When shopping for home appliances it’s often difficult to weigh up efficiency and cost – here’s a few examples of common appliances and how they stack up in potential operating savings and initial outlay
Home appliances are relatively expensive compared with other home essentials, so making the right choice for your lifestyle and wallet can take time. Additionally, efficiency ratings and cost are often at opposite ends of the scale, so if spending more, how long could it take to break even from the energy saved?
One of the single biggest users of electricity in the average household is the refrigerator as they are always switched on. The process of heat exchange is one of the most energy intensive applications for electrical appliances, so it’s no surprise the fridge takes a top spot for energy consumption. Most homes have a fridge and top mounted freezer combo, so that’s what the example comparison below is based on.
Fridge freezer A – Standard
Fridge freezer B – Energy efficient
*Based on electricity costing 27c/kWh, with no maintenance costs.
The difference in purchase price between the two fridges is a bit over $300, and the difference in annual running cost adds up to about $38. If both fridges have a ten year lifespan, the fridge with the higher energy rating works out to be about $50 cheaper to buy and run. The other thing to note is that the higher energy rating fridge is larger, so the amount of food that can be stored is larger, which is an advantage if you need the space. For more general information on choosing a fridge, build.com.au have a good guide here.
Dishwasher B – Energy efficient
*365 cycles per year, no maintenance, 27c.kwh
In this example, brand A would cost $1798.40 over 10 years, whereas brand B would be $2355.20. In this case the more expensive, energy efficient model would still cost more over its lifetime. Other factors when choosing a dishwasher could include, water use, settings, cycles, or whether the unit heats its own water. For other things to consider when buying a dishwasher, this article from Lasoo.com.au covers the basics.
Heating & cooling
Air conditioners effectively use more electricity the higher their kilowatt rating is, and there’s not a great deal of difference as far as efficiency goes. The main thing here is to use an air conditioner that is suitable for the size of the room to be cooled.
Heaters on the other hand are wildly variable depending on the system they use to heat the air. Fan heaters generally use the most electricity for the amount of heat they generate, while oil and panel heaters are the most efficient. Electric heaters effectively use more electricity the higher the wattage rating for the appliance. As with air conditioning it’s important to choose a heater suited for the room it’s intended to heat.
Comparing clothes dryers
There are differences between the energy consumption of various types of clothes dryer, such as condensers, and washer/dryer combinations; this page gives more information on dryer types. As traditional electric heated dryers are popular, that is what we have compared below.
Clothes dryer A – Standard
Clothes dryer B – Energy efficient
*52 cycles per year, no maintenance, 27c.kwh
In the case of vented clothes dryers, the direct comparison leaves no doubt as to which model is more efficient. The 2.5 star model uses less than half the electricity over the course of a year with the same use, and in this case is almost $90 cheaper to begin with!
Understand the rating system to calculate cost
By understanding the energy star rating system and calculating running costs based on the manufacturer’s published energy use, it’s easier to choose a more efficient appliance. To be even more accurate, why not try calculating costs based on your specific usage to get a thorough understanding of how you are spending energy; www.smarterchoicecalculator.com.au could be a good place to start.
*All comparison information gathered from www.smarterchoicecalculator.com.au.