When a major household appliance needs replacing, you might be tempted to save some money by purchasing a used or refurbished one. However, what you save at the checkout counter often could end up costing you in higher utility bills, not to mention potential repair bills.
Major appliances produced today are more efficient than ever because manufacturers continually redesign appliances so that they consume less electricity and water. Appliances carrying the ENERGY STAR label have been certified as more energy efficient than those models without the label. To show you how far appliances have come in terms of energy and water efficiency, consider this: A 20-cubic foot refrigerator manufactured in 1991 consumes, on average, more than 857 kWh a year while a 22-cubic foot refrigerator manufactured in 2012 consumes only 452 kWh a year – that’s costing you more than half again on your electricity bill and a substantial gain in capacity! That amounts to over $50 savings per year for the typical American household. Also, an average dishwasher manufactured in 1991 consumes 2.67 kWh per cycle compared with one made in 2012 that consumes only 1.30 kWh. That saves the average household $53 each year on their electricity bill. Some states and utility companies will also offer sizable rebates when you purchase new energy efficient appliances and even when you properly dispose of your old appliances.
But efficiency isn’t the only reason to choose a new appliance. Safety should be taken into consideration. When you buy a secondhand appliance, you may not know if the previous owner has properly maintained the appliance, which contributes to the life expectancy of an appliance.
Appliances are also recyclable. According to the Steel Recycling Institute, 90 percent of major home appliances are recycled so you can rest assured knowing that that old refrigerator isn’t going to rust away in a landfill – it may have a new life as a car or even a clothes dryer. On the whole, a new product, when designed with sustainability and recyclability in mind, from a life cycle approach, may be a far better deal than a used one.
Major appliances offer long useful lives too! According to a survey of consumers conducted by AHAM which asked appliance longevity, it showed that the average life of a chest freezer is 15 years and an electric range is 16 years.
Don’t think twice about buying a new appliance. It makes sense—saving you money, energy, and peace of mind, all while gaining new features!