Upgrading inefficient appliances to modern ENERGY STAR® models can significantly reduce energy
bills and lower your carbon footprint. Your new appliances may even qualify for
an energy efficiency rebate from a local utility
According to ENERGY STAR®, 70 percent of energy consumed in
homes is used to power appliances. Lowering that 70 percent with some modern
equipment can save you hundreds of dollars per year. There’s a wide range of
cost and energy efficiency even within ENERGY STAR® certified appliances, so
check out our Tips and Tricks before replacing
a home appliance to get the most out of your purchase.
Energy efficient refrigerators, washers and
dryers offer the biggest opportunity to save.
These appliances alone account for 80 to 90 percent of household appliance energy consumption. If you decide to replace your
washers and dryers, a front loading washer and
dryer are your best choice for saving energy and water. Some new dryers even
have moisture sensors, which allow them to automatically shut off when your
clothes are dry.
The best way to find the most efficient
model is to compare the Annual Operating Cost on the Energy Guide
sticker across different models. Find the one with the smallest annual
operating cost that still meets your needs.
Garage or basement refrigerators
are often old kitchen refrigerators that are currently being used for extra
storage, and are typically partially full and may not have any frozen foods.
These older machines have low efficiencies and have an estimated annual
electricity use of 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) a year. This occasionally used
appliance can consume twice the energy of your more modern kitchen
If you decide to continue using
your current extra refrigerator, consider the following tips:
- Check the door seals by sliding a piece of paper in the
door. If the paper falls, it means the door seals are not functioning properly
and should be replaced to avoid wasted energy
- Unplug the unit when not in use and remove the door or
lock it open. This will save electricity and reduce chances of mold and mildew.
- Keep the refrigerator’s heat exchange coils clean.
Remove dust with a light brush and get rid of grime with a soft dampened cloth.
This will improve cooling capability and reduce operating costs.
- If your garage or basement refrigerator is idle and
unplugged, make sure to plug it in periodically for a two hour duration or
longer to keep refrigeration seals from drying out.
- If your extra refrigerator is running but not kept
full, consider replacing it with a smaller ENERGY STAR® refrigerator that can be