Appliance Technology Blog

Appliance Technology

The Appliance Technology Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about Consumer Electronics; Medical Products; Home & Office Equipment; and Power Tools, Lawn and Garden. Here, you'll find everything from application ideas, to news and industry trends, to hot topics and cutting edge innovations.

Previous in Blog: It’s Like an ATM for Old Cell Phones   Next in Blog: How Safe is Your Riding Lawnmower?
Close
Close
Close
19 comments

Yea or Nay for Energy-saving Appliances?

Posted March 06, 2011 7:00 AM

With the cost of energy continuing to rise and decades-long discounts for all-electric homes falling by the wayside, energy-efficient appliances are undoubtedly the wave of the future. That being said, what kind of premium in per cent, would you be willing to pay for a major appliance? And, what kind of breakeven period would be acceptable for you (in years or months)?

The preceding article is a "sneak peek" from Appliance Technology, a newsletter from GlobalSpec. To stay up-to-date and informed on industry trends, products, and technologies, subscribe to Appliance Technology today.

Reply

Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Guru

Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1294
Good Answers: 35
#1

Re: Yea or Nay for Energy-saving Appliances?

03/06/2011 8:11 AM

I'd like to see a 3 year payback, and probably settle for a 5 year payback based on current (not predicted) energy prices, and only on appliances that I was confident would still have at least a 10 year life with the energy-efficient design.

From that, you can calculate the premium in percent I'd be willing to pay.

Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Oman
Posts: 612
Good Answers: 14
#2

Re: Yea or Nay for Energy-saving Appliances?

03/06/2011 11:14 PM

Energy saved is energy created. Any technology which assists to save energy will be appreciated by all. From commercial point I am ready to pay 10 to 15% premium with the payback period of 3 to 5 years considering the life of equipment as 15 to 20 years.

Reply
Guru
Fans of Old Computers - ZX-81 - New Member

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: 18N 65W o
Posts: 981
Good Answers: 27
#11
In reply to #2

Re: Yea or Nay for Energy-saving Appliances?

03/07/2011 2:26 PM

Michael Crichton did some research on this topic.

He findings were there were no overall decrease in energy usage. His anecdote was the person who orders a diet drink to go with his "super-sized" meal.

I don't know if I'm typical, I changed my lamps to CFL, I don't see any savings as I can now afford to leave a light on when I'll be out late. I also keep the house better lit than before.

I think you will find that you will increase the size of your appliance, which will negate any savings.

While saving is nice and many people try not to waste, energy consumption per capita is going to increase, we may be able to slow the increase temporarily but nevertheless it will only go up. We are going to have to provide more energy at lower costs in order to maintain our standard of living.

Reply
Associate

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 46
#3

Re: Yea or Nay for Energy-saving Appliances?

03/07/2011 1:50 AM

Most microchip appliances can save 50% energy if used without the AC to DC converters at no extra cost. This only makes sense if you have a DC power supply, example PV panels.

Example: Your Lap top computer has a black box on the mains cable, that converts the mains AC power to low voltage DC power. This box loses as much 50% of the energy you put into it as heat. If you use a 12v battery and DC to DC converter you can save this loss. LCD TV has the same box to convert power to DC and has the same 50% loss. PC computer has the same box. DC motors are far more efficient than AC motors. If they just made all appliances with a 12v input, then we could use 12v power supplies and save all this energy, as long as you buy solar panels to get the 12v DC supply.

Reply Off Topic (Score 7)
Guru
Safety - Hazmat - New Member Safety - ESD - New Member Engineering Fields - Transportation Engineering - New Member Popular Science - Evolution - New Member Technical Fields - Procurement - New Member Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member Popular Science - Cosmology - New Member Engineering Fields - Architectural Engineering - New Member Technical Fields - Marketing/Advertising - New Member Engineering Fields - Food Process Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Mariposa Ca
Posts: 5800
Good Answers: 114
#10
In reply to #3

Re: Yea or Nay for Energy-saving Appliances?

03/07/2011 12:55 PM

a 12 or 24 vdc parallel system for displays, laptops & all manner of chargers makes sense. I already have a shelf for chargers, I think I could live with a solar powered setup that only ran in the day time & one big dc converter for the evening

All of my toys of this sort are concentrated in 2 rooms, but that is probably not typical.

