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How to Evaluate and Choose Energy-Efficient Appliances

How to Evaluate and Choose Energy-Efficient Appliances

Today's modern appliances are much more energy-efficient than their predecessors, and some are even better than the rest. When shopping for appliances, you'll likely be overwhelmed by choice, so it is important to know what you are looking for. Follow these steps to find the right energy-efficient appliances to meet your needs and fit within your budget.

Choose the Right Size

Particularly for air conditioning and heating units, it is crucial that you select the appropriate size for your home. If you choose an HVAC unit that is too small for the size of your home, it will have to run much more frequently and stay on longer to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. This constant running will negate any energy-efficiency savings you might have reaped. Most appliances in this category will identify how many square-feet they can accommodate, so be sure to pay attention to this metric.

Look for Energy-Efficiency Settings

When choosing a dishwasher, for example, be on the lookout for devices that enable you to adjust the wash settings. For dishes that are only mildly dirty, you won't need to use as much water or wash for as long as you would with heavier loads. The same goes for washing machines. Those with sensors can regulate the amount of water used based on the size of your load, and you should be able to adjust the soil level of the clothes as well.

Consider Both Upfront and Ongoing Costs

While it is true that energy-efficient appliances tend to be more expensive than their standard counterparts, that is not the only cost you need to consider. Check the label to determine the annual operating cost as well. With an energy-efficient appliance, this amount will typically be much lower, so you could save a lot of money over the years. Be sure to factor in these savings so you can weigh them against the initial cost of the appliance to determine your break-even point.

Think about the Environment

While energy cost savings may be your primary concern in choosing an energy-efficient appliance, it is important to also consider the benefits for the environment. In using less energy, you'll be less reliant on non-renewable resources, which can help to preserve our environment for future generations.