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How to Buy Energy Efficient Appliances


Whether it’s for environmental concerns or to save money on the monthly electricity bill, more and more people are looking to buy efficient appliances. To meet this demand, manufacturers are striving to build highly efficient appliances for the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room and beyond. It may be difficult for a consumer with limited knowledge of appliances to determine what is considered energy efficient and what is not. In this post, we will explain energy efficiency in the context of appliances and talk about what consumers need to know before they make a purchase.

Environmental Reasons to Go Efficient

Appliances take up a lot of power, especially ones that stay on for prolonged periods like the refrigerator. Some of them use other resources as well, such as water. For consumers looking to find ways to reduce their environmental impact, replacing old appliances with newer and more efficient ones is one approach that will reduce consumption.

Not only are newer appliances more efficient, but they also tend to have more environmentally friendly assembly procedures. To use an old example, some old refrigerators and air conditioners used to use CFLs, or chlorofluorocarbons, as a coolant. However, it later became clear that these chemicals were harming the ozone layer. Thus, the government banned CFLs and a new wave of ACs and fridges appeared that use less destructive cooling agents.

Efficient appliances also tend to be better when it comes to releasing potentially dangerous pollutants. Washers tend to pass soapy and dirty water into the local ecosystem. More efficient washers don’t need as much water or soap, so they mitigate this problem.

The Best Way To Choose Your Energy Efficient Appliance: The Energy Star Standard

AJ Madison Energy Star Filter

The most well-known standard for energy efficiency is Energy Star. Energy Star is run by the federal government. It is about 25 years old and it independently tests appliances sold in the US to see if they meet a particular standard for energy use. The requirements are different for each type of appliance and they are frequently updated. Energy Star testers make sure that they keep up with the latest technology by going back and updating their requirements.

The key takeaway is that any appliance with the Energy Star logo has passed a set of standards that make it consume less electricity and other resources than otherwise. The absolute best way to begin your search for a new appliance is to narrow your selection down to only Energy Star rated products.

Here at AJ Madison, it is easy to narrow your search down to Energy Star products only. On any appliance category page, you will see a filter for Energy Star on the left side of the page, which allows you to view only products that are Energy Star rated.

EnergyGuide Label

Determining Savings

It is easy to get an estimate of how much running a specific Energy Star approved appliance will cost you yearly. All Energy Star product will carry an EnergyGuide label, which will show you the estimated yearly electricity use as well as the yearly energy cost. Finding your preferred energy efficient product can be as simple as comparing yearly energy costs.

The Smart Home and Efficiency

The smart home is one of the newer ways to manage home appliances and other items. It involves using a central computer network to link together lighting, security, HVAC, and the rest of the house’s systems together. The homeowner can set preferences and the system will also learn the family’s habits. That way, it can do things like keep the AC off for most of the day, but turn it on about 30 minutes before people start to come home at the end of the day. Typically, these have a physical central hub and they can be controlled via a smartphone app.

Last year, Energy Star determined that 66% of those who said they had a smart thermostat in their current home saw a reduction in their energy use. The biggest opportunities for efficiency are in lighting and heating. However, in order to work, these systems need smart appliances that can work with the network. There are different brands of smart home hubs that each work with their own set of lights, thermostats, and so on. The prices on these smart appliances tend to be high, and it is not easy to find ones that work with the hub you already have. It is highly recommended you speak to a qualified salesperson to determine if a specific smart home system will be cost effective.

For more on smart appliances, visit our Connected Home page.