I'm not sure what the market is for this kind of solution

Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
3
Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC USA
Posts: 13529
Good Answers: 467
#4

Re: Yea or Nay for Energy-saving Appliances?

03/07/2011 8:05 AM

I don't think it matters. I'd prefer to have something that was built to last.

The problem with these new energy saving appliances........or whatever, (CFLs?), is that the components are cheap crap. I don't think most things out there will last long enough to pay for themselves in energy savings. It's all a bunch of BS hype.

What good is an energy saving washing machine if it needs to be replaced every 5-6 years.

This garbage is also designed so that repairing them is next to impossible, or almost as expensive as replacement. I'm not fooled by any of it.

__________________
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Ben Franklin
Reply Good Answer (Score 3)
Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - Old Salt Hobbies - CNC - New Member United States - US - Statue of Liberty - New Member

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Rosedale, Maryland USA
Posts: 5198
Good Answers: 266
#5
In reply to #4

Re: Yea or Nay for Energy-saving Appliances?

03/07/2011 9:21 AM

I agree what are we saving if anything if the manufacturer is going to eat it up in production replacement costs every 4 to 5 years. We still will have to pay for it.

__________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving in a pretty, pristine body but rather to come sliding in sideways, all used up and exclaiming, "Wow, what a ride!"
Reply
Guru
Canada - Member - Specialized in power electronics

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Montreal, Canada.
Posts: 1366
Good Answers: 80
#6
In reply to #4

Re: Yea or Nay for Energy-saving Appliances?

03/07/2011 9:34 AM

GA! How much energy is needed to make a new product, transport it and eventually recycle it? Extending its life might be the best way to save energy ans packaging waste.

__________________
Experienced is earned, common sense is taught, both are rare essentials of life.
Reply
Guru
Hobbies - DIY Welding - Wannabeabettawelda

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Posts: 7784
Good Answers: 447
#12
In reply to #4

Re: Yea or Nay for Energy-saving Appliances?

03/07/2011 10:46 PM

Oh, boy. Just revving up the rant machine about newer appliances. Oops, just blew a head gasket.

I'll try to be brief. The newer machines may be more efficient (by someone's measure) but they are unreliable pieces of scheisse. My fancy Maytag (built by Whirlpool, the Satan of the appliance industry) dishwasher sold for $800 about 10 years ago. Within a year, the main control board in the door went tits up. It was easier for me to simply spend the $110 on the new one instead of trying to deal with the warranty B.S. and getting repairman out to fix it. A year later, the membrane switch panel on the top of the door flaked out and died. Another $100 or so. The plastic piece of shit door latch handle just broke off. Fortunately it still latches by pushing the door shut and you can just pull it open (some type of detent). Just recently, I noticed a lot of crud sticking to the dishes after it was done. I found the filter media on the pump housing has ripped or become un-bonded so the water is not being cleaned as it is circulated through the pump. I wonder how much I'll have to pay for that part? You have to buy the whole housing because it is all glued together. GRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Oh, how I wish I still had the 1992 vintage KitchenAid dishwasher in my previous house. That enameled steel tub dishwasher was built like a tank and I never had any problems with it. Mechanical timer too. But, alas; Whirlpool bought and destroyed the KitchenAid brand too judging by the dishwashers I see in the store with the KitchenAid label.

My Whirlpool side-by-side refrigerator is another waste of $1100. The little tabs on the brittle plastic inner door panels break off and the shelves fall down. Both the freezer and fridge doors are rusting from the inside-out around the handles. What would it have cost them to use a decent grade of steel or even properly treat it so it wouldn't do this ????? The self-closing cam on the fridge door broke, so now the door must be pushed closed. . The baskets in the freezer keep falling out of their tracks.

My GE gas range. Not so bad, but the digital control board that sets the oven temp and timer functions just flips out for no particular reason. Gets worse when operating the oven so I suspect a temperature problem. That little doozy is going to set me back about $150 for a range I spent about $450 for. WTF, over??

