The true lifecycle cost of an appliance is the purchase price plus the cost to operate and maintain it over its lifetime. Because major appliances can remain in operation for 15 to 20 years, it is important to consider energy use and its future impact on a family at the time of purchase.
By incorporating advanced technologies and premium features, appliances may help offset initial costs through energy savings over the life of each unit.
Things to remember when looking for appliances:
- Select the size and style: Measure the space the appliance will occupy to be sure your new purchase will fit. Check that there's enough room to open the door or lid fully, and enough clearance for ventilation. (Note: All range hoods should be exhausted to the outdoors.)
- Consider both purchase price and estimated energy when deciding which brand and model to buy. In many cases, you may actually save money by buying the more energy-efficient model.
- Read the Energy Guide label: This yellow and black label is required by the FTC to be attached to all new appliances (except kitchen ranges, microwave ovens and clothes dryers). It states the estimated annual energy consumption of the appliance. This helps you compare the efficiency or annual energy use of competing brands and similar models.
- Whirlpool offers a FREE STOVE and ENERGY STAR REFRIGERATOR for every Habitat home, along with various other appliances for a reduced cost to Habitat for Humanity Affiliates.
("Energy Efficient Appliances". www.eartheasy.com. Accessed 25 August 2009.)