Buying and Replacing Appliances (buyappliance)

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Appliance Replacement

Submitted by Lorene Bartos, UNL Extension Educator

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Is it time to replace one or more appliances in your home? Selecting energy saving appliances is a must, as appliances are responsible for approximately 60 percent of home energy bills. Operating the appliances in the home cost more than $1,400 annually. Did you realize clothes dryers use more electricity than other appliances in your home except the refrigerator?

When making the selection of new appliances it is important to replace the old inefficient one with an energy-saving one. This saves both money and energy in the long run. The initial cost for these appliances may be more but pays for itself in energy savings.

When purchasing appliances look for the yellow EnergyGuide label. This label provides detailed information so you can compare operating cost and energy efficiency with similar items. These labels are required on most new appliances. However, they are not required on kitchen ranges, microwave ovens, clothes dryers, on-demand water heaters, space heaters and lights.

Keep in mind the following when shopping for appliances:

  • Your family needs.
  • Your lifestyle.
  • Available space. Measure the space available for the appliance before shopping.
  • Do you want new or used appliances? Is it for your home or rental properties?
  • Read consumer comparison studies.
  • Choose models with Energy Star and Energy Guide labels.
  • Look for the UL label on all electrical appliances and cords.
  • Check and compare warranties.
  • Payment method.
  • Shop for appliances with reliable dealers providing either authorized service or where authorized service is nearby.
  • Find local rebates and tax incentives available for ENERGY STAR qualified products in your area.

After purchasing a new appliance read the instruction manual. Become familiar with the appliance and its care. Write down the model and serial numbers Fill out and return the registration card to the manufacture. For some items you may be able to do this online. Review the warranty and note the length of the warranty. Do routine maintenance on appliances.

Before you take a shopping trip become familiar with current studies on appliance and their ratings. Visit the energy star Web site at for up-to-date information on appliances. This will make your shopping easier and you will be saving time, money and energy.

Ask Lorene

(This resource was added February 2008 and appeared in the Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper Sunday edition. For information on reproducing this article or using any photographs or graphics, read the Terms of Use statement)

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