Most people dread the day their refrigerator, stove, washer, dryer, or dishwasher stops working, but purchasing new appliances can actually help you cut costs in the long run. That’s because older appliances tend to be inefficient and often waste water, natural gas, or electricity.
Choosing the Right Appliance
To ensure that the new appliance you’re purchasing is energy efficient, simply look for the Energy Star logo on the appliance itself, and be sure to check out the Energy Star Energy Guide for a detailed estimate of that appliance’s annual operating costs and how they compare to similar models. Any appliance you see with the Energy Star label has been deemed energy efficient by the federal government. However, some models are more energy efficient than others, so pay attention to how models with similar features stack up against one another.
Washing Machines & Dryers
Do you know how old your washer is? If you purchased it before 2003, you’re most likely spending about $230 per year more than you should to run it. That’s because the newer Energy Star certified washers are approximately 25 percent more efficient and use up to 10 gallons of water less per load of laundry than older models. Energy Star dryers use 20 percent less energy than conventional models, thanks to moisture sensors that automatically turn the dryer off once your clothes are dry.
Like your washing machine and dryer, the age of your dishwasher can greatly impact its energy efficiency. Dishwashers manufactured prior to 1994 generally use at least 10 gallons of water per cycle, as compared with the 4.25 gallons used by newer dishwashers. Energy Star dishwashers have been designed with better dish racks, soil sensors, water filtrations systems, and spray jets, all of which add up to an average savings of $35 per year.
If you purchased your refrigerator before 1993, it’s probably time to replace it. New models with the Energy Star seal have improved insulation and compressors, which can save you 15 percent in energy usage. For maximum savings, it’s best to choose a refrigerator with the freezer on top rather than on the side or bottom.
Financial & Lifestyle Benefits
Upgrading all of your appliances to Energy Star models can save you a total of about $390 per year. On top of saving you money in operating expenses, energy-efficient appliances can also result in a tax refund when you file the necessary IRS paperwork. And beyond the financial benefits, the improved technology in your new appliances will allow you to enjoy cleaner dishes, food that stays fresher longer, and less wear and tear on your clothes from over laundering.
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