Learn how to choose the right energy-efficient appliances to help you conserve energy and save money.

If you're ready to upgrade to a new energy-efficient appliance, you have a lot of great options. We've put together this buying guide to help make sure you buy the right one for your specific needs.

General Tips

Insulation

  • The following types of insulation are available at hardware, building supply stores and lumberyards: blanket or batts, loose-fill / blown-in, rigid, and reflective.
  • When choosing insulation, be sure it meets local building codes and always consider the R-value, a measure of effectiveness. "R" stands for the resistance to heat flow; the higher the "R" number, the greater the insulating power.

Weather Stripping

  • When deciding which weather stripping materials to buy, consider installation instructions, how long it will last, where it will be used and the price.
  • Instructions for installing weather stripping can be found in home improvement books or weather stripping kits. You can also ask home improvement personnel for advice on installation and which type of material you should buy.

Ducts

  • If you are buying a new duct system, consider one that comes with insulation already installed.

Air Conditioning

  • When buying a new electric air conditioner or evaporative cooler, choose an energy-efficient model. Look for a unit with a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER).
  • Check with your local electric utility for available rebates.

Home Office

  • When purchasing home office equipment, like computers, monitors, printers, scanners and fax machines, look for Energy Star-certified models. Energy Star-certified personal computers, monitors and printers power down during periods of inactivity, reducing energy costs by up to 50 percent, 90 percent and 65 percent, respectively.
  • Consider Energy Star-labeled compact fluorescent lights. They can reduce lighting costs by up to 60 percent and last up to ten times longer.
  • Replace halogen torchiere lamps with fluorescent Energy Star torchieres.
  • Check with your local electric utility regarding the availability of rebates and incentives for energy-efficient lighting.

Lighting

Check with your local electric utility regarding the availability of rebates and incentives for energy-efficient lighting.

  • Consider Energy Star-labeled compact fluorescent lights - they can reduce lighting costs by up to 75 percent and last up to ten times longer.
  • Replace halogen torchiere lamps with fluorescent Energy Star torchieres.

Refrigerators

  • When buying a new refrigerator, choose an energy-efficient model. Energy Star-certified refrigerators are required to use 20 percent less energy than models not labeled with the Energy Star logo.
  • Check with your local electric utility provider about the availability of rebates and incentives for new, energy-efficient refrigerators. Some providers offer incentives for recycling older or second refrigerators.

Actual savings obtained in each instance may vary and will depend on various factors, including geographic location, weather conditions, equipment installed, usage rates and so forth. Completing multiple energy-saving measures will not necessarily result in cumulative savings.