As the tax rebate checks go out .... it's expected the sale of appliances and electronics will get a boost. And you can get the most bang for your buck if you buy items that use less energy. Paula Toti shows you when it's time to upgrade and.. when it may be time to wait.
With any upgrade, energy use should be a consideration. The front loading washing machine is nice ... and so is a new fridge .... but if you're thinking of making an upgrade to an Energy Star rated appliance just to save money .... energy auditor Dale Dennis says think twice.
Take that washer. "If you're spending a couple of hundred dollars to upgrade .. Based on today's rates, it's going to take about 6 - 8 years to make of the cost based on the upgrade, but it does pay you back. "
Dale suggests waiting to upgrade appliances until they're worn out. In fact refrigerators aren't the energy drain they were ten years ago.
"So a fridge can consume less energy today then some of our larger tv sets."
That was a shock to me ... those 40 and 50 inch flat screen TV's can draw 500 watts ... shop carefully. So here's something to think about. If you need an upgrade wait until fall.
Now the Energy Star rating on a new set is only for when the set is in stand-by mode .. basically off ... not when it's turned on. Dale says much of our energy savings around the house can come from better habits. Check out a small espresso makers. "So plug this in .. Put it to watts."
And watch it use more than a thousand watts while operating. A good reason to turn it off as soon as possible. And the meter on this house moves a lot faster ... when just a few kitchen lights are turned on.
"That would be 30 bucks a month maybe."
Another place to watch ... all the electronics --- like dvd players. Dale has seen the stacks of clocks and hard drives taking 100 watts just in stand by mode. Fortunately at this home it's only 8.
Finally the appliance that will likely draw the most juice at your house this summer is the air conditioner. Keeping it tuned up and cleaned can help with it's efficiency.
For a discussion on what to look for in an air conditioner check up ... and how often you might want to do it ... you can watch a discussion on that topic I had with Dale Dennis by clicking on the video link.