Does it Pay to Invest in Energy-Efficient Appliances?

Getting Decades of Use from Your Kitchen and Laundry Appliances
Makes Sense - Right?

If you're like many homeowners, you may take pride in the fact that you have appliances that you've owned for decades and that are still apparently functioning as well as they ever have. You've resisted the gleaming new refrigerators, ranges, and dishwashers, even though yours may be a bit dated and has lost a bit of the sparkle it once had. After all, what is the point of replacing something that's been providing faithful service, just because it's not fashionable?

As it turns out, the point may well be that your electric bill is a lot bigger every month than it needs to be. That’s easy to say, but how about plugging in some numbers to see how much energy you could be saving by plugging in some new appliances.

Use Energy Star Ratings to Easily Calculate the Cost of Using Your Appliances

These days the stars of energy efficiency are appliances that have earned the federal government's Energy-Star designation. According to the figures at, a new Energy Star refrigerator uses about 15 percent less energy than a new standard model. That's certainly worth considering when it's time to buy, but there's a lot more to the story, when comparing an Energy Star refrigerator to your trusty avocado green 1975 model.

In that case, the Energy Star really shines, using an astounding 81 percent less energy. It's also important to remember that the energy-usage figures for the '75 model measure its performance when it was new. No doubt that performance has diminished a bit in the ensuing years. The upshot is that an energy-efficient refrigerator at today's electricity rates could pay for itself in a very short time, perhaps in a couple of years. From then on, those substantial savings go into your pocket.

A New Dishwasher and Clothes Washer Saves More than Energy

Other potential savings can come into play when you consider other appliances. Take a dishwasher, for example. The new, energy-efficient models use less energy and less water as well. Surprisingly, the greatest savings in water are realized if you go from hand-washing to an automatic dishwasher, which, according to published reports, can save as much as 5,000 gallons of water a year.

And speaking of water, an energy-efficient clothes washer not only uses less electricity and water to do its job, it also has the advantage of removing more water from the washed clothes in the final spin cycle. That means shorter drying times and even more energy savings.

Naturally, replacing all your appliances can have a downside, too. For one thing, you may not be willing or able to factor that expense into your budget. All that energy-saving comes at a cost.
You may also be concerned about the new units fitting into the spaces in your kitchen and laundry room that accommodate what you have now.

The Ideal Time for a Comprehensive Appliance Revamp

The best time for replacing your kitchen and laundry appliances is when you are planning a home remodel. Doing it then has a number of advantages. First, the cost can be bundled in with the financing for the overall project. Second, because you can select the appliances before the project starts, it's much easier to make certain all the styles you choose are complementary. And finally, the layout of the remodeled rooms can be designed to make sure everything fits perfectly and works from an ergonomic standpoint.

Contact us today if you are considering a kitchen, laundry, or home remodel. You can learn more about bringing your design and layout ideas to life and see how new appliances can reduce your utility bills.



As usual, our experience with SBI was great. We are very happy with the final result and with the process.

- Henry P. (Sammamish)

A New Dishwasher Saves More than Energy
A New Dishwasher Saves More than Energy


Sound Builders Inc. - PO Box 568, Ravensdale, WA 98051 Phone: 206-246-7100 or 253-859-7978 Email:
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