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Do Eco Settings on Your Appliances Really Save Energy?

Economy settings have become a standard option on nearly all modern appliances. They purport to put the decision about energy conservation in the consumer's hands: Do you run the machine in its normal mode, or use the most economical setting to burn up less power and marginally reduce your contribution to carbon pollution and climate change? Eco-settings give manufacturers bragging rights that they are doing their part to produce more efficient electrical work. However, some people question whether economy settings really do anything to reduce our electricity consumption, and suspect they might even be counterproductive. Read on to learn why.

Economy vs. Standard Settings in Your Electrical Work

You see economy buttons on all kinds of electrical devices and appliances these days, from televisions to video game consoles to bigger-ticket items like washing machines and dishwashers. These settings offer energy savings of 10 percent or more, and generally are legitimate; although there have been isolated reports of manufacturers attempting to deceive energy testing measures, usually the economy settings are included in good faith, with companies preferring to avoid legal or reputational consequences if they are caught manipulating the tests.

However, eco-modes only save energy if people use them. And in many cases, people choose not to, for a variety of reasons. For one thing, the performance of various appliances under eco-settings might simply be unsatisfactory. For example, some people complain that reduced power settings on their television leave them barely able to see the screen. There are also reports of clothes dryers that don't dry clothes and dishwashers that don't wash dishes. Reduced power settings don't save any energy at all if you have to run the appliance twice.

Don't Be Fooled into Buying an Inefficient Device

That's not to say that all economy modes don't make the grade, but their overall reputation can suffer from a few bad apples. If consumers hear that the lowest power setting in a neighbor's dishwasher doesn't get the job done, they might be reluctant to try that option in their own unit, even if it's a different make or model.

What's more, the ratings system used by the federal Energy Star program takes into account the economy setting mode when making its decisions. That means you could purchase a piece of equipment that has the coveted Energy Star certification, only to find out that you don’t like the conservation settings and are less than satisfied with the purchase.

Finding the Most Efficiency in Your Electrical Work

One way to ensure that you are buying an appliance whose economy setting meets your needs is to read online reviews, in lieu of simply relying on the Energy Star rating. If you need help picking out high-efficiency appliances, or need help with any other electrical work, contact a trusted local electrician today.

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