Most of us realize that the cost of appliances doesn’t end at the register. Month by month, our utility bills tell us the story of how much we spend on gas and electricity. According to Energy Star, the average home spends $1900 on energy costs each year. Inefficient appliances can make this number swell. If you’re interested in saving $80 a year on energy costs and helping the environment, too, read on about using Energy Star appliances.
Chances are that you already live in one of the 68 percent of American households aware of the Energy Star label. Energy Star appliances use 10 to 50 percent less energy and water than standard models. These appliances include everything from clothes washers, dehumidifiers, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, home electronics, heating and cooling systems, and lighting devices.
When shopping for something new, it’s easy to recognize Energy Star products by the Energy Star label. Having this label means the product has passed stringent standards set by the U.S. Department of Energy. Moreover, manufacturers are required to display their products’ test results on the Energy Star label. Just as you read the ingredients on the food you buy to determine if it’s healthy, make it a point to read the information provided about your desired product’s efficiency level. The label will tell you approximately how much energy the appliance uses, list its average annual operating cost, and compare its energy use with that of similar products. It will also verify whether or not the product is Energy Star qualified.
Once you’ve found the right Energy Star appliance, keep in mind that installation and placement make a difference in energy usage, too. For instance, regularly changing the filter and sealing the heating and cooling ducts for your home’s heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems can make a vast difference. Finding a qualified HVAC contractor can ensure that the system is set up to run as efficiently as possible.
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