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WTF is NSF? A guide to understanding appliance certification labels

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Edgar Williams
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Shopping for a large appliance like a refrigerator or a washing machine can be a pretty difficult task.

Not only do you have to consider things like size, style, functionality, and aesthetic, but you also have to decipher those little symbols emblazoned on the side of your soon-to-be new household fixture.

The Energy Star program was started by the EPA in 1992 under the authority of the Clean Air Act in order to encourage manufacturers to create energy-efficient products and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Computers were among the first products to receive Energy Star labels, but the program has expanded to include office equipment products, heating and cooling equipment, home electronics, lighting, and of course, major appliances like refrigerators.

What they say: Under EPA s leadership, American consumers, businesses, and organizations have made investments in energy efficiency that are transforming the market for efficient products and practices, creating jobs, and stimulating the economy, writes Energy Star.

Energy Star products may also be subjected to off-the-shelf tests throughout the year to ensure that manufacturers are producing energy efficient devices.

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Edgar Williams
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