Have you ever wondered how to compare one energy efficient appliance to another? Comparing the “Estimated Yearly Energy Use” numbers on the large yellow label can be daunting. As a result, you head down to your local appliance store to ask the salesperson questions…but all you really know is…
- The dimensions it needs to fit inside your laundry room
- and your budget…
What other questions should you ask? What other factors should you consider when buying and comparing energy efficient appliances? Well, the best buy may not necessarily be the one with the lowest price tag, but if you keep reading you might find a way to save a lot more money in the long run! Energy efficiency appliances should be somewhere at the top of your list when it comes to purchasing appliances today. Let’s break it down. How much an appliance costs depends on four basic things…
- Maintenance Expenses
- Energy Costs
All new home appliances must meet government energy-conservation regulations. Some of the appliances you can find greatly surpass those standards and can save you lots of money. If you’re like me, if you were to enter the store without doing any research all appliances kind of all look the same and they do the same thing right? Not exactly! Even two models that look very similar can have wide differences when it comes to energy saving. And what matters is what’s inside!
The first thing you want to do is look for the “Energy Guide” label. It’s a big yellow label…you can’t miss it! Manufacturers in 2018 must use regulated tests that let you compare the yearly energy use of different makes and models. The law requires those manufacturers to place the label on the outside or inside of most appliances.
Note: If you’re shopping for a microwave, range or dryer, you might not find the Energy Guide as it’s not required for these appliances.
What Does the Energy Guide Let You Know?
- Range of estimated yearly costs of similar appliances
- Estimated yearly operating costs (for dishwashers, freezers, refrigerators, washing machines and hot water heaters)
Keep in mind, when comparing different figures on the Energy Guide that a seemingly small benefit in energy saving can result in big rewards over the life of that appliance. In 2012 alone, devices marked Energy Star saved businesses, organizations and consumers $24 billion! Now do I have your attention?!
Some Helpful Tips
It’s generally better to buy new
Used appliances may not be Energy Star rated. And if they’ve already experienced some wear and tear they likely won’t lost you as long. Buying new also provides you with a warranty, so there’s less risk if your appliance was to go awry. Often times the warranty covers some of the cost of repairs which is always helpful. Older appliances may not have an Energy Guide label, which as we learned earlier can save you a considerable amount of cash.
The newer the better
The Energy Star requirements that rate energy efficient appliances change from year to year. They’re always trying to make appliances be more use less energy and more efficient. The newer the appliance, the greater chance you’ll save the most money on your power bill over time.
Do your research!
You don’t have to buy the highest priced appliance to score a great value and save on your power bill. Many appliance manufacturers know this is a concern for consumers and work to make their appliance competitive with what’s on the market. There’s a good chance you can find something you’ll like and fits budget. Read reviews, read the labels and compare! When you’re in the market for energy saving appliances it’s a balancing act of the higher cost of the appliance versus how much you save in the long run.
Don’t be taken by the energy efficient appliance stats alone. Visit a few different stores. Call ahead and see if they have the one you’re looking for. Some stores will match or beat their competitors’ prices, so take the time to shop around and ask. Yes, you’re going to save money on an energy efficient appliance over the span of a year, but it’s not a bad idea to get the best price and save money now, if you can.
Plan your layout
It’s not wise to wise to put your dishwasher next to the refrigerator. Ovens, dishwashers and other appliances that produce heat can force your fridge or freezer to work harder to keep cool. Consequently, it diminishes the savings you were going to get from your energy efficient appliance.
Some Things to Look For
When choosing a dryer…
- Make sure it has a moisture sensor.
- A moisture sensor detects when your clothes are dry. Consequently, it will automatically shut off the appliance and saves you power and ultimately money
When choosing a refrigerator…
- Don’t go for the biggest size because the bigger the fridge the more power it uses. Pick the one that fits the size of your household.
- Consider skipping out on things like on-the-door ice-makers and water dispensers. These features require more energy.
- Gravitate toward fridges with a freezer on top rather than on the bottom, as they tend to be more energy efficient.
When choosing a dishwasher…
- More options is better. Dishwashers with different cycles such as, light wash or half load can help you expend less water and save energy, while still getting your dish load clean.
- Pick the model that fits your household. Be careful here. A compact dishwasher could be a great space saving option but if you end up having to run more cycles, your energy consumption is greatly increased. So, pick the one that fits you best!
When choosing an oven…
- Choose gas! Gas ovens are more energy efficient than their electric counterparts.
- Look for a model with these features…
- Electric Ignition
- Consider buying and using a toaster oven for smaller meals. After all, they expend only ⅓ as much energy as a full-sized oven.
When choosing a clothes washer…
- Look for the Energy Star label.
- Energy Star washers use half as much water and a quarter of the energy of washers that aren’t Energy Star rated. They have more capacity. As a result, allows you to wash more clothes with less loads.
I hope these energy efficient appliance shopping tips are helpful to you. Moving into a new home can be an exciting adventure. It requires us to roll up our sleeves and do some work but it doesn’t have to break the bank. Buying an energy efficient appliance is a smart way to insure more of your hard earned money stays in your pocket.
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