We all know the trusty 30-year-old fridge or washing machine that your grandma gave you when you moved out of home is built to last. As such, it can be hard to get rid of, but chances are it’s an energy sucker. Energy-efficiency has come a long way in recent years, and it’s often one of the biggest things people look out for when buying a new appliance. So, sorry grandma, but the old trusty appliance from the 1980s is going to have to be put aside.
If you’re looking at replacing some of your old household appliances and want the best of the best when it comes to energy efficiency, we’ve got your covered. Canstar Blue has been through the huge selection of white goods available from Appliances Online and other leading brand websites to find you the most energy efficient products from each major category – from refrigerators to washing machines – so you’ll know what to look for when you go appliance shopping. In cases where there were several models tied for being the most efficient, we picked the cheaper models.
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Fridges are pretty easy to figure out. Often, the smaller the fridge, the more energy efficient it is, but it still pays to refer to the energy rating of each fridge you’re looking at. The biggest Swedish powerhouse since ABBA, Electrolux, dominated the rankings with three 5 star rated models at Appliances Online, all priced in the middle-upper $1,000 mark. So without further ado…
Electrolux ETE4607SA-R 460L Top Mount Refrigerator
This bad boy isn’t very ‘white goods-y’ at all – in fact, it’s finished in stainless steel. It stands about the average male height – 172cm and has a width and depth of 699mm and 773mm respectively. Its fridge volume is 341L, which places it in the smaller range of fridge sizes, and its freezer volume is rather large at 119L. Most importantly, its energy consumption is 260kWh, which gives it a 5 star energy rating.
To aid in this 5 star rating, Electrolux has employed both an ‘eco-mode’ and a ‘holiday mode’ to help bring down costs when you’re not using the fridge. It’s deemed ‘best in class’ for energy efficiency and its features aren’t compromised. It comes with ‘FreshPlus’ cooling and ‘FreshZone’ double-insulated sealed crispers. Overall, expect this fridge to cost around $1,700, which places it in the premium-end of the fridge world, but its energy efficiency is outstanding.
- 5 stars out of 5 for energy efficiency
Buying a dishwasher can be a confusing process with all of the different types of dishwashers out there, including integrated, freestanding, dish-drawers and so on. You may find it helpful to consult our buying guide if you’re washed with confusion.
There is only one 6 star dishwasher on Appliances Online, and it has come from left of field. It’s by V-Zug – a seriously quality Swiss appliance brand. So let’s see how this V-Zug dishwasher earned its stripes.
V-Zug ‘Adora’ GS60SLZWPVI Fully Integrated Dishwasher
Finished in a rather ominous-looking matte grey metal, the Adora doesn’t look very adorable, but it is what’s on the inside that really counts. It features a massive nine washing programs, and comes with a half-load option as well as a quick wash cycle function. It features a limescale sensor, adjustable upper basket and has a digital display for easy cycle selection.
It’s a larger unit, suited for four or more people. That doesn’t mean it’s an obnoxious size though – it’s less than 90cm tall and operates at 46 decibels – barely louder than a whisper. It earned a 6 star energy rating, and uses a low 111kWh of energy. It also boasts a 5 star water rating, using 11.2L per cycle. Expect to pay a fairly hefty sum of around $4,500 for this dishwasher, but for top quality and energy efficiency, you may find the price is worth it.
- 6 stars out of 6 for energy efficiency
There’s a great divide in the washing machine world: Are you a front loader or a top loader household? Each have their benefits and drawbacks, but as far as all-out energy efficiency is concerned, you can’t really go past a front loader. One such front loader brand to dominate the rankings is another Swedish powerhouse – Asko. Let’s see how it fared.
Asko W6444A 7kg Front Loader Washing Machine
With a 7kg capacity, this Asko front loader washing machine gets the perfect 5 stars for energy efficiency! And while this is an article about energy efficiency, we definitely think it’s worth mentioning that this particular washing machine also ranks high for water efficiency – 4.5 stars. It contains a massive 10 pre-programmed functions, and perhaps most noteworthy, a reload function. This allows you to toss in that stray sock you left out without having to cause chaos.
It boasts 220kWh energy consumption, and for water uses a relatively measly 60L of water a cycle. Considering top loaders can easily use twice the energy and twice the water, we think this one is a winner. At around $1,500 it’s a high-end washing machine, but the trade-off is more efficient operation.
- 5 stars out of 5 for energy efficiency
Let’s face it, clothes dryers are never going to be the most efficient appliances. Not all are made equal, however. As far as efficiency goes, you can’t really beat a heat pump dryer. Heat pump dryers basically work in reverse of an air conditioner – they bring warm air from outside to dry the clothes. One such brand that’s drying up the competition is LG.
LG TD-C801H 8kg Heat Pump Clothes Dryer
Did you think the energy efficiency scale only went to 5? We hate to break it to you, but you’d be wrong – the scale actually extends up to 10 for some appliances, with those scoring 5.5 stars or more deemed to be ‘super-efficient’. Enter this heat pump clothes dryer from LG with a whopping 7 stars for energy efficiency!
It comes with 14 different drying programs, including specific cycles for both delicates and anti-creasing, and has an 8kg capacity. It’s packed full of sensors to determine things like temperature and moisture among other variables. With 7 stars of its energy efficiency, it has an energy usage of just 148kWh. This makes it costly compared to some other dryers at around $1,500, but we suspect the trade-off might be worth it.
- 7 stars out of 7 for energy efficiency
Perhaps the most notorious black sheep for energy inefficiency, you have to be generally careful with air conditioners as running them constantly can blow out your power bill. Some are worse than others, but luckily brands such as Daikin are working to change air conditioners’ bad raps.
Daikin Ururu Sarara 7 (US7) 2.5kw Split System Air Conditioner
Certified to be ‘the most energy efficient split system air conditioner in Australia’, Daikin’s US7 model air conditioner has a 7 star super-efficiency rating – hence the name. It’s also packed with features such as automatic self-cleaning and the ability to humidify, dehumidify, ventilate and purify, and it likely won’t terrify you the next time the electricity bill comes round.
The US7’s advanced functions also give it the ability to project conditioned air up to 12 metres from the unit, so energy efficiency isn’t the only thing that the US7 has going for it! It also has an optional Wi-Fi function that lets you control all settings from your smartphone or tablet. At 2.5kw, it’s a smaller unit suited to rooms around 20m² and expect to pay over $2,000 for the privilege of being energy efficient.
- 7 stars out of 7 for energy efficiency
Are these appliances right for me?
Although these appliances are undoubtedly energy efficient, they are also very costly. Before buying the latest and greatest, it’s worth it to consider how long it’ll take to recoup the cost of the unit price versus the energy savings. The next time you go shopping for new home appliances, you’ll hopefully be better informed about what energy efficiency really looks like.
When it doubt, you can always look for the star ratings sticker. It’s also important to do some research on the appliances you’re in need of in relation to your household – if it’s just you and Biggles the cat at home, chances are you don’t need a $4,000 dishwasher… though you might – who are we to judge? Happy shopping!