Buying new appliances can be costly. We are going to give you some useful tips to find the best energy-efficient appliances for your home. It is not every day that you “window shop” for a new refrigerator or “pop into” the shop to pick up a washing machine.
That’s why selecting the right one — one that is energy-efficient — when you really need one is so critical. The difference between a run-of-the-mill refrigerator and one that is ENERGY STAR®-certified could mean hundreds of dollars in wasted energy in the long term.
As you might prefer the more affordable option now, the quantity of power it will waste will cost you much more in a long time. Though we aren’t saying you ought to drop $3,000 on a refrigerator, you need to keep an eye out for particular things like which devices are legit (and cheap ) and which ones are worth skipping.
How To Purchase The Best Energy-Efficient Appliances?
Home appliances look great much the same on the outside, but they vary greatly concerning energy efficiency and operating expenses. The more energy-efficient a device is, the less it costs to operate. You can decrease your utility bill and help save the environment.
Here are a few easy steps to follow when looking for energy-efficient appliances:
Pick The Size And Style
Gauge the space the appliance will occupy to be sure your new purchase will fit. Check that there is enough space to open the lid or door entirely and sufficient clearance for ventilation.
Consider both purchase price and estimated energy usage when deciding which brand and model to buy. Often, you might save money by purchasing the more costly, more energy-efficient model.
Ask About Special Energy-Efficient Offers
Low-interest loans, cash rebates, or other incentive programs are usually offered to encourage buyers to buy energy-efficient devices. To find rebates in your region, use Energy Star’s Rebate Locator, which lets you search by Zipcode.
Read the Energy Guide Label
The FTC needs this black and yellow label to be linked to all new appliances (except microwave ovens, kitchen ranges, and clothes dryers). It states the estimated yearly energy consumption of the appliance. Reading the Energy Guide label will help you compare the efficacy of annual energy use of competing brands and similar models.
Look for the Energy Star Label
Appliances with this emblem are significantly more energy-efficient than the average comparable version. The Energy Star program is run jointly by the U.S. Department of Energy and the EPA. More details on this program are provided below.
1. The Refrigerator
An average Refrigerator is the 5th most energy-consuming appliance in your house, making up about 7 percent of your utility bill each month. Moreover, one out of every 4 Americans owns another fridge, which means approximately 15 percent of the power bill goes toward cooling down their meals and drinks.
Our advice for reducing your energy bill? Besides donating your next fridge to a household or nonprofit in need, review the Annual Energy Use (kWh/year) to your prospective new appliance. This is how much energy the device will probably use in a normal year. Ideally, you would like to find one around 300 kWh/year. To put this amount into perspective, a typical resident uses around 1,000 kWh per month.
A simple way to spot this is to look for the blue ENERGY STAR tag — AKA the government-backed logo for energy efficiency. While many individuals feel that ENERGY STAR appliances are not affordable, innovations in energy efficiency have entirely changed the appliance gamut. ENERGY STAR appliances are inexpensive and for everybody.
Refrigerator-Freezer Energy Tips
- Do not keep your freezer or refrigerator too cold. Suggested temperatures are 35°-38°F for the fresh food compartment and 0° F for different freezers for long-term storage.
- Check the refrigerator temperature by putting an appliance thermometer in a glass of water in the middle of the fridge. Read it after 24 hours. Gauge the freezer temperature by putting a thermometer among frozen packages. Read it after 24 hours.
- Ensure that your fridge door seals are sealed. Check them by shutting the door over a dollar bill or a piece of paper so it is half in and half out of the fridge. If you can drag the paper or bill out quickly, the latch may require adjustment, the seal may need replacing, or you can look at purchasing a new appliance.
- Wrap foods and cover liquids stored in the fridge. Uncovered foods discharge moisture and make the compressor work harder.
- Regularly defrost manual defrost fridges and freezers; frost buildup reduces the energy efficiency of the device. Do not allow frost to build up over one-quarter of an inch.
