Did you know that most households spend about 18% of their total monthly budget on electricity costs? And with the cost of energy continuing to rise, those expenses are only going to go up.
That’s why people are constantly looking for ways to save on their energy bills, and one of the most effective ways to do that is by using energy-efficient appliances.
If you’re in the market for new household appliances, here are some of the top features you should look for to ensure that you’re getting the most energy-efficient product possible:
The Energy Star Label
Energy Star label is a government-backed program that certifies products as being energy efficient. Products with the Energy Star label use 20%–30% less energy than standard models, which can save you a lot of money on your utility bills over time.
If every U.S. household replaced just one household appliance with an Energy Star model, we would save enough energy to power more than 2.5 million homes for a year.
In addition to looking for the Energy Star label, you should also look for appliances that have the “ENERGY GUIDE” label. This label provides estimates of how much energy an appliance uses and how much it will cost you to operate it over some time.
The ENERGY GUIDE label is required by the Federal Trade Commission on all new refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers, dishwashers, and room air conditioners.
If you’re shopping for one of these appliances, be sure to look for the ENERGY GUIDE label so you can compare the energy usage of different models.
The Annual Energy Consumption (AEC) Rating
The AEC is a measure of how much energy an appliance uses in a year. The lower the AEC, the less energy the appliance uses and the more money you’ll save on your energy bills.
When shopping for appliances, look for the AEC rating and compare it to other models to find the most energy-efficient option. For instance, if you’re shopping for a new oven, different models might have different AEC ratings.
Some older ovens might have an AEC rating of 1,000 kWh/year, while halogen ovens have an AEC rating as low as 500 kWh/year, making them of the most energy-efficient ovens on the market. Regardless of which appliance you’re shopping for, this feature should be one of your top considerations.
The Energy Factor (EF) rating
The EF is a measure of how efficiently an appliance uses energy. The higher the EF, the more efficient the appliance and the more money you’ll save on your energy bills.
Like the AEC, the EF is displayed on a label so you can compare the efficiency of different models when you’re shopping for appliances. For example, if you’re looking at dishwashers, one model might have an EF of 0.9 while another has an EF of 1.1.
The dishwasher with the higher EF will be more efficient and will cost you less to operate over time. The same goes for clothes washers — one model might have an EF of 2.0 while another has an EF of 3.0. The clothes washer with the higher EF will use less energy and will cost you less to operate.
This feature is found on many energy-efficient appliances and it’s a great way to save energy and money. Automatic shut-off is exactly what it sounds like — the appliance turns off automatically when it’s not in use.
This can save you a lot of energy, particularly if you have a lot of appliances that have this feature. For example, if you have a TV, DVD player, and cable box all with automatic shut-off, they will all turn off when you’re not using them and you won’t have to worry about them using energy in standby mode.
The ENERGY STAR Certified “Smart” Appliances
In addition to looking for Energy Star certified appliances, you might also want to consider purchasing a “smart” appliance.
A smart appliance is an appliance that can be controlled remotely using a smartphone or other mobile device. For example, you can use your smartphone to control the temperature of your refrigerator, turn on your dishwasher, or check the status of your clothes washer.
Smart appliances are becoming more and more common, and many of them come with the Energy Star certification. Just be sure to check the Energy Star website to make sure the appliance you’re interested in is certified.
When you’re shopping for appliances, be sure to check the warranty. Many appliance manufacturers offer extended warranties on their products, and this can be a great way to save money in the long run.
If an appliance breaks down, you won’t have to pay for the repairs or replacement out of pocket — the manufacturer will cover it.
Just be sure to read the fine print so you know what’s covered and what’s not. Some warranties only cover certain parts of the appliance, and others have exclusions for certain types of damage.
As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when purchasing appliances for your home. But if you keep these energy-saving features in mind, you can be sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck — and saving money on your energy bills in the process.