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Appliances – When to Upgrade

Jun 13, 2012

Do you have an old fridge in the garage, for keeping drinks and leftovers?

If you do, you are probably spending a lot more on your energy bills than you need to. Older appliances are a major source of energy drain in many homes; newer appliances are both smaller and more energy efficient.

How much energy do typical household appliances use and how much do they cost to run?

Typical consumption Cost per hour
Heat pump or central air 15,000 watts $1.50
Water heater or clothes dryer 4,000 watts .40 cents
Water pump 3,000 watts .30 cents
Space heater 1,500 watts .15 cents
Hair dryer 1,200 watts .12 cents
Electric range burner 1,000 watts .10 cents
Refrigerator 1,000 watts .10 cents
Computer and monitor 400 watts .04 cents
Light bulb 60 watts .06 cents


Although your refrigerator ranks lower on the list in terms of cost to actually operate, it is one of the few appliances that turns itself on even when you’re not at home, to ensure a constant correct temperature. This means that every hour it is running, your energy bill is climbing. Older models use even more electricity hourly than newer units.

One way to cut down on your energy bill each month is to identify which appliances are costing you more on an annual basis. Start by looking at older models; you can probably save money by updating to newer versions.

It may not be practical to buy new appliances all at once. Instead, have a RESNET Certified Home Energy Professional visit your home and inspect your appliances to help you decide which units should be replaced first. They can also advise you on how to use your current appliances in the most cost effective manner.

Buying new ENERGY STAR certified products will produce a combined savings over the course of several years and those savings will eventually pay for the cost of the new appliances.

Consider that holding onto your old refrigerator after you’ve replaced it with an energy efficient products are actually costing you twice as much. It may provide some convenience for extra cold storage, but it’s also is an energy hog. Maybe it’s time you parted ways.