2. The Washing Machine
If you had to select one appliance to change within the ENERGY STAR label before your existing one from the commission, it would be your laundry washer hands-down. High-efficiency (HE) washers not only use 33 percent less water than ordinary ones, but they also use a quarter of their energy and save on average $370 in power costs throughout their life!
Moreover, your current washer might be costing you money. Studies indicate that washers that are ten years old (or older) can cost you on average $185 a year longer than their counterparts.1 Yikes!
Now, washers aren’t cheap but look at the ENERGY STAR clothes washers page for the many energy-efficient washers of 2021. You’d be amazed at how affordable some versions can be given their energy-saving advantages and technology.
3. The Dryer
Indeed, ENERGY STAR-qualified clothes dryers are not as effective as their washing machine parts, using only around 20 percent less energy. But they definitely shouldn’t be looked over since you’re able to save approximately $215 in electricity costs within the appliance’s life.
A few extra things you should be looking for when selecting a dryer include:
The ENERGY STAR logo
- Whether the machine uses sensor drying or timed drying, which can help with reducing wasted energy
- A very low heat setting, which uses less energy compared to high heat dryers
4. The Dishwasher
You’re not going to believe this, though an ENERGY STAR dishwasher will cost you a whopping $35 to operate — for an entire year! These devices are packed with cool gadgets, such as dirt sensors that detect how dirty your dishes are so that they can use improved water filtration and efficient jets which use less water.
However, the catch is that dishwashers are among the more expensive home appliances on this listing. Thus, unlike your washing machine (where we suggested you consider buying it until your old one retires), you may not wish to buy a new dishwasher until you need one.
Dishwasher Water-Saving Tips
- See the manual that came with your dishwasher for the manufacturer’s guidelines on water temperature; many have internal heating elements that enable you to place the water heater in your home to a lower temperature (120° F).
- Scrape, do not rinse off bones and large food pieces. Soaking or pre-washing is typically only recommended in cases of burned- or dried-on food.
- Make sure your dishwasher is full (not overloaded) when you operate it.
- Do not use the “rinse hold” on your machine for just a few soiled dishes. It utilizes 3-7 gallons of hot water each use.
- Let your dishes air dry; if you do not have an automatic shut-off switch, switch off the control knob after the final rinse and get the door open slightly so that the dishes will dry faster.
5. Extra Freezer (if Applicable)
Arguably the most expensive item on this list, an extra freezer isn’t commonplace in many families today. Not only does your fridge already have one, but it is just yet another appliance you need to buy.
However, if you can not stop your love for your deep freeze, you may want to consider an ENERGY STAR version next time you will need a new one. Usually, these devices use a tiny bit more power than a refrigerator though replacing your old freezer at the moment with an ENERGY STAR, and you can spare you just under $200 in just the next five years.
Additional Energy-Saving Kitchen Tips
- Put the faucet lever on the kitchen sink in the cold position when using small quantities of water; putting the lever in the hot place draws hot water though it can never reach the faucet.
- Start looking for a natural gas oven or stove with an electric automatic ignition system, which saves gas because a pilot light isn’t burning continuously.
- Start looking for blue fires in natural gas appliances; yellow flames symbolize the gas is burning badly, and an adjustment may be required. If you see yellow flames, consult with the manufacturer or the local utility.
- Maintain range-top reflectors and burners clean; they will reflect the heat better, and you’ll save power.
- Use an electric kettle or covered kettle or pan to boil water; it is faster and uses less power.
- Match the size of the container to the heating element.
- Use small toaster ovens, electric pans, or convection ovens for small meals instead of your big stove or oven. A convection oven or toaster uses one-third to one-half as much energy as a full-sized oven.
Why Saving Energy Is and Will Continue To Be Important?
Our environment is essential. We must look after it, including choosing appliances that help prevent wasting energy and reduce emissions. It is a classic case of voting with your dollars.
Not only will these systems save you money, but they will also save the environment — a benefit near and dear to our hearts. We will always advocate for cleaner energy and a greater understanding of energy efficiency because that is how forward to a better, cleaner, and brighter future for us all.