Eco Friendly Appliances are a Great Long Term Investment

Eco friendly appliances, in the long run, are cheap.

The household appliances we choose account for 17% of the energy load in a typical US home, according to the US Department of Energy.

Choosing the most efficient appliances available for your home can have a noticeable impact on your energy costs and carbon footprint.

Often (but not always) more efficient, eco friendly appliances have a higher initial price tag. While the investment in good appliances may be more expensive, look at it this way—Pay a little more one time now, or pay a little more each and every day you use the appliance for the 10 to 20 year useful life of that machine.

Efficient appliance choices, in reality, are cheap.


When you go shopping for new household appliances, you should look at price tags in a completely different way than you do for almost any other consumer products. There really should be two price tags on home appliances.

In reality, there are two price tags on most appliances in the US. More on that later.

The first price tag, the purchase price, is only a tiny fraction of the true cost of any given appliance. The second price tag is the cost of the energy that you will buy to operate the appliance each and every day of the useful life of that appliance.

In practical terms, you can think of paying for an appliance for between 10 and 20 years. Again, according to the US DOE, the useful life for a refrigerators is an average of 14 years. We can expect a washing machine to last about 11 years. A dishwasher will typically serve for about 10 years.

With energy costs continually climbing, the costs of appliance ownership in the form of will be increasing as well.

Appliance True Footprint

You can also think of the total energy cost as rough indicator of a given appliance carbon footprint. If you buy your electricity from a producer who uses coal as fuel source, all those kilowatt hours equate to far greater ecological impact in the form of carbon emissions, dirty air, habitat destruction, water pollution, and negative health effects for anyone living close to the supplying coal mine or coal burning power plant.

Choose the most efficient appliance you can possibly afford. You will save money in the long run and your ecological impact will be far reduced.


Eco Friendly Appliances – Energy Labeling and Performance Information

  • Energy Star -
In the United States, look for Energy Star rated appliances as you do your appliance shopping. The Energy Star program has come under a great deal of somewhat deserved criticism, but it is still a viable indicator of a manufacturer who is paying attention to energy performance.

  • EnergyGuide Label -
The yellow EnergyGuide labels on most appliances will directly identify the most efficient model, but it will give you data on the annual operational costs (given a very low indexed energy price which will likely be nowhere near your true energy price). Using this data, you can compare various models and brands yourself to determine the most efficient appliances.

  • Get Independent Guidance on Eco Friendly Appliances -
The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy offers lots of guidance on choosing eco friendly appliances on their website. Pay a visit to the ACEEE at ACEEE.org before making any final appliance purchase decisions.

Featured Efficient Appliance Articles...

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Choose An Energy Efficient Refrigerator – Save money and energy for twenty years
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The Hybrid Water Heater
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