5 Energy-Saving Appliances for Your Condo

Energy-efficient appliances have lower running costs, and can spell huge savings on your electricity bills in the long term. By Toni Antiporda

Photo from Pixabay

Look at your electric bill, and your everyday appliances will make up at least 65 percent of the charges. If you’re one of the many new owners of condos in BGC, Quezon City, or elsewhere in the Philippines, it’s imperative that you invest in more energy-efficient appliances.

Yes, energy-efficient appliances are often more costly. But energy-efficient appliances have lower running costs and can spell huge savings on your electricity bills in the long term.

So, you better check the Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) of that new appliance you’re eyeing before you make your final purchase decision.

What is an Energy Efficiency Rating (EER)?

How can you know if an appliance is indeed energy efficient? Today’s modern appliances usually come with an Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) spelled out on a sticker attached to the appliance.

Different countries will have different rating systems, but the principle is the same everywhere: it helps consumers make smarter choices regarding their appliances.

In the Philippines, the rating is called an Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER), provided and certified by the Department of Energy (DOE). There is a minimum EER standard set by the Philippine government per unit model of any given appliance. A higher EER number on an appliance means lower electricity costs.

As a new homeowner, looking for the best energy-saving appliances might feel daunting. However, it’s a step you must take to make your new home as comfortable and energy-efficient as possible. Here’s a quick guide to get you started.

1. Inverter-type air conditioners. According to the DOE, the minimum EER standard set for some conventional air conditioning units starts at 9.1. However, the EER of newer inverter-type air conditioners can start at 12 and even exceed 15.5!

For example, an inverter type air conditioner with an EER of 13.5 can save three kilowatts of electricity on eight hours of use a day. This can then translate to more than a thousand pesos in savings in your monthly electricity bill.

2. Refrigerators. Formerly the most power-hungry of household appliances, refrigerators now use 40% to 60% less energy thanks to advancements in cooling technology. The EER of refrigerators can go from 99 (conventional two-door refrigerators) to 444 (single-door direct cooling refrigerators). Newer no-frost inverter-type refrigerators also tend to have higher EER.

3. Washing machines. According to the DOE, laundry accounts for 29% of household electricity usage. However, recent advancements have allowed washing machines to not just use less water, but to also use less energy per wash load.

Front-loading washing machines, much like the coin-operated washing machines used in laundromats, are now more energy efficient than the traditional top-loaders. Inverter-type washing machines also do more with less: not only do they have less vibration and less noise, but they also provide maximum power on minimum electricity consumption.

In the Philippines, the rating system for washing machines includes a star rating and an EER range. For example, a one-star rating means an EER of below 4.5, while a five-star rating means an EER of 51.5 and above. More stars mean higher EER and more energy savings.

4. Induction stoves. For those living in connected spaces, such as condos in Quezon City or Makati, induction cooking may be safer than gas cooking, thanks to the reduced risk of gas explosions or fire. While no energy rating system yet exists for induction stoves, studies have shown that induction cookers are more efficient at energy transfer compared to gas and electric stoves.

In fact, induction stoves are 90% more efficient with its power use, using 2.8 kilowatts (kW) to deliver 2.52 kW. In comparison, electric coils use 2.0 kW to deliver 1.1 kW, while gas use 3.5 kW to generate 1.75 kW. This means shorter cooking times and lower bills.

5. Microwave ovens. For those living in small spaces, it can be more practical to invest in a microwave oven first over a conventional electric oven. Not only is it more compact, but most microwave ovens nowadays can do the same functions as a conventional electric oven.

A microwave oven’s energy consumption will depend on wattage and cooking time. While there is no energy rating system yet for microwave ovens, comparative studies have shown that microwave ovens use less energy than most conventional electric ovens. A conventional electric oven typically uses 2.0 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy, whereas a microwave oven typically requires only 0.36 kWh. As such, using a conventional electric oven for one hour every day for 30 days can cost around P250.00, while a microwave oven can cost around P47.00 on the same amount of usage.

Living comfortably need not cost you an arm and a leg. Live the modern minimalist lifestyle you’ve always wanted with these expert tips. Check out Avida Land for spaces that spark joy.

See also: 10 Must-Have Appliances for Your New Condo Unit