Buying energy efficient appliances

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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energy guide
Use the Energy Guide to see how your appliance stacks up
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Having appliances that are energy efficient can save you money

These days it's in everyone's best interest to not only save money in any way possible, but to reduce your energy consumption.  Global warming, oil prices, nuclear proliferation, clear cutting of forests... These are all results of excess use of our natural energy resources.

As individual consumers, our second biggest drain of these resources behind gasoline, comes from our household appliances.  Our dishwashers; our stoves and microwave ovens; our refrigerators, washers and dryers; our heaters and air conditioners.  All of these items take up massive amounts of energy to use, whether powered by electricity, gas or oil.

What to replace

I'm not suggesting you go out and replace all of your appliances that are in perfect working order, but if you have any old appliances around, they not only suck up large amounts of energy to operate, but are also fire hazards in your home.  And if you have any appliances that are in disrepair and you're thinking of replacing them anyway, be sure to make the right choices with your new replacements.

If you have any appliances that are over twenty years old, you're pushing it for efficient operational life anyway, and even most ten-year old appliances are far, far behind moderns ones in terms of efficiency.

If you have any that have any frayed electrical wires or plugs at all, replace those sooner rather than later.  Even when not in use, a frayed wire can lead to a fire.

Keep everything maintained properly

Frayed wires are not your only hazard and energy thief.  Make sure your filters for the heater and air conditioner, as well as any water filters and air purifiers are completely up to date.  If the filters are getting old or dirty, replace them.

In your dryer, clean out the lint screen every load or two.  This will preserve the life of the machine by making it work less hard to do the same job, and it will save you plenty of money in energy costs.

Make sure each appliance is in perfect working condition.  Again, this is not just for the sake of saving electricity, but to preserve the life of your appliance and make your home safer.

When you need to replace

No matter how diligent you are with filter replacement and maintenance, there comes a time in the life of any appliance when it's just time to replace it.  Sometimes you simply want to replace it, sometimes it's given up the ghost in the machine, so to speak.

When that time comes, buy intelligently.  Be they refrigerators, dryers, water coolers, or even smaller appliances, all new appliances in the U.S. are required to have the Energy Guide label as seen in the photo above.

This label not only estimates your annual energy costs for the machine in question, but also rates its energy consumption compared to other appliances in its class.  If the arrow is to the left end of the line, it means that this machine is on the efficient end.  If the arrow ends up on the right end, then it's not a very efficient machine.

Clearly, energy efficiency is not the only issue when deciding what to buy, but it should be a factor.  All other things being equal, or nearly equal, choosing a better machine helps you and the environment.  Truth be told, if you're replacing a pretty old machine, the very least efficient machine on the market today is probably still an improvement, but if you can save more on energy, why not?

We're trying to get beyond our foreign energy dependence in this country, and buying more efficient machines for your home will help do that, so do your part and save yourself some money in the process.  Buy energy efficient appliances and you can't go wrong.

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