Energy-efficient appliances utilize the minimum amount of power required to complete designated tasks. These appliances and units are often the result of innovative designs that boost performance without increasing energy use. By drawing less power from the grid, these appliances may help reduce your home’s overall energy consumption and lower utility bills. Using less power may also reduce the emissions that lead to global warming, thereby shrinking your home’s carbon footprint and positively impacting your local environment.

Whether you need to replace an outdated appliance or want to remodel or renovate your home, these devices are practical investments that can pay off in the long run. A look at the top considerations for selecting energy-efficient appliances can help you make a well-informed decision.

How to Choose Energy-Efficient Home Appliances

Choosing the right energy-efficient appliance involves reviewing several key factors. According to the Department of Energy (DOE), appliances that meet the recommended criteria can help reduce carbon emissions while ensuring low operating costs for the entirety of the unit’s lifespan. The most important factors to consider during the purchase process include ENERGY STAR ratings, EnergyGuide labels, unit size and capacity, eco-friendly upgrades, and the inclusion of smart technology.

ENERGY STAR Certification

As you shop for a new major appliance, keep an eye out for the ENERGY STAR certification. This blue-and-white logo is a designation of a joint program between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. The ENERGY STAR logo means that the appliance meets or exceeds federal standards for efficiency and quality. You can find this certified logo among products in over 75 categories, like water heaters, laundry machines, dishwashers, air conditioners, and more.

Always save receipts from any ENERGY STAR purchase since you may also be able to apply federal incentives or credits to reap additional rewards during tax season. Be sure to check the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) for other possible tax credits in your zip code. You can also ask a home services professional to help you find appliances with the ENERGY STAR certification.

EnergyGuide Label

In addition to the ENERGY STAR certification, reviewing an appliance’s EnergyGuide label is important. This bright yellow-and-black label displays the unit’s projected annual energy consumption and operating cost. To make an educated decision, you can compare estimated usage to similar appliances.

The Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 requires all major appliances and electronics like refrigerators, furnaces, boilers, air conditioners, televisions, and ceiling fans to have the EnergyGuide label. If you do not see the label directly on the appliance or electronic device, check the manufacturer or seller’s website. A local home services company or electrician can also help you interpret data on the label.

Size and Capacity

Selecting an appliance of the right size and capacity for your household is important. Large or oversized appliances usually consume more energy to complete tasks. Factors like household size, usage patterns, and available square footage can all help you find the unit that suits your needs. For instance, a too-large laundry machine that you always use half-empty can make your home inefficient. Instead, selecting a smaller appliance your family can always use at capacity would make more sense. Similarly, appliances that are too small may need to complete additional cycles to meet your family’s needs. This can make them less efficient than choosing other appliances that are more appropriately sized.

Eco-Friendly Options

Always look for appliances with environmentally friendly features to reduce your carbon footprint. For example, many washing machines and dishwashers have “eco” settings that use less water and more neutral heating settings. This can help you save energy consumption in the long run. Many dryers and heaters have lower temperature settings that can reduce power usage and costs. Other appliances feature thick insulation, automatic shut-off settings, and energy-saving modes that optimize power usage so that you waste less energy and resources. Even buying refrigerators with freezers above or below rather than side-by-side can create a more balanced energy distribution and help you save on power consumption.

Search for Smart Appliances

Advancements in modern technology mean that you can now harness the power of smart technology to increase your household’s energy efficiency. According to the Department of Energy, many manufacturers now offer smart appliances that connect with high-tech meters or home management systems. These meters and systems may use artificial intelligence, machine learning, and wireless sensors to shift power usage to off-peak hours and save energy. Some appliances also allow you to change settings remotely using a smartphone app. Other perks may include automatic updates or alerts from the manufacturer that help keep your unit in excellent condition.

Benefits of Choosing Energy-Efficient Home Appliances

Energy-efficient appliances allow you to take advantage of the latest innovations in consumer goods for your household. These devices help reduce energy consumption needed for everyday activities. Possible benefits that offer extra motivation to switch to efficient appliances include the potential increase in home value, long-game financial savings, and improved quality of life.

Increased Home Value

If you plan to sell your home, energy-efficient upgrades can make it more appealing to potential buyers. Research shows that buyers look favorably upon homes compatible with sustainability, giving them an edge in the real estate market. According to a study from ENERGY STAR and Freddie Mac, resale premiums increase between 2.7% and 8.0% for single-family homes rated as energy efficient. Another selling point is that buyers also appreciate potential savings on utility bills when purchasing a home with up-to-date and environmentally friendly equipment.

Financial Savings

According to the Department of Energy, the potential savings from energy-efficient appliances are two-fold. First, the appliance comes with immediate upgrade benefits and may also provide tax credits. Consider the unit purchase price as a down payment on a better-performing device. The second financial benefit refers to the potential savings across the unit’s lifespan. Energy-efficient appliances use less power and electricity, thereby reducing monthly energy costs. Since some major appliances last up to 20 years, this translates into over 200 months of reduced utility bills.

Positive Environmental Impact

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, most electrical appliances pull electricity directly from nearby power plants. These plants often operate by burning fossil fuels, and the fuels release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. These gases can harm the ozone layer and contribute to global warming. In addition, traditional appliances also burn fossil fuels directly for tasks like heating, cooling, and cooking. By switching to energy-efficient appliances, you can help reduce dependence on fossil fuels and protect the environment’s overall health.

Improved Quality of Life

Energy-efficient appliances can also help improve quality of life. For example, new smart appliances can use artificial intelligence and adaptive learning to adjust performance based on home occupancy or usage. You can now buy air conditioners that automatically turn off when residents leave the home, laundry machines with quicker cycles, or refrigerators with improved temperature controls. The appliances add convenience to your lifestyle so that you can focus on other priorities.

Upgrade Your Electrical System

If you’re considering new appliances, you’ll want to ensure your electrical system can handle them. Adding new outlets or circuits can make your home more convenient, and upgrades like whole-home surge protection can protect your new appliances. Upgraded electrical panels can also help you save energy.

At Finch Home Solutions, our experts are here to help. We offer home electrical services for properties in Shakopee, Minneapolis, St. Paul, and surrounding areas. Our licensed professionals can install everything from lighting and ceiling fans to EV chargers. We also offer inspections and repairs for any outlet issues. Contact Finch Home Solutions for all your home electrical needs.

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