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Save Energy on Appliances this Holiday Season

November 21, 2014 - 9:52am


Buying ENERGY STAR appliances saves money and energy.  | Jim Tetro, U.S. Department of Energy

Buying ENERGY STAR appliances saves money and energy. | Jim Tetro, U.S. Department of Energy

With Thanksgiving around the corner, consumers are gearing up to open their wallets for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. These shopping “holidays” are a great opportunity to take advantage of incentives or deals on brand new, energy-efficient appliances.

And knowing more about home appliances before the mayhem begins can be useful when looking to replace that rickety dishwasher from the 90s. Below we’ve compiled some quick tips and resources available to learn more about energy efficient appliances and ways you can save money and energy, whether or not you need to purchase new equipment.

Discounts and Coupons

Don’t forget to check out the ENERGY STAR Rebate Finder tool. This tool allows consumers to find rebates and other incentives on ENERGY STAR-rated appliances in their area by simply entering in a zip code.


Dishwashers handle the dirty work in your kitchen and older dishwashers are notorious for using lots of water and electricity. But there's good news! ENERGY STAR dishwashers are required to use 4.25 gallons of water or less per cycle, rather than the 10 gallons most dishwashers used before 1994. When scanning those Black Friday deals, also consider features such as delay timers, which if you use time-based electricity programs can mean a lower cost to run your dishwasher during non-peak hours.


Your old ice box could be doing you some damage in the energy department. Do you have door seal issues? A quick test can be done with a dollar bill. Just close your refrigerator door over a dollar bill so it is half in and half out of the refrigerator. If you can pull the bill out easily, the latch may need adjustment, the seal may need replacing, or you may consider buying a new unit.

What about that extra refrigerator you never use, or only use on the holidays?Those older refrigerators could be costing you nearly $300 per year. Recycling your old fridge not only saves you money, it also ensures that the refrigerants and other components are removed and properly recycled. Your local utilities may even offer a rebate for recycling old appliances. If you are only using your second refrigerator during the holidays or for special events, unplug it when it's not needed.

Also, although fancy LED screens, icemakers, and water dispensers seem like all the rage now, know they do use more energy. Nevertheless, manufacturers are required to keep up with government appliance standards, which have continually progressed since 1994. In fact, refrigerators made in 2014 onward will save the United States close to $100 million by 2043, thanks to the recent standards established last summer.

Washers and Dryers

ENERGY STAR washers clean clothes using 35% less water and 20% less energy than standard washers. ENERGY STAR clothes dryers, include features like a moisture sensor. It will shut off your dryer automatically when clothes are dry. This not only saves energy, but will save the wear and tear on your clothes caused by over-drying. Stackable machines are a great solution for homes or apartments that are challenged for space, and front load washers use less water than top loading models.

For more helpful energy efficient laundry suggestions, check out our laundry tips page.