More Efficient Machines Use Less Power
If your refrigerator, washer and dryer, oven, water heater, and other appliances are getting on in years, the chances are they are consuming much greater amounts of power than newer models do to perform the same service. Older units will also need more care and repair making them more costly and time consuming to keep in operation. The Natural Resource Defense Council, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the environment, recommends replacement of units that are over a decade old. The recent rise in efficiency of newer models make it worthwhile in the long run to purchase more efficient models that will more than pay for themselves over the expected lifetime of the machine.
There are now federal standards that appliances must conform to which make units more effective by law. To take one example, the standard refrigerator sold today will use less than half as much electricity as a comparable model did built 12 years ago.
To see which brand offers the best energy saving, look for an Energy Star Label. These units will exceed the federally imposed mandates. A number of states and local areas offer rebate programs for models that carry this notification. It is different from the Energy Guide label that all appliances must carry. That guide though will detail the amount of power that a unit is expected to consume and should be used for comparison purposes when deciding which brand offers the most savings at the best price.
Determine the Right Size
Analyze your needs and figure out how much machine you actually need. Refrigerators, air conditioners, water heaters, and other appliances that have greater capacity than is needed in the home are wasting energy. If a smaller unit will do the job, get it instead. It will be cheaper both to buy and to operate.
If a choice is possible between a unit that runs on electricity and one that operates with natural gas, the unit that runs on natural gas will usually be cheaper to run. While it is hard to predict what energy costs will be like in the future, recent advances in technology have brought new supplies of natural gas onto the market resulting in a drop in prices. The cost of this fuel is expected to remain reasonable for the foreseeable future.
The more energy efficient appliances will typically cost more to initially purchase, but they will result in savings over the life span of the product. In the case of water using appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines, there will be a savings in water usage as well which can lower the cost of water bills.
When calculating costs and savings for an appliance, use a figure of twenty years to make a determination of value. Newer models are built to last at least this long with proper care and maintenance. The savings rate over this amount of time almost always makes the most efficient model the cheapest one as well.