OK, all you U.S/American appliance manufacturers: You can kiss my ass. I'm done. You have cheapened the products to the point of uselessness. You have fattened your bottom lines by short-changing quality and reliability. You have been coasting along on previously vaunted reputations figuring the consumer is too stupid to realize that you are screwing them. I would gladly pay premium dollar for appliances that will last for 20 to 30 years but no, you sell us crap. Ten years ago, I would NEVER have considered buying a foreign-made appliance. Now it seems to be my only choice. You didn't learn anything from the downfall of the U.S. auto industry, did you?

My 1989 vintage, water and electric inefficient Maytag washer and drying will be in my house for as long as I can source replacement parts. I have been raising four kids using these workhorses. Just this past year, due to clunking of the drum, I replaced the plastic and cork drum glides on the front of the dryer and replaced the rear rollers and felts just for good measure although they probably didn't need it. I put in a new belt too since it was apart but the old one was still working fine. 21 years of constant use and this was the first time I had to do ANYTHING to that dryer. The washer still has it's original belts and all. No problems with it either. The tree-huggers and green-washers will have to pry my cold, stiff fingers off these babies. I'm not giving them up for nuttin.

Rant over. Phew.

Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC USA
Posts: 13529
Good Answers: 467
#13
In reply to #12

Re: Yea or Nay for Energy-saving Appliances?

03/08/2011 5:39 AM

You forgot to mention how much electricity you're saving with the newer units.

__________________
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Ben Franklin
Reply
Guru
Hobbies - DIY Welding - Wannabeabettawelda

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Posts: 7784
Good Answers: 447
#14
In reply to #13

Re: Yea or Nay for Energy-saving Appliances?

03/08/2011 9:52 AM

Oh, right. I feel sooooo much better now.

Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC USA
Posts: 13529
Good Answers: 467
#15
In reply to #14

Re: Yea or Nay for Energy-saving Appliances?

03/08/2011 10:16 AM

It's a shame that so many US manufacturers have lost their way. The US used to be #1 in quality, planet wide, for many things. I wish we could get back into that mentality. I'm talking collectively. I know there are CR4 members here that are involved in turning out quality stuff.

I feel as if, if we were to return to a focus on quality and longevity, we would be both manufacturing and exporting more goods around the world, and people would be willing to pay a premium for the, Made in USA, label. Remember those days.

__________________
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Ben Franklin
Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - bwire Hobbies - Car Customizing - New Member

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Upper Mid-west USA
Posts: 7498
Good Answers: 96
#19
In reply to #12

Re: Yea or Nay for Energy-saving Appliances?

03/12/2011 11:40 PM

I've looked and like the prospect of using propane powered refrigerator, freezer and especially cook stove/range etc and even for emergency lighting in the event the genset doesn't spin.

__________________
If death came with a warning there would be a whole lot less of it.
Reply
Power-User

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Hydro, Oklahoma
Posts: 184
Good Answers: 2
#7

Re: Yea or Nay for Energy-saving Appliances?

03/07/2011 9:50 AM

Having made a good amount of income to help those about me make a decent living buying/repairing/selling/refurbished appliances of the home the mechanical operating machines can be repaired and refurbished by the average individual to replace in the home. WP kept the same design for many years, simple design with all parts available. Also GE and Norge who built for several others. They tried to go electronic but could not find the service men and the Electroic parts with the service charge increased the repairs. When many Companies merged by WP a simple machine was sold and resale value and repairs remained what a customer could afford. Now, of late the Saving measures of electronic have emerged and these have made the machines beyond repair, pricewise for the customer and the repairman and useless to try to refurbish and resale. outdated control boards, new twisting and turning and functions of these appliances cause bearings and bushings and springs rubber and hoses. A breakeven peiod does not exist. you as a customer cannot pay for the repair and the repairman cannot charge for a service charge and cost of the parts and put any warranty on that repair.

__________________
Jim
Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC USA
Posts: 13529
Good Answers: 467
#8
In reply to #7

Re: Yea or Nay for Energy-saving Appliances?

03/07/2011 10:10 AM

Exactly! I'm still using an old washing machine and dryer. They are incredibly easy to fix......and affordable to fix.

The really sad part is, as these reliable machines get phased out by electronically controlled junk, the people that sell the parts for these machines will be forced out of business, making my reliable old machines truly obsolete.

This is happening across all industries. When's the last time you saw a TV/stereo repair shop?

Why can't I buy a car with a hand crank to get the windows up and down?

