Appliance Shopping Guide

April 13th, 2009  |  Published in Energy Tips

energy-star

The ENERGY STAR ® label is the government’s seal of approval. It was created by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These agencies set the criteria to help shoppers for large and small home appliances identify the most energy-efficient products on the market. ENERGY STAR ® labeled appliances exceed existing federal efficiency standards, typically, by 13% to 20%, and as much as 110% for some appliances. Customers can be assured that the appliance being purchased is a high-performance product, which will reduce the operating cost of that appliance or product every month during course of it’s lifetime.

  • Air-Source Heat Pumps – Look for the Energy Guide label that contains the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) and HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) for heat pumps. The SEER measures the energy efficiency during the cooling season and HSPF measures the efficiency during the heating season. The ENERGY STAR ® minimum efficiency level is 12 SEER or higher.
  • Central Air Conditioners – Look for the Energy Guide label with an SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) for central air conditioners. The ENERGY STAR ® minimum efficiency level is 12 SEER. ENERGY STAR ® central air conditioners exceed federal standards by at least 20%.
  • Room Air Conditioners – Look for the Energy Guide label with an EER (Energy Efficiency Rating) for room air conditioners. The higher the EER, the more efficient the unit is. ENERGY STAR ® units are among the most energy-efficient products.
  • Programmable Thermostats – For minimum ENERGY STAR ® efficiency, thermostats should have at least two programs, four temperature settings each, a hold feature that allows users to temporarily override settings, and the ability to maintain room temperature with 2 degree F of desired temperature.
  • Water Heaters – Look for the Energy Guide label that tells how much energy the water heater uses in one year. Also, look for the FHR (First Hour Rating) of the water heater, which measures the maximum hot water the heater will deliver in the first hour of use.
  • Windows – Look for the NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council) label that provides U-values and SHGC (solar heat gain coefficient) values. The lower the U-value the better the insulation.
  • Refrigerators and Freezers – Look for the Energy Guide label that tells how much electricity, in kilowatt-hours (kWh), the refrigerator or freezer will use in one year. The smaller the number, the less energy it uses. ENERGY STAR ® labeled units exceeds federal standards by at least 20%.
  • Dishwashers – Look for the Energy Guide label that tells how much electricity, in kilowatt-hours (kWh), the dishwasher will use in one year. The smaller the number, the less energy it uses. ENERGY STAR ® dishwashers exceed federal standards by at least 13%.
  • Clothes Washers – Look for the Energy Guide label that tells how much electricity, in kilowatt hours (kWh), the clothes washer will use in one year. The smaller the number, the less energy it uses. ENERGY STAR ® clothes washer’s uses less than 50% of the energy used by standard washers.