Appliance Certifications | What Do They Really Mean?


It’s always great to hear that your appliances are certified.  We know we should look for the different stickers or stamps of approval, but we might not necessarily know what they mean.  That’s why we’re going to talk about some of the more common Appliance Certifications so you can understand just what they mean.

Energy Star

The Energy Star Certification has been around since 1992, helping people find appliances that are energy efficient.  That little blue star signifies that your appliances have met or even surpassed energy efficiency standards set by the EPA and US Department of Energy.  Appliances must undergo rigorous third party testing in EPA recognized labs and need to offer significant energy savings while still offering the features consumers want in order to earn that star.


Founded in 1944, NSF International (formerly National Sanitation Foundation) has been working to ensure that products meet public health and safety standards.  Much like the Energy Star Certification, products must go through extensive third party testing.  They also must pass on-site inspections, testing, and regular re-testing.  Washers, dryers, dishwashers, and water filters are just a few examples of appliances that may be NSF certified.


For over 120 years, UL (Underwriters Laboratories) has aimed to promote safety, both at home and in the working environment going as far back as the initial adoption of electricity.  They’re also one of the few agencies approved for safety testing by OSHA.

UL certifies, inspects, verifies, and tests products while working to develop standards.  In order to become UL certified, products have to go through a number of tests to ensure they meet the safety and energy efficiency specifications.  Small appliances, major & commercial appliances, and even HVAC/R systems can be eligible.

Yes, there are other certifications out there but we hope this helps to give you a better idea of just what your appliances have to go through to earn some of the more familiar ones.  If you did find this helpful, be sure to like it and to share it with a friend!  If you have any questions for us or suggestions for future posts we’d love to see them in the comments.

Written by: Sarah Walker

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