Energy-Efficient Appliances

The energy efficiency of similar can vary significantly. It is usually more cost effective to purchase appliances with high . Determining and comparing the energy efficiency of different models is usually easy, because federal regulations require many types of appliances to display EnergyGuide labels. A label or energy-use information in the product literature is required for furnaces, refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, freezers, water heaters, washing machines, dishwashers, room and central air conditioners, heat pumps, and fluorescent lamp ballasts. EnergyGuide labels indicate either the annual estimated cost of operating the system or a standardized .

You can also maximize the efficiency of appliances you already own through regular maintenance and tune-ups and system upgrades. Examples of some things that you can do are:

  • Check air filters in and cooling systems monthly during the seasons they are in use and clean and replace them as necessary.
  • Clean air vents, baseboards, and radiators regularly and keep them unrestricted by furniture, carpets, or drapes.
  • Release trapped air from hot water radiators once or twice a season by opening the valve until nothing but water comes out.
  • Follow prescribed maintenance (e.g., maintaining certain water levels in steam heat systems).
  • Install an insulating jacket on your hot , insulate hot water pipes, and lower the water heater temperature.
  • Clean refrigerator coils yearly and maintain internal temperatures between 36 F (2.2 C) and 38 F (33 C) for the refrigerator compartment and between 0 F (17.8 C) and 5 F (15.0 C) for the freezer compartment.
  • Move the refrigerator if it is currently located near the stove or dishwasher.
  • Regularly defrost refrigerators that do not have a completely automatic defrost capability to eliminate ice build-up on interior coils.
  • Clean dryer filters after each use or as necessary.

More complicated jobs, such as furnace tune-ups, will need to be performed periodically by a trained technician. Companies that sell oil and gas usually have trained technicians who can tune-up your furnace or boiler.

Sometimes independent companies provide this service as well. For professional service for other home appliances, you should contact the business where the appliance was purchased.