Going Green

Energy Efficient Appliances: Worth The Rating Or Overrated?

The appliances in our lives provide a certain amount of efficiency to the overall quality of our day to day multitasking lives. As with any technology, companies make changes to better their products. Aside from the general appearance of most appliances, the companies also made the appliances more energy efficient. On the other hand, the cost to do so puts a bigger dent in the consumer wallets begging the question, is it really worth the extra expense for an energy efficient appliance over traditional appliances?

The cost associated with buying an appliance doesn’t stop once you’ve completed your purchase. You still need to consider how your appliance will impact your utility bills. While your new traditional appliance may not have cost you as much initially, if it uses more water say for a dishwasher or washing machine, or more electric than it’s more energy efficient counterparts, did you really save? The answer, unfortunately, is no. For example, energy efficient washing machines not only use less water to wash the clothes, they typically spin the clothes at a higher rate of speed getting as much water out as possible. This, in turn, means less time in the dryer. This process also is more gentle on your clothing saving you from needing to replace worn out clothing as frequently. An added bonus, energy efficient washers don’t require as much detergent to do the same job further adding to the cost savings.

Lower utility bills are not the only benefit of energy-efficient appliances, they’re also beneficial to the planet. The less water, electricity, and gas each household uses definitely has a positive impact, so for that alone makes it worth it. If you’ve just purchased a home or have been living in a home with appliances that are over 10 years old, chances are they are not only a drain on the environment, but also your pocketbook. As things age, they naturally have to work harder, but can also be affecting other things in your home. For example, we have an older oven that we dare don’t use in the summer as much. It makes the house extremely hot and in turn, makes our air conditioning have to work longer than normal to keep the house comfortable.

If you’re not in the market to replace all of your appliances, here are some things to keep in mind. Pay attention to sales and promotions as most companies run a ton especially around the holidays and tax time. Take advantage of any rebates, including rebates from your power/gas company for turning in old appliances. If you’re looking for one of the biggest energy drains, your refrigerator is a big one and most power companies target that appliance specifically. Speaking of tax time, occasionally there are tax credits available if you make an energy-efficient update to your home. Be sure to check with your tax professional for those types of deductions.

While the upfront cost of buying an energy efficient appliance may seem like a lot, consider it a returning investment. Over time you should see a cost savings in your utility bill. Also don’t forget, if you’re putting your home on the market, be sure to highlight the fact that you have newer energy efficient appliances. Or better yet, use the appliances as a bargaining chip at the sales table. Many buyers, especially first time home buyers and energy-conscious buyers, want to know that they won’t have an added expense of buying new appliances in their future.

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