Answering Your Appliances FAQs

August 23, 2017

We use appliances every day to keep our homes functional and comfortable. They perform important tasks such as filtering our air, washing our clothes, and preventing our food from spoiling. Although we use appliances daily, we often have questions on how exactly they work or how to select the best unit for our homes. To clear up some of this confusion, we’ve put together answers to several of your commonly asked questions.

When purchasing a new dehumidifier, what size unit should I buy?

Dehumidifiers vary in size based on their removal capacity, which is how many pints of water the unit can remove from the air if operated non-stop for 24 hours. To find the right capacity, take note of the size of the room in which the unit will operate and how moist it typically is. You can then use buying guides, often available on retailers’ and manufacturers’ websites, to find the desired removal capacity for your unit. In addition, be sure to select an ENERGY STAR® certified unit, which will not only use over 25% less energy than a similarly-sized conventional model, but may also qualify for a $30 rebate.

What is an advanced power strip, and how does it avoid energy waste?

Many electronics consume energy even when shut off, because they still need power to light up clock displays, operate timers, or maintain signals with remote controls. Advanced power strips reduce this energy waste, also known as standby power loss, by cutting all power to these electronics when not in use. While both tier 1 and tier 2 advanced power strips address standby power loss, tier 2 advanced power strips save additional energy by using a sensor to also cut off power to idle electronics. If you’re ready to upgrade your power strips, don’t forget to visit our online storefront to take advantage of great discounts on this technology.

What types of materials do room air cleaners remove from the air?

Many room air cleaners work by passing air through a series of filters. Oftentimes these include a carbon filter, which absorbs odors, and a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter, which traps small particles like pollen, dust, mold spores, smoke, and pet dander. Be certain to check the product details to determine how often filters need to be cleaned or replaced to maintain their effectiveness. Also, when shopping for a new room air cleaner, make sure to purchase an ENERGY STAR® certified model: it will use approximately 40% less energy than a non-certified version. Plus, you may be eligible for a $40 rebate!

How do efficient shower fixtures save energy?

There are two main types of efficient shower fixtures. The first is a thermostatic shut-off valve (or TSV), which saves water while warming up your shower by reducing water flow to a trickle once the water has reached a desired temperature. Full water flow resumes when you hop in the shower, and the valve is pulled. The second is a low-flow showerhead, which reduces overall water flow while showering. Because both technologies reduce hot water use, they also conserve energy. You can browse discounted energy efficient shower fixtures through our online storefront.

What are “connected” or “smart” appliances?

Today, there are “smart” versions of many everyday appliances, including air conditioners, washers and dryers, and ovens. These advanced appliances are Wi-Fi enabled, meaning that you can control them from your phone, tablet, or computer. This feature not only provides convenience, but it also can help you save energy by allowing you to more closely monitor and adjust your unit’s settings – even when you’re not home!

Where can I recycle household appliances I no longer want?

Getting rid of bulky household appliances can be a challenge. Fortunately, Mass Save® operates several appliance recycling programs. If you have an old, inefficient refrigerator or freezer, you can schedule a no-cost pickup and receive a $50 incentive for recycling with Mass Save. You can also receive a $30 incentive for recycling an old dehumidifier through designated turn-in events. As for other appliances, many towns have drop-off locations that accept old units to ensure hazardous components are properly disposed of and reusable components are reclaimed. To search for nearby recycling locations, visit Earth911.

Now that you’ve read up on these appliances FAQs, don’t forget to check out Part I of this blog series, which focuses on common questions about LEDs. You’ll be on your way to becoming an expert in both energy efficient lighting and products!

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