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Energy Star Questions Answered

  • Posted: 03.21.2018
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We know that it’s a good thing to purchase appliances and other products that bear the ENERGY STAR label. But have you ever had questions relating to efficiency about Energy Star certified products?

Luckily, you can find answers to questions at the Energy Star Zen Desk. And if you don’t find an answer to something you have been wondering about, you can also ask a question here.

Here are a few of the interesting and pertinent questions (and the answers) found on the Zen Desk site.

Q: Can I put a refrigerator in an uninsulated garage?

A: A refrigerator in an uninsulated garage requires a lot more energy to run during the hot summer months and may not operate correctly if the temperature gets too cold.

During the summer, if the average temperature of your garage is significantly higher than room temperature, your refrigerator will consume a great deal more energy than it would inside your kitchen. Each degree above the normal temperature of your kitchen leads to a 2.25% to 2.5% increase in energy use. So a fridge in a 70 degree kitchen uses 22-25% less energy than a refrigerator in an 80 degree location. If the garage is 90 degrees, it will use 45-50% more energy than one in a 70-degree location.

If the temperature drops below about 40 degrees, the thermostat on the refrigerator may not run its cooling and defrost cycles correctly. Also refrigerators are not designed to heat their interiors, so placing a refrigerator in an environment that is below freezing may cause freezing of your foods. Check your owner’s manual for manufacturer recommendations regarding ambient air temperature and proper operation.

Find more refrigerator related questions and answers here, including whether it’s more efficient to have a through-the-door ice dispenser or to open the freezer door to get ice.

Q: Do I need storm windows?

A: When installed in combination with older, less efficient windows, storm windows enhance efficiency by creating another barrier between the interior of your home and the weather outside. However, Energy Star certified windows are designed with advanced technologies like multiple panes of glass, insulated frames, special coatings and inert gas fills which perform better than single pane windows and a clear glass storm window. If you do decide to replace your current windows with Energy Star certified windows, storm windows would not be necessary to achieve a high level of energy efficiency.

Sometimes replacing windows is not possible due to the cost or historic district restrictions. To help address this, EPA is working on a specification for low-emissivity (low-e) storm windows.

Check Zen Desk to find many more questions and answers including the value of ductless mini splits for home heating and cooling, why cycles in an Energy Star washing machine takes longer than old models, and much more.