(NewsUSA) - If you're looking to get the best deal on your appliance purchases, you're not alone. According to research by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), 81 percent of consumers polled say that price is the most important factor in deciding which appliance to buy. Yet, less than half say they considered energy efficiency in their decision process.
Many consumers don't realize that the true cost of an appliance is more than the initial purchase price. In fact, by selecting the most energy-efficient solutions, consumers can reduce their energy bills year after year by 20 to 30 percent. These products incorporate advanced technologies that use up to 50 percent less energy and water than standard models. Considering that the EPA estimates the average household spends $2,200 on energy bills each year, these savings can really add up.
To find the most energy-efficient appliance and maximize your savings, follow these simple steps.
Step 1: Remember that there are two costs associated with an appliance: the price you pay for it and the cost you incur to run it.
Step 2: Look for the Energy Star label. Just because the product details might have "energy efficient" listed, it doesn't mean it's been engineered to be the most efficient. Energy Star-certified products have been independently tested to meet rigorous standards for energy efficiency and quality. That means they'll give you the same (or more) service for less energy while helping to protect the environment. They also offer improved quality and durability. With products in more than 60 categories, there are many Energy Star options to choose from.
Step 3: Read the yellow EnergyGuide label. This standard label, displayed on most appliances, will tell you how much energy the product uses, along with an estimated annual operating cost. By comparing these two figures on similar models -- even those with Energy Star labels -- you'll be able to identify the most energy-efficient option. Keep in mind that some products that are the "most energy efficient" won't always have an Energy Star label.
Step 4: Recycle your old appliance. Ask your retailer if it has a recycling program. If not, recycling centers or local non-profits in your area might have recycling programs that make it easy to dispose of old units. Some utility companies even offer incentives to pay for old appliances you no longer use.