older appliances

graph_appliance electricity


What to Know

Appliances account for about 13% of your home energy costs, led by refrigeration and laundry. They are part of our daily lives and their constant use can add up to significant energy use. The energy efficiency of most appliances has skyrocketed in recent years. Often paired with that enhanced efficiency is better performance in general.


What to Do

Because of these significant efficiency gains for appliances, most of the time it’s more cost effective to replace an appliance than to repair it.  A general rule of thumb: when the repair cost is greater than a third of the replacement cost, it’s more cost effective to go ahead and replace the unit. Always look for ENERGY STAR models.

If you buy one of today’s most energy-efficient refrigerators, it will use less than half the energy of a model that’s 12 years old. ENERGY STAR clothes washers use 50 percent less energy than other standard models and at least a third less water. Replacing a pre-1994 washer with an ENERGY STAR model can save a family $110 a year on energy bills — $25 for doing the same with a dishwasher.


Additional Resources:

Natural Resources Defense Council efficient appliances information

How to make your washer/dryer work for you (LEAP blog post)


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