Do Energy-Efficient Home Appliances Really Save You Money?
One of the easiest ways to cut your monthly utility costs is to replace those outdated home appliances with the energy-efficient variety. Though you will certainly have to plunk down a nice chunk of change to purchase new home appliances, these high-tech machines pay for themselves in the long run. Consider the fact that the typical household in the United States spends $2,200 each year on energy. According to Energy Star, about half of this yearly total is spent on heating and cooling. Appliances like dishwashers, washing machines, dryers and refrigerators chew up about 13 percent of the total. Another 12 percent is attributable to lighting. About 14 percent is used up when heating water. Let’s take a look at how much you can save by upgrading to energy-efficient home appliances.
Your Savings Depends on the Appliance Being Replaced
If you replace a dishwasher that is less than five years old with an energy-efficient model, you are unlikely to enjoy a major savings as the dishwasher accounts for a small percentage of your total energy use. Alternatively, if you substitute an energy-efficient appliance for one of your home’s major appliances that is ten years or older, you really will enjoy meaningful savings. Antiquated home appliances simply do not compare to the current federal energy standards. As an example, a brand new energy-efficient refrigerator uses half the energy or even less than half the energy of a refrigerator that is a dozen years old.
Consider a family that replaces its washer from the early 1990s with an Energy Saver model. The typical family of four would save around $110 each year on utility bills after making such a switch. Keep in mind the typical major appliances is likely to last a decade or two at most. Opt for a new model with the latest technology and it is likely to prove useful that much longer.
Be Strategic When Shopping for new Home Appliances
Try to think of your home’s appliances as items with dual price tags. One of these price tags shows the initial cost of buying the appliance. The second price tag is unseen; this tag represents the true cost of operating the appliance across its estimated useful life. You will have to cover the cost of both price tags across the appliance’s lifespan as a component of your monthly energy expense.
Take a look at the yellow EnergyGuide label to get an idea of what it will cost to operate the appliance you have your sights set on. Purchase an ENERGY STAR product and you will have done your part to minimize the cost of the second, unseen price tag. ENERGY STAR refrigerators and washing machines are 20 percent more energy-efficient than conventional models. These green dishwashers use a mere 5.8 gallons of water in a single cycle as compared to the 10 gallons used in dishwashers from the 1990s.
Be Patient and Watch the Savings Add Up
The total amount of money you save each year after making the transition to energy-efficient appliances ultimately hinges on the size of your household and the age of your current appliances. Bite the bullet, pay what it costs to add new energy-efficient appliances to your home and this investment will gradually pay for itself in due time through reduced utility bills. Even if you decide to sell your home before you completely recoup the investment, the presence of energy-efficient appliances in your home will prove to be quite the strong selling point.