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Mass Saver Blog - Smart ideas for saving energy and money at home

Energy Efficiency Appliance Checklist

July 08, 2016

Well-maintained appliances typically have long life expectancies, slowly wearing down over time with prolonged usage. The deteriorating health of your appliances can easily sneak up on unsuspecting homeowners. People often overlook how dated their appliances are until things start breaking.

Aside from the ever-changing aesthetics, appliance models continually evolve. Often this means that a model purchased just a few years ago could now be less efficient and effective compared with the latest and greatest versions on the market today.

It’s important to track the current health of your machines and recognize when replacements are needed.

Refrigerators

As far as appliances go, refrigerators have a fairly long shelf life. However, while your 15-year-old refrigerator may keep your food chilled, it might be doing it at an overly high cost. Modern refrigerators can use as little as 350 kWh of energy per year. To put that in perspective, refrigerators made in the early ’90s use 1,400 kWh each year –that’s four times more electricity than today’s models.

When asking yourself whether you should replace your refrigerator, consider the following:

  • Was it made before 2000? If so, it’s definitely time to start looking for a newer model.
  • Is your food cold? If you have your refrigerator on the lowest temperature and your food isn’t as cold as you’d like, chances are that something is either worn out or broken – this is even more likely if you have an older model. If your food isn’t being chilled properly, it might be time to begin looking for new options.
  • Have you moved? If you’ve moved and taken your refrigerator with you, there’s potential that some of its delicate parts were damaged during the voyage. If you hear loud and unusual rattling, something could have been broken or disconnected while being transported. Either talk to a professional or begin thinking about new options.
  • Is it ENERGY STAR® certified? If the answer is no, then you aren’t getting the best possible deal on savings. ENERGY STAR certified refrigerators save more money on average than standard models, while offering you with a variety of different styles, models and features to choose from.

If you have an old, inefficient refrigerator, you may be eligible for a rebate up to $200 from Mass Save if you replace your existing model with a new ENERGY STAR certified refrigerator. To find out if you’re eligible, call 1-866-527-SAVE (7283) and schedule a Mass Save no-cost Home Energy Assessment prior to replacing your appliance, as your existing appliance will need to be verified for eligibility.

Dishwashers

Similar to refrigerators, dishwashers have a fairly straightforward order of operations: they fill with hot water, distribute the soap across the dishes, rinse, and then dry. However, after repeated use, these machines are likely to break down or run less efficiently.

The dishwasher is one of the most utilized major home appliances – no one likes doing the dishes by hand. But no one likes opening the dishwasher to find a row of dirty plates, bowls, and cups remaining, either. If your glassware isn’t coming out completely clean, there are various factors that could be the root of the issue that should be looked into:

  • Is the water hot enough? If your water isn’t running at the appropriate temperature, the soap will not be as effective in scrubbing the grime off dishes.
  • Are you using the right kind of soap? Some dishwashers, especially older ones, simply don’t work as well with newer detergents, such as all-in-one dish pods. If you have an older model, make sure you are using the right kind of cleaning fluid.
  • Is it clogged? Dishwashers all have traps on the bottom that collect debris from plates, cups, and silverware. These traps can get clogged over time with food particles and soap grime, hindering the flow of water. The result is dirtier dishes and a heavier burden on the machine, creating a more inefficient cycle overall.

If any of these sound familiar, it is worth having your dishwasher looked at by a professional, or think about buying a new one. If a new unit is needed, consider an ENERGY STAR certified dishwasher that can save you money, energy, and water.

Dryers

Clothes washers and dryers are also large home appliances that use a lot of energy and provide a valuable service. It is therefore crucial that these machines work at optimal capacity.

While washing machines do wear out, people typically experience more difficulty with their dryers. The following red flags indicate that it might be time for a new dryer:

  • It takes forever. If you have to cycle your clothes twice to dry them completely, this is a sign that there is a potentially serious issue at hand. To diagnose the root of what is going on, consider calling the manufacturer.
  • Too hot to hold. When your clothes come out burning hot, chances are energy is being wasted and you could be damaging your laundry. Don’t risk damaging your clothes or starting a dryer fire. Call a professional to figure out what you need to do to fix the problem. If a replacement unit is needed, consider purchasing an ENERGY STAR certified dryer. We offer a $50 rebate when you buy an ENERGY STAR certified electric clothes dryer.

If any of these symptoms ring a bell, don’t panic. Buying a new refrigerator, dryer, or dishwasher could ultimately mean more savings for you in the long run. Choosing an appliance that is ENERGY STAR certified is one of the best things you can do to ensure that your home, and your wallet, are being protected against energy loss.

For more ideas like this, visit our Mass Saver blog and read up on how you can save more today.