In my last piece, I focused on Energy Star appliances and the benefits they can have when added to kitchens. I cited my recent experience with my basement refrigerator and how my wife and I are now seriously looking into kitchen upgrades. However, aside from my personal experience I often dedicate this column to reader questions. In response, one reader asked me what the best way to locate Energy Star models would be, with a particular emphasis on cost.
I would recommend using the Energy Star Store Locator, which is a handy tool provided by its website. The service lets users simply add their zip code and then locates stores within a specific radius of the location. It's fairly simple to use, even for those like me who only use the internet to keep current on home improvement tips.
To get a more concentrated view, those who visit the website can select a number of different categories. For example, if you decide your home's lighting needs an upgrade, you can search for just light bulbs, or go ahead and search for all the retailers that carry light fixtures, ceiling fans or decorative light strings.
Similarly, those looking for just humidifiers or dehumidifiers can hone their search for this particular appliance. However, while Energy Star products are great and they can save you money, consumers may want to explore all their buying options before making even a small investment in room air conditioners.
By conducting their search online and looking for the best deals, consumers looking to cut their costs could find big savings. However, you should also remember that shipping costs should be evaluated as part of the deal, and that there isn't a substitute for a great return policy.