Since appliances can add up to 15 to 20 percent of overall energy usage and operational costs to your home, it is a good idea to purchase all energy-efficient appliances when you build your new home. Whether it’s a small appliance like a mixer or microwave or large appliances like refrigerators and washer and dryers, be sure all your appliances are energy-efficient.Â
When you begin to select your new appliances you should know your labels.
All major home appliances, except for ranges and ovens must meet appliance standards set by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and carry the black and yellow EnergyGuide label. The EnergyGuide label gives you two important pieces of information you can use to compare different brands and models when shopping for a new appliance: estimated consumption on a scale showing a range for similar models and estimated annual dollar operating costs. You can expect to find these labels on refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, clothes washers, microwaves, water heaters, pool heaters, room air conditioners, central air-conditioners and heat pumps, furnaces and boilers and fluorescent lamp ballasts.Â
Although televisions, clothes-dryers, ranges and ovens, and space heaters have to meet federal minimum efficiency standards, they were exempt from the EnergyGuide program because the amount of energy these products use does not vary substantially from model to model.Â
Everyone is familiar with the blue and white logo featuring a star (ENERGY STARÂ®), which is designed to promote efficient energy usage in homes and businesses. The ENERGY STARÂ® program is a joint effort of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the DOE. Home appliances that earn the ENERGY STARÂ® exceed the efficiency of the federal appliance standards by 10 to 40 percent. You can visit ENERGY STARÂ® (www.energystar.gov) to learn more information about home energy efficiency, including special offers or rebates and a list of ENERGY STARÂ® qualified appliances.