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Eco-Friendly Appliances Offer Long-Term Savings and Environmental Benefits

Eco-Friendly Appliances
Save money and energy when purchasing appliances by shopping eco-friendly options.

When it comes time to replace appliances, low- to mid-price devices can save money up front while eco-friendly appliances typically carry a higher price tag. It can be tempting to stay with low-end models, but buying Energy Star-compliant appliances can save money while reducing your carbon footprint.

Eco-friendly appliances slash energy use, which lowers utility costs. Plus, you might qualify for tax incentives and appliance rebates, based on your location.

EPA Certification

Energy Star is a voluntary program created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help consumers identify and choose energy-efficient products. Appliances with the Energy Star label meet strict criteria for energy efficiency. Such appliances are designed to use fewer resources (either electricity or water) without sacrificing performance.

The numbers don’t lie—Energy Star products already save billions in energy costs and could save much more with wider adoption. For example, if every American home replaced one light bulb with one Energy Star-certified LED model, the U.S. would reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by about 7 billion pounds and lower annual energy costs by roughly $580 million.

Energy Star appliances can also lead to better health. You might have heard about the controversy about potential government regulations to discourage the use of gas stoves. Research has shown replacing a gas stove with an Energy Star electric model eliminates toxic fumes that can lead to respiratory ailments such as asthma. And, of course, this will slash greenhouse gas emissions. For water, look for Energy Star-certified washing machines and dishwashers, as well as WaterSense-certified appliances, which also comply with EPA standards. Beyond the kitchen and laundry room, WaterSense products include toilets, showerheads, faucets, sprinklers and other water flow accessories.

Other Green Changes

Saving money and cutting energy use can go beyond appliance purchases. Home design and amenities can help, too.

  • Maximize natural light. In addition to LED light bulbs, consider natural light features, such as skylights or an additional window. You can quickly make up the product and installation costs while making your home more aesthetically pleasing.
  • Use healthy paint and cleaners. Choosing paints with low-volatile organic compounds can improve indoor air quality and limit excess emissions. Low-chemical cleaners can achieve similar results. Swap out harsh chemicals for natural alternatives that do the job equally well—often saving money. For example, white vinegar with water makes a great all-purpose cleaning alternative, and a solution of apple cider vinegar with water works well on glass.

The next time you need a new appliance, shop smart by considering a model that saves money, reduces indoor pollution, and provides a better living experience. And consider other ways to make your home more environmentally friendly.

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