Buying an Appliance? Use Research and Reviews from GreenSpec
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How to use the GreenSpec product guide--even if it doesn't list the product you need. I hate shopping. I'll do the grocery shopping, but when it comes to new appliances, home improvement, clothes--really anything else--I tell the shopp... We needed a new kitchen range hood , as the old one is loud and completely ineffective. We weren't in the market for an in-line fan, which is a great option where appropriate. We rent one half of a duplex from our landlady, who lives in the other half of the duplex, and we don't have a big budget for a range hood in a rental unit that we won't be in forever. Nonetheless, we wanted the best we could get within our budget. The GreenSpec team has recently reviewed HVAC ventilation options , and established criteria for range hoods in particular. GreenSpec reminds us to size the hood appropriately, and to look for something quiet and efficient--and given the range of high-efficiency options, we have set GreenSpec's recommendations as exceeding Energy Star criteria. I passed the household shopper the recommended specs along as basic guidance on what to look for. He first checked GreenSpec, and while there are some amazing products in there, they were out of our modest price range for the rental unit. He then discovered a lot of the model numbers on the Energy Star list weren't readily available--product numbers change faster than Energy Star's updated list--but products with specs at least as good were available. We ended up going with the Broan QS130BC Bisque Convertible Range Hood from Amazon, because it was relatively cheap (on sale for $132), quiet (1.5 sones at normal speed), and appropriately sized (110 cfm at normal speed), and it's also HVI 2100-certified for performance, with a dishwasher-cleanable filter. We didn't end up going with a product in GreenSpec because our needs (and price range) were a bit different, but reviewing GreenSpec's criteria gave us a head start on what to pay attention to in searching for a product. GreenSpec lists the best of the best for products, but if for some reason you're looking for something that doesn't quite fit the criteria we've set, the guide still gives a jumpstart on what to keep an eye out for in the selection process. Note: GreenSpec links are accessible to BuildingGreen Suite subscribers.