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Year-Long Savings with ENERGY STAR ® Gifts

Buying someone a TV, DVD player or a cordless phone as a holiday gift? Do they want a new computer? A new Laptop? Or maybe this year they just want something that's really practical, like a new refrigerator or a clothes washer. Either way, the recipient can benefit for years to come if you buy them an ENERGY STAR qualified product, now available in more than 40 product categories. They use less energy, save money, and help protect the environment.

All types of appliances, home electronics, office equipment, lighting, heating and cooling equipment, and even windows and ceiling fans come with an ENERGY STAR label.

Anything that uses energy has two price tags, the purchase price and the operating cost paid out month after month, year after year, in your energy bill. It's amazing how much energy (and money) you can save compared to non-ENERGY STAR equivalents. ENERGY STAR qualified TVs use about 25% less energy than standard units and ENERGY STAR computers use up to 70% less energy. Over its lifetime, ENERGY STAR qualified equipment in a single home office (e.g., computer, monitor, printer, and fax) can save enough electricity to light an entire home for more than 4 years.

Benefits Don't Stop with Energy Savings

There are additional benefits to some of these products. ENERGY STAR clothes washers yield double savings: They use 50% less energy than standard washers and can save over 20 gallons of water per load. ENERGY STAR qualified computers spend a large portion of time in low-power mode, not only saving energy, but helping the equipment run cooler and last longer. ENERGY STAR ventilation fans provide better efficiency and comfort with less noise, and have motors that perform better and last longer.

Tips on Selecting Efficient Appliances

Refrigerators with a freezer on either the bottom or top are the most efficient: approximately 15% more efficient that side-by-side models. Through-the-door ice makers and water dispensers are convenient and reduce the need to open the door, but still increase the refrigerator's energy use by 14 to 20%, and an ice maker is often the first part of the refrigerator to fail.

Kitchen Stoves and Ovens do not come with ENERGY STAR labels, but you can still make good energy choices. Self-cleaning ovens are usually the most energy efficient for cooking because of added insulation, but if you use the self-cleaning feature more than once a month you'll use more energy than you'll save. Convection ovens allow food to be cooked on all racks, reducing cooking time and energy use. The new type of flat top electric ovens are easier to clean, but they take longer to heat up and use more electricity.

Dishwashers come in compact and standard capacities. Compact models use less energy but hold fewer dishes. Using a compact dishwasher more often can result in greater energy use. Look for dishwasker features like "energy-saving" and "short-wash" cycles so you can use less water and save energy when appropriate. Air-drying uses considerably less energy than heat-drying.

Content updated on 12/3/2004

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