If you’re building a house, or simply in need of new appliances, it may seem a great idea to buy the most affordable appliances on the market. Because appliances are a major investment, many people opt to save money by purchasing used appliances, or buying the cheapest model. But is that always the smartest choice? Even at the cheapest electricity rates, older or less efficient models can be more costly to operate. While high efficiency options may not be the most affordable appliances, the money you’ll save on energy over the long run may be worth the higher initial investment.
All appliances are costly to run. This is a fact. You can reduce energy costs with common sense measures, like running the washer and dishwasher only with full loads, hanging clothes to dry whenever possible, and unplugging appliances while not in use – but there’s no denying that modern convenience runs up your energy costs.
Energy Star-compliant appliances can reduce energy costs significantly. For instance, replacing a ten-year-old refrigerator with an Energy Star-compliant model can mean a savings of about $100 per year in operating costs. Even when you’re comparing new appliances, Energy Star estimates that a compliant model will save you anywhere from 10 percent to a whopping 50 percent annually over one that might seem like a more affordable appliance. That is significant enough to warrant paying a “high efficiency premium” over what you’d have spent on more affordable appliances: because those cheaper appliances can grow more costly over time.
A high efficiency appliance also uses fewer resources. Research by the National Resources Defense Council, the U.S. Government, and other sources all arrive at the same conclusion: Energy Star-compliant appliances reduce greenhouse emissions, decrease water consumption, and ease our dependence on fossil fuels. If a goal is to reduce your carbon footprint, you might want to forgo the seemingly more affordable appliances, in favor of those that make better use of resources.
Older or cheaper appliances are more likely to break down.We expect our appliances to last for a long time, but sometimes with what seems to be an affordable appliance, repair costs may outweigh the savings. Many higher-end appliances, however, come with a ten-year warranty, which means that even if something does go wrong, you’re not left footing the bill.
When you’re shopping for appliances, it pays to do your homework to not just find the best price, but the best value. Affordable appliances may seem like a deal, but in the long run, they may be a drain on your budget.
Of course, another way to save money on operating appliances is to make sure you have a great, low fixed electricity rate. In Texas, that’s easy to do, because deregulation gives you the power to choose your electricity supplier. Cirro Energy offers smart money saving plans, online and mobile account management, convenient payment options, excellent customer service, and some of the lowest fixed rates in Texas. For more information, visit the website, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.