Energy Efficient Appliance Shopping
Did you know that your appliances account for around 13 percent of your home’s energy consumption? Well it’s true, according to energy.gov, with cooking, refrigeration and laundry appliances topping the list.
There are several things that you can do to become more conscientious in your day-to-day habits in order to conserve energy and save on your utilities. For instance, simply making sure you fill up your dishwasher or laundry machine before you run a load and knowing the best string light ideas will help you conserve energy and create your outdoor home.
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But this article is dedicated to shopping for new energy efficient appliances – what to consider, what to look for and how to know you’re getting the best option.
Are Energy Efficient Appliances Right for Me?
The first thing you’ll want to consider is the cost of an appliance. When most people think about cost, they’re looking at one thing – the price tag. But there are actually three separate elements contributing to the cost of your new appliance.
The actual price tag is the first of these. The second is cost of ownership – what will you pay in maintenance and repairs? The third is the operating cost – how much does it cost you to actually run your machine? If you’re still running your dryer from the ‘80s, you might feel like you’ve saved a lot of money on the first category, but if you have to run it for an hour and a half to get your clothes dry, you’re wasting energy and paying for more power each month.
The operating cost of your appliances makes its appearance every single month for the entire life of the machine, so while you may pay a little bit more up front for energy efficient technology in your appliances, you could save a lot of money in the long run by making the change.
At this point, most people would concede that an energy efficient appliance would be a reasonable and effective investment, so why do many people purchase replacement appliances without taking this into consideration?
For most people, appliance replacement happens in a scramble when an older appliance breaks, and when people don’t have any way of getting their kids’ school clothes washed, getting an affordable option right away with little research seems to be the trend. If you have any appliances that are starting to age, decide now what kind of replacement you want and start doing your research.
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Should I replace or repair appliances?
If you’re thinking about upgrading or updating appliances, you may be wondering whether to buy brand new products or repair existing appliances.
In many cases, it is possible to find online appliance spares if there is a fault or a damaged or broken component, but replacement may be the best option for older appliances.
If you have a dishwasher, a refrigerator or a kettle that keeps breaking, or you’ve had the same appliance for several years, replacing the item will save you money in the long run.
Newer appliances are more energy-efficient and the chances of paying for replacement parts and repairs will also be much lower. If you have a problem with an appliance you’ve bought recently, it’s worth checking if the product is still under guarantee.
What Should I be Looking for?
Fortunately, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy have created a joint program called Energy Star which helps consumers to make well-informed decisions when shopping for things like appliances.
If a product meets or exceeds the EPA and DOE joint-standards in energy efficiency, you’ll find a bright blue Energy Star® authorized logo. Typically, the Energy Star logo signifies that a product uses 10-50 percent less energy than its counterparts.
Washing machines, dehumidifiers, dishwashers, refrigeration units, room air conditioners and room air cleaners are the six product categories in which an Energy Star logo might be found.
Also consider the EnergyGuide label, which is a yellow label created by the Federal Trade Commission. It provides easy, no-nonsense classification so that consumers can easily compare energy consumption among products in a similar category.
These labels will show: 1) A DOE energy efficiency rating, 2) A “range of comparability” displaying similar models’ highest and lowest ratings, and 3) An estimated annual operating cost. These quick-reference labels allow consumers to compare appliances for efficiency side-by-side without any extensive research.
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Thanks to programs like these, shopping for energy efficient appliances and choosing outdoor lights has never been easier. All you have to do is decide ahead of time that energy efficiency will be a priority for you when you purchase a new appliance. Whether you’re a dedicated conservationist or simply interested in smart investments and slashing your utility bills, efficiency is the way to go.