Shopping for Energy-Efficient Home Appliances

Emily Udell
Written by Emily Udell
Updated September 14, 2016
front-loading clothes washer and dryer
When visiting appliance stores, look for the Energy Star seal of approval. It means the product exceeds minimum standards for efficiency set by the federal government. Some states offer rebates on energy-efficient home appliances with the Energy Star label. (Photo courtesy of Angie’s List member Wayne B. of Bellevue, Wash.)

Ready to hit the appliance stores for a new dryer, fridge or other item? Follow these energy conservation tips.

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Are you in the market for a new washer and dryer, or other major home appliances? No matter what new model you choose, it’s bound to be more energy efficient than the clunky old fridge or dishwasher you want to replace.

Stricter federal efficiency standards mean your decades-old Frigidaire uses twice the energy or more of today’s version. But even among the products currently in appliance stores, there are variations in how much energy they consume. Follow these tips to shop for the best energy-efficient home appliances.  

Look for the home appliance label

Shop for products that have the Energy Star seal of approval

These labels mean the product exceeds minimum standards for efficiency set by the federal government. As an added incentive, check to see if your state or municipality offers any rebates for purchasing Energy Star appliances. 

Compare energy-efficient models

Yellow EnergyGuide labels also help you compare different models of appliances you may be considering. Just having an EnergyGuide label on a product or its packaging doesn’t mean it’s the most efficient model, but the information should provide insight into average consumption and cost of operation. 

For energy-efficient home appliances, size matters

Many homes have out-of-proportion appliances, which not only waste energy, but don’t perform as well. Oversized air conditioning units, water heaters and refrigerators end up taking money out of your pocket. Make sure whatever home appliance you buy fits your needs and the size of your home. 

Appliance sale vs. thinking long-term and big picture

Many energy-efficient home appliances cost more upfront than their energy-hogging peers. But they should reduce your costs over time. Remember that good appliances last 10 to 20 years. Energy-efficient clothes washers and dishwashers also should help reduce your water bill, along with your electricity expenses.  

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