The Benefits of Energy-Efficient Appliances

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There are a lot of awesome advantages and opportunities that come with owning your personal abode. In a detached home, you have plenty of indoor privacy, you don’t have to worry about being noisy, and you can really lay into your decorations and design choices in the ways that suit your own tastes. There is also freedom and security that comes with any self-owned property—home-building and nesting are very natural to us, and not feeling like we’re at the liberty of a landlord is certainly the more natural and preferred order, as well. However, owning your own place also comes with some snags now and then, almost all of which have a dreaded financial impact.

One major slap at the happiness of homeownership is the unpredictable faltering of appliances. Maybe the machines came with your home purchase or maybe they’re hand-me-downs you’ve dragged along, but when you’re rushing to wash your favorite work presentation outfit or the kids’ soccer uniforms and a laundry machine bites the dust, we are all equalized by the trauma of that moment. There is never a great time for any appliance to break down; not to say that wearing a different outfit is the end of the world, but a broken appliance typically means hours of research, shopping, hundreds of dollars spent on a new machine, potentially scheduling delivery and installation, and a whole host of other things that no one wants to spend their precious free time on.

Perhaps you are starting fresh altogether, and that’s fine, too. In that case, it would be advised to get a good warranty and periodically remembering to be thankful there are still a good number of years before you may have to face your own broken-appliance nightmare. But, for you, and for all in the position of purchasing a new appliance, the most critical advice to offer is to get yourself some cost-saving energy-efficient appliances.

Regardless of the brand, certified energy-efficient appliances last longer and save more money than their market counterparts. The Energy Star logo is a now-globally recognized icon that helps consumers easily distinguish energy-efficient machines from the rest of the pack. Once upon a time, finding an energy-efficient appliance was difficult and costly, but now that these units are in such high demand, the market has become more saturated with options, driving prices down to values that are equal to, or sometimes even less than, the sticker prices of non-energy-efficient machines.

Any initial skepticism about investing in an energy efficient appliance can be discarded based on market prices alone; if the machines cost the same, why not save a buck from hereon out? There’s still room to wonder, though, whether or not purchasing the green option will really net any long-term savings.

And the answer to that is an emphatic “yes”!

Since you’re buying appliances, you’re likely living somewhere where you’re also responsible for the electric and utility bills, which are major players in the at-home money-saving scheme. Energy-efficient appliances tend to use less water, have shorter or more efficient cycles made for different washing, and consume less energy over time (think power from your wall socket).

Selecting even one or two energy-efficient appliances can decrease your bills and save hundreds of dollars before that machine has even reached half of its lifespan, but your actual use of appliances matters when cutting costs, too. Learn about the new features of your machine by asking questions in-store, reading tutorials online, or following along with Youtube videos. 

Make the most of various options, including choosing the lightest rinses, coolest cycles, and shortest washes that you can when cleaning clothes and dishes. If your household accumulates lots of dirty dishes and clothing often, be sure that your machines are fully loaded before running them as often as possible. You can also ensure the longevity of your refrigerator and freezer by checking their door seals for airtight quality over time. In a number of years, if your seals have become loose, they can be repaired or replaced to keep the cool in and the energy cost out.

Dollar after dollar, while you are saving your own money with your new energy-efficient investments, you are also helping save costs and energy around the globe. Since Energy Star and energy-efficient appliances have grown in popularity over the past 20+ years, these machines have been proven to save billions of utility dollars for consumers. While that could mean an extra day of vacation for our family, these energy and money-related savings also continue to make a huge impact on our planet’s wellness.

Water is another incredibly key resource that energy-efficient appliances conserve. Before technological advances, our machines wasted literal tons of water with their pre-set rinse options. Now, many appliances are built with the capability to assess and react to their job commands with auto-sensing features. These cycles are meant to optimize workload and output. For appliances like dishwashers and laundry machines, information like the soil-level of the load and load size can be detected and treated accordingly by the machine’s smart choices. For other energy-efficient products like air purifiers, air conditioners, and dehumidifiers, these sensors may focus more on stemming the flow of energy use to react to the needs of the space they are in, rather than running an appliance on full-blast all day and night, hoping for the best.

Some of these green options may only net a minor personal return year after year (meaning smaller or less frequently used appliances), but across the planet, these seemingly modest energy-efficient changes become one giant aid to help combat issues with climate change and uncharacteristically rapid loss of our natural resources. And if contributing to the greater good doesn’t really light your fire, we’ve already established that that energy-efficient appliances cost roughly the same as their counterparts, so at least some cash return is better than no return at all!

Resources – Energystar.gov, Energy.gov, Direct Energy

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