Stricter government regulations and manufacturers’ use of new technologies are bringing together a world of efficient, affordable and beautiful kitchen appliances.
2. GE Energy Star–labeled refrigerators exceed government energy efficiency standards by at least 10 percent. The Profile Custom Style fridges have a carbon-block water filter in the water and ice-maker dispensers. From $1,079 to $3,199, depending on freezer location. (800) 626-2000
3. Water-saving ASKO dishwashers have a 3.9-gallon “Quick Wash” cycle, or a 4.6-gallon normal cycle, and nearly 80 percent of the materials used in manufacture are recyclable. They’re also Energy Star rated. $760 to $1,499. (800) 898-1879. Equator 72 series full-size stainless steel dishwashers feature a 4.5-gallon wash cycle, which saves detergent, water, sewage, and energy. $699 to $749. (713) 464-3422
4. The “triple purifier” reverse osmosis system of the 2PureH2O undercounter water filter from H3Environmental removes more than 99 percent of pollutants and all dissolved solids in water. $1,600, uninstalled. (818) 766-1787
5. GE’s ProfileAdvantium 120 is a combination electric oven, which uses halogen lights to cook four times as fast as conventional ovens. It has four cooking modes: microwave, Speedcook, bake, and warming. $1,799 to $1,999. (800) 626-2000.
• Replacing a ten-year-old refrigerator bought in 1990 with a new Energy Star–qualified model would save enough energy to light the average household for three months and prevent more than 300 pounds of pollution each year, according to Energy Star.
• To minimize outgassing, choose models that have the least amount of plastic or rubber; opt for glass shelves and stainless steel.
• Your refrigerator uses the most electricity of all your kitchen appliances. It can account for as much as 15 percent of a home’s total energy usage, according to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
• Top- or bottom- freezer models are more efficient—they use 7 to 13 percent less energy than side-by-side models.
• Automatic ice makers and through-the-door dispensers increase energy use by 14 to 20 percent.
• Models with an anti-sweat heater consume 5 to 10 percent more energy. Look for a model with an “energy saver” switch that allows you to turn off or turn down the heating coils that prevent condensation.