Appliances And Steel Make Life Easier
Whether it is the stainless steel refrigerator in your kitchen or the steel motor inside it that is quieter and more efficient, or the washing machine for which you received an Energy Star tax credit, appliances and steel make life easier. And North American steelmakers offer a vast array of innovative products, particularly used in appliances, which are corrosive-resistant.
Steel Appliance Facts
- 90% of appliances were recycled in 2012.
- One-and-a half to two million tons of steel is shipped to the appliance, utensils and cutlery market in the United States annually.
- When you buy a steel appliance, you are always buying recycled.
- Appliance motors are made of steel.
- Steel hinges on refrigerators can support more than 140 pounds of door weight without sagging.
- On average 75% of the weight of a typical household appliance comes from steel.
What’s Trendy in Kitchen Appliances?
Among the most desired products are kitchen electrics with the retro stainless steel look. Equally popular are high-end professional style models. There is a growing trend towards the use of cordless electrics in the kitchen. These appliances allow multiple cooks to use the product without being tied to a specific work space near electrical outlets. Also, since many kitchens have small electrics on display, consumers are attracted to the “family look” that manufacturers use throughout their product lines. High on trendy list are: bread makers, rice cookers, sandwich makers, coffee grinders/mills and espresso/cappuccino makers. (Source: AHAM)
- Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM)
- Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI)
- ENERGY STAR Program
Appliance Recycling for Environmentally Friendly Consumers
The steel industry has worked to create pre-painted steels to reduce the overall cost to the appliance manufacturer—and consumers. And to keep steel “hip,” the industry has developed textured steels to give certain appliances an enhanced image. On the average, 75 percent of the weight of a typical household appliance is steel, of which 25 percentage points of this comes from recycled steel.
A recent study performed for the Steel Recycling Institute and the
Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers determined that the steel weight of individual appliances is as follows:
- Clothes washers, top load 94.5 lb
- Clothes washers, front load 84.2 lb
- Clothes dryers (gas) 100.4 lb
- Clothes dryers (electric) 107 lb
- Microwave ovens 28.8 lb
- Dishwashers (steel interior) 26.7 lb,
- Stainless steel content 43.4 lb.
- Dishwashers (plastic interior) 27.6 lb
- Room air conditioners 35.6 lb
- Ranges (gas) 149.4 lb
- Ranges (electric) 106.8 lb
- Side by side refrigerator 152.5 lb
- Top/bottom refrigerator 79.0 lb
Appliance recycling in North America continues to grow. In the year 2008, 90 percent of appliances were recycled in the U.S. by their owners, and the process will continue: What was once a refrigerator will be on its way to becoming part of tomorrow’s bridge span or automobile. Because steel is the engine that drives appliances out of the waste stream and into the recycling stream, household appliances are one of the most recycled commodities in the U.S. As appliance manufacturers have become more aware of steel’s place in the recycling infrastructure, studies indicate that these manufacturers are increasing the steel content in appliances to ensure that future appliances, when they reach the end of their useful lives, will head to the recycling stream. A new antimicrobial steel, AgION, designed to reduce bacteria, mold and fungus growth will help homeowners keep their houses cleaner and are low maintenance.
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