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AHAM Participating in 2011 International CES

AHAM will be exhibiting in the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) beginning tomorrow in Las Vegas.  Home appliances will be featured at CES for the first time in the Connected Home Appliances TechZone, co-sponsored by AHAM and The Retail Observer. 

The Connected Home Appliance TechZone will display innovative home appliance technologies and allow visitors to experience the latest interactive, energy efficient and Smart Grid enabled appliances as well as concepts that will be incorporated in future product designs.  This is a unique opportunity to experience advanced home appliance technologies.

Attendees can visit AHAM at this TechZone at the Las Vegas Convention Center in South Hall 2 from January 6-9.

Indoor Air Pollution is a Big Threat in Winter Months

You may think that allergies are most troublesome in the spring, but there are actually higher pollution levels in the winter months.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor pollution is 2 to 5 times higher than it is outdoors, and when people are weatherproofing the cold air out, they are also sealing airborne pollutants inside.  This can be problematic for those with asthma and other allergies. 

MSN recently published an article with tips for clearing the air inside your home.  You should also consider purchasing an air cleaner, which can help reduce pollutants like dust, pollen and tobacco smoke.  To be sure you are purchasing an air cleaner that will work for your home, visit www.cadr.org/consumer to view a list of units that have been tested by an independent lab and had their performance verified by AHAM.  Use the online directory to sort the units by their recommended room size and find the one with the highest CADR ratings. 

Thanksgiving Tips for Cooks of All Levels to Keep your Holidays Joyous and Safe

Thanksgiving dinner is the most anticipated meal of the year for Americans and an ideal opportunity for cooks to show off their culinary expertise. However, Thanksgiving is also considered the peak day for preventable cooking fires, where they are three times more likely to occur than any other day of the year.

Safety Tips for the Multi-Tasking Master Chef
Trying to do too many things at once while cooking can potentially lead to accidental cooking fires and related injuries.  Protect your family by remembering to:

•    Stay in the kitchen while food is cooking. 
•    Do not try to hold your child in one arm while cooking with the other.
•    Keep your range top free of clutter.

Safety Tips for the First-Time Cook
First-time cooks may not be aware of the safety precautions they should take while cooking Thanksgiving dinner. On Thanksgiving Day, first-time cooks should:

•    Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen in case of emergency and know how to use it.
•    Keep smoke alarms connected while cooking.

Safety Tips for the Ambitious Cook
Ambitious cooks may find themselves trying new dishes or tweaking old recipes. Whether it’s a traditional dish or an innovative culinary work of art, ambitious cooks should aim for high marks on taste and safety by:

•    Never put a glass casserole or lid on the stove or over a burner.
•    Be extremely cautious if using a turkey fryer.

Express: “There’s a Zap for That”

Don't underestimate the potential of your microwave!  A recent story in The Washington Post's Express Night Out newspaper explains the wide variety of meals that can be cooked in a microwave beyond a frozen "TV dinner." 

A modern microwave oven can be used to make dishes from steamed vegetables to fish to cake.  Recipes found in microwave cookbooks may surprise those who only use their MWO for nuking leftover pizza.  Check out the recipe for "Warm Autumn Compote" featured at the bottom of the article.

Assessment of Communication Standards for Smart Appliances Published Today

The home appliance industry has conducted a technical evaluation of communication protocols for smart appliances and AHAM released the findings this morning during a GridWeek 2010 panel presnetation.  This latest report, Assessment of Communication Standards for Smart Appliances, is a follow-up to AHAM's white paper, which was released in December.  This assessment  was developed to address the four communication parameters outlined in the white paper, and will assist manufacturers in helping consumers to take advantage of new smart grid enabled appliances.

To read more about AHAM's efforts toward successful deployment of smart appliances, visit www.aham.org/smartgrid.



AHAM Announces Partnership with CSA Standards and UL Environment to Develop Sustainability Standard for Home Appliances

AHAM is announcing its partnership with two leading standards organizations, CSA Standards and UL Environment, to develop sustainability standards for home appliances.  The purpose of this project is to provide an objective and practical
measurement tool to assist the public in evaluating the sustainability
of home appliances.  By creating a scientific foundation for evaluating sustainability, consumers will be able to make more informed purchasing decisions.  AHAM hopes that this metric will further consumer confidence in these products.

Five Winds International, an internationally recognized sustainability consulting firm, has been selected as a project manager for this initiative. 

You can read the official announcement of this partnership on the AHAM website.



Industry and Advocacy Groups Agree on New Efficiency Standards for Home Appliances

Home appliance manufacturers and energy efficiency advocates announced a major agreement offering major efficiency advancements for
refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers, clothes dryers, dishwashers and room
air conditioners.  The deal could save consumers BILLIONS of dollars
on energy bills and reduce global warming emissions for decades to come!

The major energy-saving deal was announced today by AHAM, American
Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
(ACEEE) and a nationwide
coalition of energy and water efficiency supporters  who have called for
new national minimum efficiency standards, production tax credits for
super-efficient appliances and inclusion of “smart grid?? readiness as a feature
of future ENERGY STAR qualified appliances.

Based on Department of Energy (DOE) analysis, the recommended standards and tax credits will save more than 9 quads of energy over 30 years, or roughly enough to meet the total energy needs of 40 percent of American homes for one year.  The recommended water efficiency standards and tax credits for clothes washers and dishwashers will save about 5 trillion gallons over 30 years.  Global warming CO2 will be reduced by 550 million metric tons over the same time period, without considering the emissions reductions from smart appliances.  These reductions are equivalent to taking 100 million of today’s typical cars off the road for a year.

The official announcement along with more details of the agreement, including the proposed new minimum efficiency standards, is available on the AHAM website.

For some additional reading: NRDC blogger Lane Burt discussed the potential impact this agreement could have on appliance energy savings today on NRDC's Switchboard – read it hereThe Environmental Leader and Climate Wire also covered the news.

Michigan Utility Wants Residents to Recycle

One utility company in Michigan has come up with a creative incentive to urge people to recycle their old refrigerators and purchase new, more energy efficient models.  ComEd has turned the old refrigerators into an art exhibit, which is on display on Michigan's Magnificent Mile. 

According to an article in the Chicago Sun-Times, "The utility company is urging people to stop using refrigerators built
before 1993, to replace them with newer, more energy-efficient models.
As an incentive, ComEd will pick up and haul off working old
refrigerators for free — and write you a $25 check."

The Sun-Times also has a gallery of all of ComEd's decorated refrigerators.  Which one is your favorite?

AHAM Welcomes New Staff Members

AHAM has added two new staff,  James L. Cigler, Director of Product Certification and Verification and Jennifer E. Cleary, Director of Regulatory Affairs. 

Jim will oversee AHAM’s ongoing and new appliance rating certification and verification programs. AHAM currently administers programs for room air conditioners, dehumidifiers and room air cleaners and is developing programs for refrigerators and freezers and portable air conditioners.

Jennifer brings her expertise to AHAM’s Government Relations Department.  She is familiar with AHAM’s mission and scope through her prior role as AHAM legal counsel where she practiced in the Antitrust and Federal Regulation section of Mintz Levin.

You can find contact information for all AHAM staff members on the AHAM website.