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June 18, 2018  |  Login
Energy Efficient Appliances
By Eric Corey Freed

The major appliances in your home — refrigerators, clothes washers, dishwashers — account for a big chunk of your monthly utility bill. If your appliances were purchased before 1990, you’re spending a lot more on energy than you need to and it’s time to upgrade them.

Be sure to buy only Energy Star–rated appliances, which have met a minimum federal energy standard. Purchase the highest Energy Star–rated appliances you can find — it will save you a great deal of money. (Go to for details on the Energy Star ratings.) Check out the Energy Star logo below, which you’ll see on all Energy Star–rated appliances.


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Remember: Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to appliances. Bigger appliances will only cost you more money and waste energy. Get just what you need.

Some states and local utility companies offer rebates for buying new Energy Star appliances. You can save hundreds of dollars off the purchase of that new refrigerator or washer!

Tip: If you have solar panels on your home, choose electric appliances. Otherwise, pick appliances that run on natural gas. It’s a cleaner and cheaper alternative.

Major Appliances to Consider Replacing for Energy Star

  • Refrigerator: If you’re thinking of replacing an old appliance, the refrigerator is a great place to start. New refrigerators consume 75% less energy than those produced in the late 1970s. Upgrading to a modern refrigerator can save you more than $100 a year on your utility bill. If possible, locate the refrigerator away from direct sunlight and the oven. This keeps the refrigerator from having to work that much harder to stay cool. Also, keep in mind that refrigerators with upper freezers use 10% to 15% less energy than side-by-side models.
  • Clothes washer: Energy Star washers use half the energy that standard models use, saving you about $110 a year. Also, front-loading washers use less water than top-loaders.
  • Clothes dryer: A $5 clothesline is free to operate and leaves your clothes smelling fresh. Save the dryer for rainy days. Only run the dryer when full. Because most of the energy is used to create heat, it’s better to run it for a longer time at a lower heat setting.
  • Water heater: Water heating is typically the third largest energy expense in the home, accounting for about 13% of the average home’s energy bill. more


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