There are definite perks to buying a high-efficiency appliance. Not only is it good for the environment, installing these appliances cut down energy costs. Some states and cities offer rebates or other incentives to households that purchase energy efficient products. Buying your first high-efficiency appliance can be a little intimidating so following this ABC Guide can help.
Assess Your Household Needs
The first step in deciding what high-efficiency appliance to purchase is to know what you need. Buying appliances that are too large for your needs will waste energy. When buying a washing machine, consider how many times a week you are doing laundry and how big those loads are. When buying a dishwasher consider the frequency you will run it. Consider the features that you need in the appliance. A refrigerator with the freezer on top is more energy efficient than the side by side models. A front loading washing machine saves more energy than a top loading one.
Buy Energy Star
When deciding on a high-efficiency appliance, go with the one that is ENERGY STAR qualified, if possible. These appliances have been tested and meet the highest standards with the Environmental Protection Agency. The testing ensures that the qualified product will save individuals money and help the environment. It is good to know that not only are the products tested before heading to the shelves but are subjected each year to verification making sure they still meet changing standards.
Compare EnergyGuide Labels
All appliances, ENERGY STAR qualified or not, have a yellow EnergyGuide label on the appliance or on the packaging. The information on this label will help you compare the amount of energy the product uses on an average and how much you will spend annually to run the appliance. Take a look at this label while you are deciding which appliance to buy. The annual operating cost is an estimate so consider your actual power rate and multiply it by the kWhs (Kilowatt hours – how electricity is measured) to get your average consumption cost. By using this label to compare products you can select the model with the lowest consumption to get the best savings.
To see if there are incentives available in your area for purchasing high-efficiency appliances, visit the ENERGY STAR Rebate Locator site.
Natural Resources Defense Council