Save Big on Energy When You Upgrade Large Appliances

The large appliances in your house probably feel essential to your day-to-day functioning. To be without your refrigerator, for instance, may seem as unfathomable as going without oxygen. It at least means laying off the cheese for a while. 

You can do a lot to make sure your appliances are running in the most energy-efficient way by following some simple tips. Doing so will not only reduce your electric bill but can extend the life of your appliances. Still, nothing lasts forever. At some point, you’re going to have to replace your appliances, although we hope not all at once.

When you’re in the market for the large appliances you don’t want to live without, make sure you look for ENERGY STAR certified products. The blue ENERGY STAR logo means an appliance is more efficient, costs less to run, and is better for the environment than standard versions. Our rebate program doesn’t currently include large appliances, so for items like these, the energy savings (and cleaner clothes and dishes!) are their own reward.


Use less energy and water with a dishwasher upgrade

The dishes won’t wash themselves, but thank goodness elbow grease has been swapped out for electricity. Until your dishwasher goes kaput, of course. When you find yourself ready to upgrade, look for an ENERGY STAR model, which will use about 20% less energy and 30% less water than a standard dishwasher. That means you save nearly 6,000 gallons of water over your dishwasher’s lifetime — and you pay only about $50 per year for the energy to run it.

An ENERGY STAR dishwasher is practically a different appliance than dishwashers from just 10 years ago and includes technology like soil sensors, better water filtration, more efficient jets, and dish rack designs that reduce energy and water consumption. All of which also make them better by far than a sponge and two hands.


Clean up your laundry efficiency

You ever think about the distance between a washboard and a modern clothes washer? It’s about how far ENERGY STAR certified clothes washers have come from the ones you grew up on (even assuming you’re a Zoomer). For one thing, even a standard clothes washer today uses about 43% more water than an ENERGY STAR model. And if you’re comparing a front-load ENERGY STAR model to a top-load standard model, we’re talking 50% less water — and 45% less energy. Innovations in wash systems also save you money by adding life to your clothes; they put your favorite shirt through a lot less stress than systems of yore. 

We suspect you’ll want to dry those socks and shirts, as well. (And a strong spin cycle from your washer is a great start that means your dryer has less to do.) An ENERGY STAR clothes dryer uses about 20% less energy than a standard model, in part because they detect when your clothes are dry and stop what they’re doing. They also save energy by sticking to lower temperatures without sacrificing effectiveness. Why pay for energy you don’t need?  


Find the fridge that fits your life

Yes, you already know we’re going to tell you the benefits of choosing an ENERGY STAR fridge. But first: Did you know that having more fridge than you need is a big energy drain, too? If your fridge isn’t stuffed on a typical day, you probably have more cubic footage than you need. 

But back to our regularly scheduled programming: When you buy an ENERGY STAR refrigerator, you get features like these:

  • High-efficiency compressors that create less heat and use less energy
  • Improved insulation that helps contents stay cold
  • Temperature and defrost mechanisms that help the refrigerator operate more efficiently

And with features like that, you end up saving money on energy — these models are 9% more efficient than standard products — and reducing your carbon footprint by about 4,400 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) over 12 years, when you’ll probably need a new one. Not to resort to peer pressure, but if every U.S. household with an old refrigerator upgraded to an ENERGY STAR fridge, the newfound energy efficiency would add up to $290 million in savings, and that greater efficiency would also prevent 5.5 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions each year. Good reasons to join the crowd, eh?


Easier cleaning and cooling, and easier buying, too

ENERGY STAR gives you peace of mind that you’re getting an energy-efficient appliance. You can learn a lot more about what these certifications mean by contacting your energy advisor or by visiting the The short answer, of course, is that they mean big savings on energy, which you’ll probably want to toast with a cold beverage from your new ENERGY STAR fridge.