more efficient ENERGY STAR model.
For top performance, premium features, and energy savings, look for energy-efficient clothes washers, refrigerators, dishwashers, room air conditioners and dehumidifiers that have earned the ENERGY STAR. This mark may appear on the appliance, the packaging or the Energy Guide label.
02Does turning off computers really save energy?
Although there is a small surge in energy when a computer starts up, this small amount of energy is still less than the energy used when a computer is running for long periods of time. For energy savings and convenience, consider turning off:
- the monitor if you aren't going to use your PC for more than 20 minutes
- both the CPU and monitor if you're not going to use your PC for more than two hours.
Make sure your monitors, printers, and other accessories are on a power strip/surge protector. When this equipment is not in use for extended periods, turn off the switch on the power strip to prevent them from drawing power even when they have been turned off. If you don't use a power strip, unplug extra equipment when it's not in use.
Many PCs available today come with a power-down or sleep mode feature for the CPU and monitor. ENERGY STAR® computers power down to a sleep mode that consume 15 Watts or less power, which is around 70% less electricity than a computer without power management features. ENERGY STAR monitors have the capability to power down into two successive "sleep" modes. In the first, the monitor energy consumption is less than or equal to 15 Watts, and in the second, power consumption reduces to 8 Watts, which is less than 10% of its operating power consumption.
Note: Screen savers are not energy savers. Using a screen saver may in fact use more energy than not using one, and the power-down feature may not work if you have a screen saver activated. In fact, modern LCD color monitors do not need screen savers at all.
03Should I unplug my refrigerator at nights to save electricity?
No. It is a myth that switching off the fridge or freezer for short spells will save energy.
Refrigerators are not designed to be powered down regularly. When they are turned on again, the compressors that cool the appliance down use more energy than would be saved.
There are however, several ways to cut down the energy consumption of the appliance:
- Use the most efficient temperature settings by setting your freezer at -18°C and your fridge between 2°C and 5°C.
- Leave space around the back of your fridge or freezer for air to circulate around the coil.
- Make sure the back of your fridge is ventilated and dust free.
- Vacuuming this dust off 2-3 times per year can reduce energy consumption by up to 6%.
- Place your refrigerator in a location away from direct sunlight or other sources of heat from inside the home.
- Do not keep the refrigerator door open longer than necessary.
- Do not place hot food in the fridge.
04Are CFL and LED bulbs better than traditional incandescent bulbs?
Yes. Traditional incandescent bulbs use a lot of energy to produce light. 90% of the energy is wasted as heat. That lost energy is money we are throwing away.
Newer energy-saving bulbs such as ENERGY STAR-qualified CFLs and LEDs, as well as halogen incandescent technologies, can produce the same amount of light (lumens) as a traditional incandescent bulb while using significantly less energy. So when you replace your traditional incandescent bulbs with the energy-savers, you will pay less to get the same amount of light.
05Why should I replace my existing Air Conditioning System?
You may wish to replace your air conditioning system if it is old, inefficient, or in need of repair. Today’s systems are about 60% more efficient than those manufactured as little as 10 years ago. Additionally, if not properly maintained, wear and tear of the system can reduce its actual or realized efficiency. It is recommended that an inefficient air conditioning system be replaced by an inverter-type system.
06What are the benefits of using an inverter-type air conditioning system?
Although the inverter air conditioning systems are more expensive, it is more energy efficient than non-inverter systems:
- It is at least 30-50% cheaper to run as it consumes less power.
- Its start up time is shorter; in fact it is reduced by up to 30%.
- It takes a shorter time to achieve its desired temperature.
- It is much more quiet.
07What is the difference between inverter and non-inverter type units?
Non inverter or Fixed speed air conditioning deliver a fixed amount of power via a fixed speed. This means the compressor has to stop and start to maintain the desired room temperature, thus using more energy.
An inverter air conditioning system varies the speed of the compressors, delivering precise cooling or heating power as required. When the inverter air conditioning is switched on, the compressor operates at a high speed in order to cool or heat the room quickly. As the room temperature approaches the set temperature, the compressor slows down, maintaining a constant temperature and saving energy. Any sudden fluctuation in the room temperature will be sensed and instantly adjusted to bring the room temperature back to the set temperature.