Great strides have been made in the past 20 years increasing the efficiency of household appliances. In almost all cases, the small price premium of an efficient model over a standard one means it makes sense to opt for the more efficient model when buying new appliances. Deciding whether to replace an existing appliance with a more efficient model requires more careful consideration. Here is a breakdown of the most common appliances and whether it makes sense to upgrade to a more efficient model from an existing model.
Furnaces and Air Conditioners
The most important consideration in keeping heating and cooling bills low is to properly insulate your house. Timberpeg® houses are carefully designed with higher whole wall r-values and attention to detail for an airtight envelope. We use Structural Insulated Panel (SIPs) and rigid insulation as opposed to fiberglass in the walls creating an incredibly energy efficient home. By keeping your heat inside the house in the winter and the hot air out during the summer, your furnace and air conditioner will need to work less often, saving you money and energy use year round.
If you are thinking about updating a furnace, compare the efficiency of your current model to possible replacements. Current Energy Star® certified furnaces have efficiencies of up to 98 percent, while older models average around 80 percent. This means a new, efficient furnace could use about 20 percent less energy per year resulting in the purchase of a new furnace possibly paying itself off within a few years depending on how much heat you use. Similarly, modern air conditioners are up to 30 percent more efficient than earlier models. If your air conditioning unit is over 20 years old you should consider replacing it.
Washers and Dryers
Modern front-loading washers use about half the water and 40 percent less energy than older top-loading models. Modern Energy Star® models on average cost about $750, but can save $135 a year in water and electricity. Since this pays off in just over 5 years, consider replacing your washer if it is a top-loading model, but it probably makes sense to keep a front loading model if you already have one. There have been no major advances in the efficiency of dryers, so little in fact that Energy Star® does not even rate dryers. As long as your existing dryer works, there is no reason to replace it for the reasons of energy savings. Of course, if you line-dry your clothes, then you can save a great deal of energy on each load of laundry.
Refrigerators and Dishwashers
Refrigerators are now about 50 percent more efficient than models from ten years ago. Upgrading to a new model from one 20 years old can save up to $200 a year in energy costs, but replacing a model less than 10 years old may only save $20 a year or so. On the other hand, modern dishwashers use about half the water of earlier models, but don’t use significantly less energy. You can expect to save less than $10 a month by upgrading the dishwasher, so if your current model is in working order it won’t pay to replace it. Are you ready to start planning your timber frame home, complete with energy-efficient appliances? Then contact Timberpeg to get started today.