Is the upgrade worth the investment in terms of money?
Today’s technology is consistently changing and continues to find ways to upgrade our lives in some way, shape, or form. Being human, many of us want to stay up to date with the changes by updating our televisions with its picture looking life-like or buying a new vehicle that can parallel park for us in a couple of seconds. On top of that, our appliances are getting significant upgrades as well. One of the newest claims is that they help the average consumer save energy and money compared to their old device. That sounds like a great deal: saving money while we channel our “Captain Plane Planeteers” by saving the planet at the same time. However claims like can make some people skeptic, considering the cost of a new appliance. Yes, we all want to save money, and we thought it IS a bonus when we protect the Earth from global warming and such at the same time, but will this simple swap make a significant difference in money and energy? Here are some everyday appliances worth taking a look into.
- Refrigerator – A new Energy Star certified fridge can cost you around $1000. If your fridge is still in working condition, is it worth replacing your old fridge? The verdict: perhaps. If your refrigerator is older than when you purchased Nsync’s new CD, times have changed, and the savings are significant enough to make up for the purchase. However, if it was purchased within a 20 years span, then the savings will not add up to the new fridge’s lifetime. An exception to this rule is if you have 2 refrigerators in your place, you can upgrade to a super-size refrigerator which will leave one fridge that’s running, and we are talking about working fridge, not the running you hear about in prank phone calls.
- Washing Machines – For the average price of $750, you can buy a brand new Energy Star washing machine. So is it worth replacing that washing machine that came with the house back in the 1980’s? Yes, especially if you are switching from an average washing machine to a front loader or a high-efficiency model. Not only did the washing machine get an upgrade on saving energy, but many washers are now HE to help conserve water consumption. So not only will you be saving on your energy bill, but you would be saving water and money on your water bill as well.
- Dryers – Yes, we put them in a separate category for one reason. To get straight to the point: upgrading your dryer is not worth the money overall. Dryers use heated air to dry your clothes and upgrading to a newer model will not decree the need for temperature and time that is required. There is no such thing as a “magic” dryer that’ll consume less energy to accumulate this heat. Our recommendation is to keep your dryer and if you want to save some money drying your clothes, hang them on a clothesline and let them air dry.
- Air Conditioners – With summer coming just around the corner, many consumers are preparing for the hot, sticky summer months by dusting off their a/c window units and getting their central air maintained. Plus, air conditioning is one of those household appliances that consume the most wattage per hour, which makes our bills higher as well. Before you drag old yella up from the basement, would you save even more money and energy by buying an energy efficient unit? This one is a toss-up. Some experts say if your unit is still working and your energy bills are low enough as it is, then you should not invest in a new one. However, some experts say if it is over 10 years old, replacing it would be worth it since you would be saving an average of 20% overall. Also, many HVAC experts recommend replacing a/c units if they are over the age of 15 since the average lifespan of the unit can be up to 15 years in general. Take these factors into consideration the next time you decide to get your unit maintained or put it in the window.
So, as you can see, there are some upgrades you can make in your home that is worth the money spent on overall, and there are some that might not be worth it unless you want to keep up with the times and the technology. However, as you can see, some upgrades can help everyday people, and there are some upgrades that ordinary people might not want or need. However, just like food products, when the label claims to be “Fat-Free” but it isn’t necessarily healthy for you to eat, appliances are worth getting a deeper look into the “Energy Star Certified” label. Is it worth it for YOU?