Energy Efficient Appliances Are a MUST in This Economy

It seems like people are always complaining about money and being frugal in these times, yet many of these people do not consider using energy efficient appliances or lights bulbs.

I like to keep my homes 68 degrees all year around. Living in Northern Indiana means that my home has to use heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer to stay at my desired temperature. Due to allergies, I am not much for having windows open during the seasonal changes which means sometimes I go straight from heat to air conditioning.

From 2006-2008, I lived in a 1700 square foot ranch without a basement that my then wife and I bought brand new. When I bought the home, I did not want to spend the extra money for energy efficient appliances and my utility bills averaging $250 a month showed. I tried changing to energy efficient light bulbs which my wife complained about because most of the fluorescent bulbs did not provide the instant light that she required but the savings wasn’t very noticeable.

In 2008, I bought a new spec. home. Not wanting to make the same mistake twice, I made sure it had energy efficient appliances. The home is a 1718 square foot ranch with a basement. The home has a Carrier Furnace Model 58MCB along with a Carrier Air Conditioning System Model 24ABA. It also has an AO Smith ProMax Model Hot Water Heater. All three appliances are Energy Star Certified. My average utility bills are now $152 a month. Essentially, I am living in twice the house yet paying on average $98 less a month thanks to energy efficient appliances. I used to pull my hair out when I saw my utility bills, now I laugh when I see my bill and think about how I can save or spend the additional $98 I am saving each month.

I know what people may be thinking, there are a ton of other variables that determine a utility bill, like the price of gas and electricity or other appliances in the home, etc. For arguments sake, when I moved from one home to the other I was shocked at the difference in utility bills the first month I was in this new home. I thought there was a billing error because I was in twice the home. The other appliances (stove, refrigerator, dishwasher and washer/dryer) that we were using are all similar from one house to the other as far as energy efficiency and energy star certification.

If I were to buy another home or remodel an older home I would look for and make sure that appliances are energy efficient and have a high energy star certification rating. It is worth it to spend a little extra money because you will save in the long run. For example, the first home I was discussing it cost an additional $1,500 extra for an energy efficient heating and cooling system and I believe $500 for a water heater that was energy efficient. If I would have paid the extra money upfront within 20 months of living in that home, the savings would have paid for themselves.

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