What Are Energy Star Appliances?

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If you’ve gone shopping for appliances lately, you may have seen quite a few ENERGY STAR models on the showroom floor. These appliances are touted as energy efficient models that can save you money on energy bills while helping the environment. In this article, we’ll tell you what that little blue star means, where you might find it, and how it can benefit you.

What is That Blue Star, Anyway?

You might think that ENERGY STAR is a company, but that’s not true. It’s actually a federal program created by the EPA with the goal of reducing greenhouse gasses and energy consumption. The blue star sticker on a product means that particular product is rated to use at least 10 percent less energy than a similar standard product. In fact, some models use up to 50 percent less energy than standard competitors.

Where Can I Find It?

The little blue star can be found in a surprising array of places. Most people are used to seeing the logo on refrigerators, dishwashers, or trash compactors. Since the dawn of the program, more than 50 different types of products can qualify for an energy efficient rating, in addition to homes and other buildings. Indeed, there are many ways to make your dwelling energy efficient. Even your windows could be rated.

The Benefits

Any appliance that uses less energy to run will ultimately reduce your utility bills. According to a document on the ENERGY STAR website, appliances could account for up to 20 percent of your average energy use. That means qualified appliances could save you up to $80 per year when compared to standard models. Certain appliances may even qualify for tax credits from the federal government.

Many people don’t realize that these energy efficient appliances also mean improved durability. Because of the tight controls imposed on energy consumption, these products come outfitted with parts that surpass the standard models in quality. This means less break down over time.

ENERGY STAR appliances also use advanced technology that improves their performance outside of energy use. Some models might have noise dampening technology, while other products use less water or take less time to operate. When companies talk about “smart” features, they are often referring to this advanced technology.

Get the Most from Your Appliances

Even though ENERGY STAR appliances are rated to save energy, there are ways to maximize these savings. For instance, if you have an energy compliant clothes washer, it’s important to make sure you’re using the correct variety and amount of detergent. High efficiency detergent should only be used in high efficiency washers. Too much detergent in the water can cause your machine to run longer than it normally would.

If you have an energy efficient freezer or refrigerator, don’t back it up tightly against the wall. Leaving space for airflow will help with efficiency vacuuming the coils to remove dust and dirt also encourages efficiency. This goes for any appliance with clogged vents as well.

Any time an appliance reduces energy cost, it’s clear that money will be saved. However, ENERGY STAR appliances can also save you time, resources, and hassles from breakage. Next time you’re in the market for a new appliance, check to see if it sports the blue star logo. If it does, you’ll know it will cost you less in the long run.


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