Biden anti-consumer crusade targets 4 more types of appliances

The appliance regulations of 2023 were unusually bad, and the future will not be any better unless Congress can find a solution to this nonsense.

Richard Trumka Jr. announced in January that he was investigating the safety of gas stoves. He boasted about a possible ban. This sparked a strong consumer backlash. The Biden administration then denied that a potential ban was being considered.

The CPSC still went ahead with their inquiry. In February, Team Biden launched a regulatory attack on stoves in the form of a Department of Energy (DOE), efficiency standard. The proposal is more strict on gas stoves as compared to electric versions. This is part of the administration’s multi-pronged campaign against natural gas usage, which it justifies with climate change arguments.

Biden regulators are proposing regulations for other appliances as well, which could be just as bad, if not worse. These regulations, like the rest of Biden’s energy plan, put climate change ahead of consumer interests.


1. Dishwashers

The dishwashers are already the most heavily regulated appliances, as they have been subjected four successive rounds of tighter restrictions on how much energy and water can be used. The DOE regulations are responsible for dishwashers taking two hours or longer to clean a full load of dishes. This is up from one hour with models that predate the federal standards.

The cleaning performance has also been affected. The rules have led to many consumers having to wash their dishes by themselves before or after putting them in the dishwasher. This is not only a hassle, but it also undermines the rationale for saving energy and water behind the rule. DOE, however, has not learned anything and now wants to increase the requirements, claiming that this will help consumers and fight climate change.

2. Air Conditioners

Regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency and DOE are having a large impact on residential central air conditioners. The cumulative effect is still increasing. The new DOE efficiency standard, which took effect in 2023, is increasing the cost of installing a new air conditioner by at least $1,000. Climate change measures from the EPA will increase prices of new units and refrigerants for existing systems in 2024.

The new, climate-friendly air conditioners that are about to be launched come with an increased risk of flammability.

3. Washing Machines

In 1994, 2004, 2007 and 2015, the water and energy limits for washing machines were also tightened. The machines use so little that many homeowners are forced to make do with improvised methods to clean their clothes. Some people have added a couple of buckets of water to their washing machines mid-cycle to improve the performance. Others risked voiding their warranty by fiddling with the machine to increase the flow.

Mold accumulation, which was not a problem until Washington regulators started regulating washing machines, is now common. It can cause bad smells and staining on clothes. The Biden administration DOE proposes to make these problems worse by imposing stricter water and energy limits.

4. Furnaces

It makes sense that there are different types of furnaces available because no two homes are the same. DOE, however, does not see it this way. Its recently approved efficiency standard for furnaces outlaws natural gas furnaces which are the most cost-effective for millions of homeowners.

The rule, in particular, eliminates non-condensing models of gas furnaces and replaces them with condensing ones. Condensing gas furnaces are more energy efficient, and therefore comply with the new rule. However, they are also more expensive and are not compatible with many existing homes with non-condensing gas furnaces.

Most of the victims of these one-size fits all standards are the owners of older, smaller houses with low incomes. It will be very expensive and difficult to replace an old noncondensing unit with a condensing unit.

Congress has begun to take action. The House of Representatives passed bills to preemptively repeal any stove regulations, and is now considering the same thing for other appliances.

It won’t come easy. Any repeal bill would need to be approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate, and signed into law. This is a difficult task because the president refuses to acknowledge regulatory errors and never takes homeowners’ side over bureaucrats or climate activists.

The fight to bring back sanity in the appliance industry must begin now. This will allow for the corrective measures that may be necessary if the political winds shift enough for them to become possible.