Getting Your Money’s Worth: Are Energy-Efficient Appliances and Accessories Really Worth the Cost?
Energy-efficient appliances are designed to help you save on utilities – and, as a result, save you money as well. How can you tell which energy-efficient options will provide the best return on your investment when you choose new appliances and accessories for your home? These tips will help.
Replacing your old, drafty windows with new, energy-efficient models can help you reduce your home’s heating and cooling costs. While window replacement is an expensive remodel, you’ll start seeing savings immediately and will likely feel more comfortable in your draft-free home, too. Expect to break even in a few years, depending on just how bad your original windows were.
A thermostat that you can program to maintain your home at a comfortable temperature at all times will help you cut your monthly energy bill. Resisting the urge to turn your system up when you are cold and down when you are hot can help cut your energy costs, too; the constant yo-yoing of your home’s temperature is costly and won’t result in a more comfortable home. Using a smart, programmable thermostat to keep your home consistently comfortable can have an immediate impact on your energy bills. A smart thermostat can pay for itself in two to five years, depending on how warm or cool you like your home to be and how frequently you adjust the unit.
- According to Energy Star, getting rid of your old refrigerator and replacing it with a new, efficient model can save you about $150 per year. If your current refrigerator is more than a decade old, you’ll see even greater savings.
- Switching to a high-efficiency washer and dryer can help you cut your annual utility costs – but not as much as switching to laundering your clothing with cold water. The cost of heating your water to wash your laundry far outstrips the cost of running the machine itself, so making the switch to cold temperatures can help you save.
The amount of time it takes to see an improvement in your energy use and utility costs will vary and depends on a variety of factors, from how much you are spending on your current setup to the particular appliance or improvement you choose for your home.