What to expect when purchasing new appliances

Researching what different models and features are available for an appliance is an excellent way to determine if the quality of performance, affordability and energy efficiency meet your needs. Keep in mind that each appliance has two costs: the initial cost of the product and the cost to power it for the duration of its lifespan.

1) Establish a list of needs

Knowing what is required of an appliance from the beginning will help keep track of what is needed and what is not. Certain added features may be nice, but unnecessary, potentially leading to added energy consumption.

2) Find the right-size

Items such as refrigerators, televisions and room air conditioners have a wide range of wattages and sizes. In some cases, a larger model may be unnecessary, and as a result will take up more space and use more energy than one that is a more appropriate size for your true needs.

3) Comparison shop

Comparison shopping will help to narrow down which stores have the most energy-efficient appliances for the best price. Look for Energy Star®-rated appliances for superior energy savings. The Energy Guide label on each appliance allows for some easy evaluation. This can even be done online, without needing to visit multiple stores.

4) Check for rebates

Some utilities, stores and federal programs offer rebates or other incentives for certain energy-efficient appliances or equipment. This could lead to a broader selection of appliances that are available within your budget.