Energy-Efficient Appliances: Are They a Good Investment?

Energy efficiency is the main focus of most all household appliance manufacturers, and government standards become more stringent every year, forcing further advances in the field. Is it financially worth the cost to buy kitchen and laundry appliances that focus on lowering your current energy bills?

How Much Is it Costing You?

According to Energy Star, the average annual household energy bill is approximately $2,200, and 13 percent goes toward their appliances. So the average household spends almost $300 per year to run its refrigerator, dishwasher and laundry machines.

Is it Time to Upgrade?

Assess your current energy bills. Are you spending much more than the average household? Are your appliances more than 10 years old? You may be the perfect candidate for an upgrade, especially since the older your appliances are, the less useful life they have left. Making a plan to invest in new, energy-saving appliances save you from the surprise of an old machine failing you when you most need it.

On the other hand, if you currently have fairly new energy-efficient appliances, you are most likely already seeing the benefits in your lower utility bills. If your appliances are not older than 10 years, you could upgrade to a product that has significantly advanced projected savings, but the overall financial benefit may not be worth the upfront investment.

Energy-Efficient Does Not Always Mean Expensive

Consumers may associate the term “energy efficiency” with a higher price tag. This is definitely no longer the case when it comes to buying appliances. The most expensive machines are the ones with the never-ending lists of extra features. It is possible to buy a simple appliance that conserves energy but does not exceed your budget.

For example, buying a refrigerator with the freezer on top can cost as little as $375, but opting for a side-by-side with an ice and water dispenser can raise the price to $580.

You should also not be tempted to buy a bigger appliance than you need. Match the size and capacity of all appliances to your household’s use, because a larger size only means a higher price and a higher operating cost.

Do Not Overlook Water Conservation

While much is made of appliance electricity use, water conservation is a major consideration as well, especially when buying a washing machine or dishwasher. Energy-efficient washing machines can use as much as 50 percent less water than machines over 10 years old. Energy-saving dishwashers use 5.8 gallons of water on average, but old machines use 10 gallons per load. You can almost cut your appliance water use in half by switching to energy-efficient appliances.

Buying Used May Be the Best Choice

In addition, since energy-efficient technology is now the new normal, you can choose to purchase a lightly used energy-efficient appliance and enjoy a discount on full sticker price. Used may be your best option if you are looking for ways to lower your utility bills while avoiding spending a lot of money upfront on upgrading.

Consult a reliable repair company for a professional diagnosis on the remaining useful life of your household machines, and to get advice on when it’s time to upgrade to energy-efficient appliances.