Would you like to make your home more energy efficient? While heating and cooling systems take a toll on a home's energy resources, replacing other energy zapping appliances, such as the refrigerator, reduces your home's environmental impact as well. But, which refrigerator brand and model should you choose for a replacement? With so many on the market, how can the average consumer select the best, energy efficient model that suits the individual's taste and budget? The government's Energy Star program is designed to help consumers and businesses make informed purchasing decisions about energy efficient products and appliances-and offers a range of quality, tasteful options.
What is the Energy Star Program? The government's Energy Star program is a joint effort between the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help educate consumers and businesses about energy efficient home and office products available for purchase. The Energy Star program uses strict guidelines, developed by both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, to identify the most energy efficient products in a range of categories from office electronics to kitchen appliances-helping consumers locate the best products to suit both personal needs and lessen household or business environmental impact.
Why is the refrigerator such an energy inefficient appliance? According to Energy Star resources, the refrigerator tops all other household appliances in energy usage--using more electricity than any other household appliance. Of course, that is understandable since the refrigerators must run throughout the entire day to maintain proper temperature.
Why should you replace your old refrigerator with an Energy Star model? Older model refrigerators were not designed to be as well insulated or energy efficient as modern refrigerators earning the Energy Star certification. Choosing an Energy Star qualified refrigerator gives consumers a model that is guaranteed to be at least 20 percent more energy efficient than even other modern refrigerator designs without the Energy Star seal. Upgrading an older refrigerator to an Energy Star qualified model not only saves consumers money on monthly electric bills, but reduces the household environmental impact by making one simple appliance change.
Which Energy Star qualified refrigerators should you consider? General Electric (GE), Amana, Kenmore, and Frigidaire make top rated Energy Star qualified refrigerators in both energy efficiency and customer satisfaction-with many basic, qualified models priced under $1000. While finding the most energy efficient model is important-choosing the correct size and style for your family is important as well. A 10-25% energy savings can be obtained by choosing a refrigerator with a top mounted freezer -rather than a bottom or side by side style. Refrigerators under 20 cubic feet have been shown to be the most energy efficient, making it important to select the smallest acceptable refrigerator to suit your needs. Skipping the automatic water dispensers and ice making features saves additional energy as well.
While refrigerators are modern conveniences that most consumers are not willing to give up, consumers and business owners can take advantage of the Energy Star program resources to find the most economical and environmentally friendly appliances available. Is it time to upgrade your outdated, energy wasting refrigerator?
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Refrigerators for Consumers