These manufacturers may be getting an Energy Star rating on their junk, but they know damned well this stuff will be in a landfill within a short period of time. It's all about saving/making money...........for them, not us, and nothing to do with making the planet a better place, despite the commercials with little deer and birds flitting around in a perfect setting.

__________________
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Ben Franklin
Reply
Guru

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 7025
Good Answers: 206
#9

Re: Yea or Nay for Energy-saving Appliances?

03/07/2011 10:23 AM

The numbers rarely add up. I'll give a rough example. Lets say you have a perfectly good refrigerator that's about 10 years old. Your local power company offers you a rebate if you buy a new spiffy one that saves you $50 a year. Great, so in 7 or 8 years it's paid for and you're feeling "green" for doing your part to save the world, or are you? The new fridge had to come from somewhere. Some type of earth moving equipment had to dig up some of the raw materials. Those machines eat fuel, spent fuel makes emissions. The metal had to be formed and plenty of emissions come from the metal production industry. The copper in the windings of the compressor are the same story. Insulation doesn't come from thin air, more electricity and energy consumed. A certain amount of nasty byproducts were produced in that process and have to be dealt with. Once built the fridge has to go from the factory to some type of a warehouse on rail or truck. More fuel and emissions. Once it was on a display floor in a store it had to be moved to your place...more emissions, more fuel. And finally the old system has to disposed of. In many cases this includes sending the refrigerant off to be incinerated...more emissions.

Don't even get me started on solar panels and how much energy they take to produce vs. what they generate over a lifetime.

Reply
Associate

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 46
#16
In reply to #9

Re: Yea or Nay for Energy-saving Appliances?

03/08/2011 9:28 PM

BUT! Let's say we have a clapped out Fridge that needs throwing away because it doesn't work any more. We have to buy a new one any way. Now the energy saving Fridge, saves energy, compared to buying a power guzzling fridge.

Solar panels. You are out of date. YES the Mono or Poly crystalline Solar cells take much more energy than they will make. BUT modern, Thin Film PV, made by electroplating layers onto a substrate, takes very little energy to make and gives back 60% more Annual Yield than crystalline, so it makes a positive contribution to energy.

Another but. Solar panels DO NOT save energy, they are only an alternative SOURCE of energy. If you use Solar panels in a DC power concept you CAN save 90% of your energy usage. Then supply the 10% you still need from Solar Panels. This is how it should be done. This BIPV Grid connected nonsense is a waste of energy and money, so you are right about inefficiency, if you look at grid connected systems. Grid connected systems are for a Niche market, "People with lots of money and no Brains". Solar for people who DO NOT have electricity is very cheap, very reliable and the only way they can get power. This is where Solar should be used.

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 7025
Good Answers: 206
#17
In reply to #16

Re: Yea or Nay for Energy-saving Appliances?

03/08/2011 9:37 PM

Thank you for telling me I'm out of date. Does your calculation include the disposal of CIGS panels? Does it include the TOTAL cost of removal, transportation, recycling, etc? As well as all the fuel/emissions for this aspect of the panels total life?

Reply
Associate

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 46
#18
In reply to #17

Re: Yea or Nay for Energy-saving Appliances?

03/09/2011 1:13 AM

No. You got me. I didn't calculate energy used after you finish with the panel. It is good up to that point. Use A-si or CIS not CIGS.

After I finish with it, can I just dump it at the local tip and leave it to rot? Dumping it keeps positive on energy production. Recycling would use too much energy.

I would use A-si for the most cost effective Solar. Dumping this is not harmful to the environment. The Glass manufacturers might want to recycle the Glass for their own use. The very small amount of material in the PV layers would burn away when the glass was melted. The energy cost would be part of the glass making process, so is not added to the PV energy cost.

There are new PV panels made from Copper, Zinc and Sulphur. Waiting for results on lifespan and environmental impact on these.

Reply
Reply to Blog Entry 19 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

Brave Sir Robin (2); bwire (1); Fredski (2); Garthh (1); jtd405 (1); JWthetech (1); kramarat (4); marcot (1); mrswamy (1); ozzb (1); Paulmil (3); rhkramer (1)

Previous in Blog: It’s Like an ATM for Old Cell Phones   Next in Blog: How Safe is Your Riding Lawnmower?

Advertisement