Cut your energy bill with eco-friendly kitchen appliances

May 30, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. ET

At a time when most people are looking to save, taking a look at your everyday habits is essential to finding out where your money is going. If you’ve ever taken a look at your electric bill and felt helpless, a few practical appliance switch-outs can help you reduce your bill dramatically. If that old dishwasher, oven, refrigerator or other kitchen appliance is costing you big in the long run, here are a few pieces of advice that can help with bills and the environment.

Woman shopping for kitchen appliances

1Look for the Energy Star

Energy Star is a government-backed symbol awarded to products and practices. Many appliance companies have Energy Star-sponsored pieces, but there continue to be items placed in the market that aren't so green. Look for the Energy Star and you'll be well on your way to choosing a more cost-efficient dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator and more.

2Ask for the statistics

Whether you buy your new appliance online or in-store, make sure to research the statistics. How much energy does the prospective new purchase save over a standard appliance of its kind? How efficient will it be with heavy use? Does it work as well as an appliance that uses heavier energy? Ask questions and get answers. That way, you can figure out if the big investment in an appliance is the right one for you.

3Do your research

Before committing to the new appliance, look up reviews on sites like and other major retailers that sell the same item. Reviewers online are brutally honest and will let you know if the appliance is running up to snuff. Ask the questions you need answers to on online comment and message boards. How much did your bill decrease? Does the appliance run well? Take your questions to the internet for real answers without the sales pitch.

4Think about cost over time

While some energy-efficient, Energy Star-sponsored appliances can cost a pretty penny initially, you have to think about the benefit in the long run. Over time, a worn out, inefficient refrigerator will leak coldness and use an enormous amount of energy, which can add up big. Energy-efficient appliances have one initial large cost, then pay off in the long run. It's really a matter of whether you want the one large cost up front, or extended over a series of years, for however long you own the appliance.

5Consider practicality

Refrigerators are on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Making sure heavily-used appliances run with the environment and your bill in mind is key to saving big bucks when your bill is sent out.

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