Browsing Topic: Appliances

Finally Bullfrogpowered™ and an EnergyStar refrigerator

October 5th, 2007

We’ve talked about Bullfrog Power here before, but we have only just today signed up with them. (Ooops.)

We just had that down as one of those small tasks we’d take care of once the house was built which was going to get underway any day now for the whole year. But since we’re now officially on house-building-hiatus, our plans have been getting shifted around.

Another task we put off last year was replacing our awful, scary fridge because we thought “We don’t want to have to move a brand new fridge into storage, when we could just dispose of this one when construction starts, and buy a new one when we’re ready to move in.”

This fridge was so old it proudly boasted an Energuide rating of 1742kWh/year. But that was when it was new. We had put a UPM EM-100 usage meter on it (~$25 @ Canadian Tire) and found it was actually running at a rate of almost 2400kWh/year. You would think the fact that our old fridge used almost $250/year in electricity would be incentive enough to get rid of it right away, but for some reason waiting just a couple more months seemed like a good idea at the time (and the next time, and the next time).

Our new fridge (18.2 cu.ft.) is a fantabulous Whirlpool ET8FTEXRQ (note to marketing: not the catchiest name) and uses just $39/year or 412kWh of electricity. So, our electricity bill just came down by about 40%! We selected this particular fridge because it is the close cousin of the 21 cu.ft. ET1FTEXRQ which is currently the top rated fridge at Consumer Reports.

A call to Whirlpool’s “Customer Experience Centre” (yes, it’s an awful name but the staff there were top notch) revealed that, mechanically, the ET1 and ET8 are the same fridge, just different sizes. In case you go looking for it yourself, you should know that the ET8FTEXRQ has been replaced by the ET8FTEXSQ. I did not call them to ask what the difference was.

We made the semi-mistake of buying it from Lastman’s Bad Boy because they had a great price on the fridge we wanted, but I’ll blog about that experience another day.

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Magnetic Refrigerator improves efficiency 60%

August 30th, 2007

Researchers as the University of Denmark have developed a new way to cool using magnets. The technique is completely silent and 60% more energy efficient than traditional compressor-based refrigerators.
The first prototypes, however, will not be available until 2010.

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Detergentless clothes washer

August 1st, 2007

An interesting posting appeared yesterday about a new detergentless washing machine (french only) from Haier.

As pointed out in the comments of the posting (via Engadget): There is no mention of it having an EnergyStar rating, likely because splitting water into OH- and H+ (the process the machine uses instead of detergent) likely uses quite a lot of electricity.

Still, a very interesting start. (Plus, if I’m right about the near-future promise of solar power, exchanging electricity for cleaner water will be a trade I’ll be happy to make.)

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Good deals at/from Consumer Reports

December 4th, 2006

I had been doing some online research into various appliances when my googling landed me at the Consumer Reports web site. It’s a magazine I’ve known about forever, of course, but not one I ever considered subscribing to because, even though I usually do a ton of research before making a purchase, scouring through hundreds of magazines in hopes of finding a review of whatever I was interested in buying.

Enter: The Internet.

When I wasn’t looking, Consumer Reports went and got ‘it’ exactly right.

Their web site contains every impartial review they’ve published in the last 4 years (plus their buying advice guides, etc.). And the whole thing is searchable so you can find exactly what you need in seconds.

A significant portion of the site’s materials are absolutely free, but subscriptions to the full web site for a one year is just $26 (or $6/mo.)!

If you still don’t feel compelled to visit their site when trying to find the right gear to put in your home, then I should also mention their companion site: Greener Choices. Greener Choices deals specifically with those items that can help to conserve resources, including your cash; the reviews list the estimated annual cost of the energy that will be use to run the device.

This is so precisely the information resource I needed I am frankly, just a little stunned. The information on the Greener choices site is actually free, but is so relevant to me at the moment, I’m happy to offer them the very reasonable fee for the subscription to the regular magazine.

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