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Tips on Buying Energy Efficient Products

Aug 23, 2012

Did you know that 21% – 25% of your utility bill is made up of household appliance usage? And if just 10% of American homes switched to energy efficient products, the reduction in carbon emissions would be equivalent to 1.7 million acres of new trees!

So this begs the question: how do you go about finding the best energy efficient appliances?

Start with looking for the ENERGY STAR logo. ENERGY STAR is an international standard for energy efficient products. Their logo can be found on everything, from kitchen appliances to buildings. Any product with an ENERGY STAR logo will generally use 20% – 30% less energy, while delivering the same standards in performance and reliability as products that aren’t ENERGY STAR certified. For example:

  • An ENERGY STAR certified refrigerator must deliver 20% savings over the minimum government standard.
  • ENERGY STAR certified dishwasHERS® must conserve 41% more energy.
  • An ENERGY STAR rated television will use 30% less energy on average.
  • ENERGY STAR approved cordless phones can use up to 90% less energy.

Yes, some ENERGY STAR products are more efficient than others, and a logo doesn’t reveal all. If you’re considering buying bigger appliances such as refrigerators, ovens or dishwashers, it makes sense to do some research and find out how much energy – and money – you can save by making the switch.

If you were to equip your home with only energy efficient products (such as the furnace, water heater and central air conditioning), you could save over $1,000 a year on average. In an energy efficient home, your appliances really do pay for themselves!

What else can you do to save energy right now?

Aside from replacing all your appliances with ENERGY STAR certified ones, there are also simple measures you can take to conserve energy through the appliances you have now.

First of all, look around the kitchen. Is the refrigerator close to the stove, the dishwasher or a heating vent? Is it in direct sunlight? If so, it will use more energy to stay cool. It seems obvious, but overlooking areas where a refrigerator will use less energy is common.

According to studies, computers account for 3% of all energy consumption in the USA. Many people leave their computers on 24/7. That’s like spending money while you sleep!

The same goes for leaving appliances on standby; avoid this if you can. On average, standby mode accounts for 5% of total US residential energy consumption.

The easiest energy efficient products you can invest in are new light bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs use 75% less energy, and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent lights. By simply changing your light bulbs, you can give your home its most positive change for conserving energy yet.

Your local RESNET Qualified EnergySmart Contractor can give you more ideas on how to make your home more comfortable while saving money and energy. It’s worth getting in touch with one today.