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Making the Most of Energy-Efficient Appliances in Arizona

by Pam Silvia

Energy efficiency is a worthwhile pursuit, whether you want to be friendlier to Mother Earth or your checkbook when the monthly utility bill comes around. It might compel you to know that Arizona residents pay around 12 percent more in electricity every month due to the Grand Canyon State’s hot and dry climate. In other words, we love our air conditioner.

And when it comes to natural gas, Arizona residences pay about a 9-percent higher rate compared to the national average rate. This is all to say, we could all benefit from investing in Energy Star appliances along with additional tips for conserving energy in our daily usage.

To provide relief to the planet (and your wallet), check out these energy-efficient appliances and ways to save energy!

Cooktop or Range

The fiscal debate between gas and electric cooking appliances is twofold. Your purchase ultimately depends on your answer to the following question. What do you value most: cost-effectiveness or cost savings?

While it might be cheaper to operate a gas appliance for your culinary needs, more energy is actually wasted when cooking with this fuel option. If we’re talking numbers, about 74 percent of the energy produced on an electric cooking appliance is transferred to the food whereas only 40 percent of the energy from gas models is channeled toward heating your meals.

Induction cooking surfaces do you one better—with up to 90 percent of the energy being transferred to the food. But they are also the most expensive to maintain.

Regardless of the fuel type you choose, instead of turning on your stove, we recommend you use a toaster oven or a microwave to warm up your leftovers or frozen meals. Due to their smaller size, it turns out that these appliances use up less energy.

Wall Oven or Range

Regardless of whether you opt for a gas or electric oven, convection ovens are more energy-efficient than standard models because the fan-circulated heat is continuously coursing around the food being cooked. Convection baking results in more even heat distribution and, for most foods, temperatures and cooking time can be decreased.

Ranking among the best oven ranges of 2020, the GE 30” Free Standing Electric Range (JB645RKSS, JB645EKES, JB645FKDS, and JB645DKBB) not only has a convection setting, but it is also stocked with a self-cleaning cycle, which poises your appliance toward energy conservation by virtue of being more insulated to run this feature—meaning, there is less heat escaping the oven! Be cautioned, though: Using the self-cleaning cycle more than once a month can cause your utility expenses to climb.

If you’re a bit of an impatient cook, we’d like to remind you to keep the oven door closed as you’re waiting for your casserole to brown at the edges. The oven’s internal temperature can drop by as many as 25 degrees each time you open the door, so just use the oven light for a visual check-in! Or abstain from opening the door altogether by trusting your timer.

Refrigerator

There’s very little negotiation when it comes to conserving energy with your refrigerator—we simply can’t afford for this appliance to lose its momentum, unless you want spoiled milk, contaminated eggs, and droopy ice cream on your hands.

Since it comes down to limiting the number of times you open your fridge door to avoid cold air escaping from the appliance, may we interest you in a model with a windowed panel?

The Energy Star certified LG 27.60 Cu. Ft. French Door Refrigerator (LMXS28596S and LMXS28596D) comes with a patented sleek glass panel that allows you to see the inside the easy-access door so that you can raid the fridge without losing your cool. Simply knock twice on the obscured glass to illuminate the contents within.

In addition, this refrigerator can be synced to your smartphone so that you can receive recommended maintenance tips and usage reports to keep your appliance running its best.

Dishwasher

Don’t dish out a job you can’t take. If you’ve got a full load of dishes to clean, put your trust in your dishwasher! If saving you time and labor is not enough, this appliance uses four to six gallons of water per load compared to the 27 gallons it can take you to scrub them in the sink.

Engineered to be as energy-efficient as possible, many of today’s dishwashers come with soil sensors to detect how messy your plates are and automatically adjust water and cycle settings accordingly—saving you water and energy consumption (as well as costs) in the process.

The Energy Star certified KitchenAid 23.88" Print Shield Stainless Steel Built In Dishwasher (KDPM604KPS) knows no two meals are alike, as this model’s ProWash Cycle measures soil levels throughout its run and adapts wash time and water temperature as needed for tough messes or lighter loads.

To make your dishwasher even more efficient, we recommend only running full loads, skipping the pre-rinse, and air drying.

Washing Machine

Your laundry room can benefit from energy-efficient appliances, too. Saving energy in this realm starts with running your washing machine only when you’ve got a full load of laundry. To try a lesser known hack, use cold water for all of your loads—in truth, cold water preserves the state and color of your fabrics while warm water should be used in special cases (such as, when you’re looking to sanitize work and school uniforms). Using cold water for most loads can save you around 60 dollars annually!

Like soil-sensing dishwashers, many new washing machines are stocked with energy-efficient load sensors that can take the guesswork out of your household chores. With sensors that automatically set the right water level, amounts of detergent and fabric softener, and temperature for every load, the Energy Star certified Electrolux Laundry 4.3 Cu Ft. Titanium Front Load Washer (EFLS527UTT) allows you to continue multitasking while feeling assured that the integrity of your family’s clothing is in good hands.

Yes, energy-efficient appliances can do that, too.

Dryer

For those of us who don’t have a clothesline, it would behoove us to invest in an energy-efficient appliance to dry our damp laundry after a wash.

We must revisit a question posed earlier: gas or electric? First, it should be noted that electric dryers use heating coils while gas dryers use a gas burner to generate heat; that said, while gas dryers typically cost more upon initial purchase, in the long run, they may end up costing you less, since the price of natural gas is lower than that of electricity (both generally and certainly in Arizona).

Furthermore, because gas dryers tend to run hotter than electric dryers, clothes can tumble for a shorter period—this can shave a few dollars off your utilities bill and, as an added bonus, result in less wear-and-tear on your clothes over time. The Energy Star certified Whirlpool 7.4 Cu. Ft. White Front Load Gas Dryer (WGD9620HW) even comes with a EcoBoost option that uses less heat and an extended cycle time for optimal performance.

Lastly, be sure to clean your dryer’s lint filter and tubing regularly to keep your appliance running efficiently! 

In Conclusion

We hope you are compelled to invest in energy-efficient appliances and adopt some of our tips to conserve energy in your day-to-day use. As a reminder, you can buy energy-efficient appliances from our digital catalog and in-store selection. If you don’t know where to start, our friendly staff of experts at Spencer’s TV & Appliance await your phone call or walk-in visit.

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