While most homeowners are familiar with Energy Star, the EPA-underwritten efficiency ratings service emblazoned across energy efficient appliances nationwide, few are aware that Energy Star is far from the only game in town. New ratings agencies—including two from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers—are making themselves known to homeowners looking for an efficiency upgrade. With these even higher efficiency standards, homeowners across Chicago and the rest of the nation need only call their local appliance removal specialist to responsibly dispose of underperforming laundry machines and dishwashers.

Open to clothes washers and dishwashers, AHAM’s verification programs will target water consumption and energy usage reduction as the primary targets for higher green ratings. The programs are open to AHAM members and nonmembers alike and, while appliance manufacturers can choose to opt out of the verification service, major conglomerates like Alliance Laundry Systems, GE Appliances, Whirlpool and Viking have already put their products up for scrutiny.

According to Energy Star, a typical household spends $2,200 a year on energy bills. With energy-rated products, you can save more than 30% or more than 700 per year, with similar savings of greenhouse gas emissions, without sacrificing features, style or comfort.

But a cost savings is not the only benefit of creating a greener household. Improvements in air quality, greenhouse gas emissions and local groundwater are all benefits of responsible appliance management. But this process doesn’t stop with the purchase of better appliances. When swapping your underperforming washer, dryer, dishwasher, water heater or any other appliance, it is important to call your Chicago appliance removal specialists to ensure that materials are recycled and harmful chemicals present in cooling appliances stay out of the groundwater, potentially harming your family. By partnering responsible appliance purchasing with responsible appliance removal, Chicago and the US will be a more beautiful place to live.