How to Replace Your Old Appliances With Energy Hogs On a Budget
Upgrading your old, inefficient appliances can save you money on your utility bills and reduce your carbon footprint. However, new Energy Star certified appliances can be expensive. Here are some tips for replacing appliances on a budget.
Evaluate Which Appliance To Replace First
Prioritize replacing appliances that consume the most energy first. This will provide the greatest savings on your utility bills.
- Focus on the refrigerator first, as it runs 24/7. A new Energy Star model can save you $40-$70 per year on electricity.
- The clothes washer is the next biggest electricity user. Replacing an old top-loader with a new front-loader can save 2500 gallons of water per year.
- The dishwasher is another appliance that wastes a lot of water. A new efficient model can save 1000 gallons per year.
- An old furnace can waste huge amounts of natural gas. Upgrading to a high-efficiency model can save over $200 per year on heating.
Reference your last 12 months of utility bills to estimate which appliances are using the most energy in your home.
Shop Secondhand Stores And Classifieds
- Check Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and secondhand stores for used appliances. Search for key words like “Energy Star” in listings.
- Many people renovate kitchens and replace functioning appliances with newer models. This is an opportunity to score a nearly new appliance for 50-75% off retail pricing.
- Inspect used appliances carefully before purchasing. Test functionality and look for signs of wear like rust, dents, and scratches.
Take Advantage Of Utility Company Rebates
Many utility providers offer rebates of $50-$300 for upgrading to Energy Star certified appliances. Contact your gas, electric, and water providers to ask about available incentives. Some key programs:
- Efficiency Vermont offers rebates on refrigerators, clothes washers, and more.
- Energy Trust in Oregon rebates for heat pump water heaters and clothes dryers.
- Duke Energy in the Southeast provides rebates on HVAC equipment and smart thermostats.
Use Your Tax Refund Wisely
Consider using your annual tax refund to cover part of the cost of a major appliance like a refrigerator or washer/dryer set. Purchase an Energy Star model to maximize long-term savings.
Finance With Zero Interest
- Retailers like Best Buy and Appliances Connection offer 12-18 months zero interest financing on appliance purchases over a certain amount, normally $299 and up. This allows you to spread out payments interest-free.
- The Home Depot Consumer Credit Card offers 24 months zero interest financing on appliance purchases over $299 as part of their normal card benefits.
Wait For Sales Over Holiday Weekends
Major holiday weekends like Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day are prime times appliances go on sale. Check newspaper circulars and shop early for the best availability. Tax-free holidays in some states can also yield savings.
Replacing inefficient appliances provides long-term energy and cost savings. Follow these tips to upgrade your old energy hogs on a limited budget. Prioritize the biggest energy users first, and take advantage of rebates, promos, and secondhand deals to save.