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How to choose the best energy efficient appliances

by on September 23, 2014


Buying an energy-efficient home appliance can be daunting.

There are so many choices and things to consider like cost, brand, features and design. Do you know what makes one appliance more efficient than another?

AEP Ohio wants to make it a little easier for you! Here are a few tips on what to look for when choosing a new appliance.

Check out the Energy Guide label on the appliance

The first step in choosing a new appliance is to read the Energy Guide on the appliance.

energyguidelabelAll major home appliances must now meet energy efficiency standards set by the US Department of Energy (DOE). Manufacturers are required to display test results on the appliance, which are printed on a yellow Energy Guide label.

By reviewing the label, you can get an idea of what your new appliance will cost you per year in operating costs and electricity use.

The first figure on the label provides an estimate of the yearly operating cost of the appliance based on a comparison of similar products.

The second figure represents an estimate of the number of kilowatt hours (electricity use) the appliance uses per year.

Your exact costs will depend on utility rates and the type and source of your energy.

Now let’s look at some suggestions of what to look for when purchasing a refrigerator, dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer.


  • Size. Make sure you know how much food you need to store in your refrigerator. Buying a refrigerator that is too large will use more, unnecessary energy.
  • Freezer location. The location of your freezer can have an impact on the amount of energy used by a refrigerator. Having your freezer on the top or bottom is more efficient than on the side.


  • Low energy use. You’ll want to find a dishwasher that requires less energy. The dishes will still get clean, just more efficiently.
  • Low water use. Some dishwashers can use half as much water as others, adding up to huge saving throughout the year.
  • Stainless steel interior. Compared to a plastic interior, stainless steel reduces noise, withstands higher temperatures and retains heat better.
  • Wash cycle option. Look for a dishwasher with a “soil sensor,” which allows the appliance to recognize how dirty the dishes are before beginning a cycle, saving on overall energy.
  • Energy-saving no-heat-air-dry. Did you know that the drying of dishes uses 7 percent of dishwasher energy? Buying a dishwasher with a no-heat-air-dry option will cut energy use even further.

 Clothes Washer:

  • Front vs. top load. Front load washers tend to be more energy efficient than top load. Not only do they use less water, but also people usually don’t fill a top load washer to its capacity, making it less efficient.
  • Water level controls. Many washers give you the ability to determine how much water should be used based on the size of the load. This will instantly save on energy.
  • Faster spin speed. This can allow for better water extraction, ultimately allowing for less energy use on drying.

 Clothes Dryer:

  • Moisture sensor. Finding a dryer with a moisture sensor will allow the appliance to automatically shut off when your clothes are dry. This saves on overall energy and reduces unnecessary wear and tear from over-drying.

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