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Video:How to Read an Appliance Energy Guide

with Natasha Levitan

Energy guide labels estimate an appliance's energy use and operating costs. If you learn how to read an energy guide correctly, you can save energy and money when buying new appliances.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Read an Appliance Energy Guide

Hi, I am Natasha Levitan forHi, I'm Natasha Levitan for About.com. Have you seen a yellow label stuck to the front refrigerators, dishwashers, and air conditioners? All major home appliances must meet a set of US Department of Energy's standards, so the manufacturers use a standard test to prove the energy use and efficiency of their products.

Where to Find Energy Results on Appliances

These test results are printed on yellow energy guide label displayed on the appliances. This label estimates how much energy the appliance uses, compares energy use of similar products, and lists approximate annual operating costs. If you know how to read the energy guide correctly you can save energy and money in buying a new appliance.

Find the Energy Label Model Type

The information in part one of the graphic notes the manufacturer, model number, and appliance type. This is important so you can refer back to each model when making your decision.

Consider the Appliance's Features

Part two lists the features of the appliance such as: information about the size, capacity, and other important features. Certain features cause the energy cost to go up. Also, not using all of the features, such as heat drying on a dishwasher, may cause the annual cost estimate to be inaccurate.

Read the Appliance's Annual Energy Use

The third part of the energy guide estimates the appliance's annual energy use measured in kilowatts per year (kWh / year). The lower the number, the more efficient the appliance is.

See the Energy Ranking

The fourth section of the energy guide shows where this specific appliance ranks among other similar appliances. The scale ranges from "uses least energy" on the left, to "uses most energy" to the right. Ideally, the appliance you choose should be to the far left of the scale.

View the Average Energy Costs

The last part of the energy guide lists the average cost to run the specific appliance for one year. This is taken from an average of kilowatt per hour costs for the country and the estimated energy use for the appliance. This price is only an estimate and can fluctuate depending on where you live and how often you use the appliance.

Purchasing more energy efficient appliances will save you money and keep our planet green.

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