The Energy Star logo is a symbol on appliances that informs the consumer that an item is environmentally friendly. The simple explanation of what it means is that they run more efficiently than products that are not labeled with the symbol. If they use water, they will use less of it. In some instances they have less toxic impact on the environment than other products of their type. An example of this would be air-conditioners, freezers and refrigerators.
Older ones used Freon 13 Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC13) as the coolant. Freon has been banned as a refrigerant in many countries because if it gets into the environment it gradually floats upward until it comes in contact with the ozone layer which surrounds earth. Holes have been detected in the ozone layer and CFC13 is considered to be a significant factor in the depletion of the ozone layer. In most homes the refrigerator is probably the largest energy user. Newer refrigerators run more efficiently using less energy. They contain better insulation, allowing the compressor to run less frequently in order to keep the interior cool. They also contain coolants that are friendlier to the environment.
Energy Star ovens use less energy to cook the same amount of food. The most significant difference is that there is insulation between the inner and outer walls.
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Front loading washing machines are much more environmentally friendly. They usually come with the Energy Star® certification. They take less energy to run. They use considerably less water which is good for the environment; and since they use less water, less energy is necessary to heat water for a warm wash. Also, less laundry soap is required. Finally, the clothes are drier at the end of the cycle, requiring less energy to dry them.
There are a multitude of other appliances, large and small including air-conditioners and furnaces. If a new house meets standards in a number of areas, it can carry this certification.
We can also look for the symbol when buying office equipment such as printers, fax machines and computers.
It is an international symbol and is promoted in a number of countries all around the world. Many different manufacturers are permitted to use the symbol if their products meet the required standards.
For more information on energy efficient appliances see
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