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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Energy, Environment and Your Wallet

Just for giggles let us assume that the average person cares about their energy consumption, the environment but most of all their wallet. If that sounds like you then keep on reading… If not then I’m sure there is some sports chatter, Hollywood gossip, or near beer story on how to meet the next love of your life somewhere else on the internet for you to read.

Back to the rest of us humble EEW (Energy, Environment, Wallet) people. One of the biggest expenses in a families home budget is when you need to buy a new appliance for the house when the old one that has seen more repairmen than the Brooklyn Bridge decides to go to that big old recycling bin in the sky. The first thought that should run through your head is if it can be fixed one last time which is usually the cheapest route although over the long term the costliest. The second thought is if you even have enough cash saved up to replace the dearly departed and much loved appliance.

Take a step back and take a deep, deep, breath. There are several websites that can help you in this dire moment of need and for the do-it-yourselfer you can possibly fix your appliance yourself. Go to the sidebar or the top of this site and use Google to search for a mega list of such sites by entering “Do it yourself appliance repair”. Good luck!

For those of us who know the last repair was THE LAST repair and can afford to replace your appliance then we need to talk. That old appliance most likely was not as energy efficient as you think and replacing it can save you money on your monthly utilities. Depending on the appliance the EEW savings can be huge and can range from 10% to 50% per year!

If you care about the energy usage, environmental impact, and the cost to your wallet short and long term then I highly recommend going to the sidebar or top of this site and entering “Energy Star Appliances” in the Google box. Click on the appliance you need to replace and you can actually download a list of the top rated products based on energy consumption, environmental impact, and cost savings to your family. Depending on the model of appliance you purchase there may be a significant rebate program that comes from the government for your new appliance. Being an energy consumption Hawk, I like to see what the annual savings on the electric or gas bill is for any new appliance.

There are lists of the top rated products on the Energy Star site for every category of appliance except clothes dryers that you can download and print out for your trip to the store. As for Dryers it is recommended that you only purchase a dryer with a moisture detector that shuts the appliance off when your clothes are dry. My personal recommendation for the top rated clothes dryer is a piece of rope hung between two trees in your back yard but that’s just me.

Appliances covered by Energy Star: clothes washers, dehumidifiers, dishwashers, freezers, refrigerators, room AC, room air cleaners, home heating/cooling, water heaters, home electronics, lighting, commercial food service, and office equipment.

Last but not least, when you do purchase your new appliance, make sure the store you do business with will remove and recycle your old appliance at no cost to you. If the store does not recycle then you can donate or recycle them yourself accordingly by following these helpful tips.

If you have any tips on EEW appliances then please feel free to add a comment.

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