4 things to keep in mind when shopping for appliances

You probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn which of your household appliances use the most energy: fridges and freezers, ovens, washing machines and dryers and even your TV draw an incredible amount of energy that can really bump up your power bill.

If you’re needing to replace an appliance, or have been looking to upgrade an older model for ones that are more energy-efficient here’s what you should be looking out for.

1 - Appropriate sizing

When it comes to selecting an appliance for your home, you need to find one that’s appropriately sized for your needs - not too big, not too small. 

If your fridge is too big for your needs, you’re wasting money on cooling the air, rather than the food that’s in it. But, if your fridge is constantly over-packed it will need to work harder to keep everything at the right temperature.

A nice rule of thumb is keeping about of your fridge filled to help it run most efficiently. 

Appropriate sizing is also important for your washing machine and dryer. Buying one that’s too small, and you’ll be running it more often to clean all your clothes. And again, if it’s too big you’re using more energy than required per load.

2 - Get the most up-to-date model you can afford

While we wouldn’t recommend getting a new appliance every time a new model is released, if you’re on the hunt for a new appliance it is a good idea to find the most recent model that fits within your budget. Technology continues to advance meaning common household appliances are becoming more energy efficient every year.

While that extra energy efficiency may not seem much right now, in the long run, it could really add up.

3 - Check the energy label

As well as looking for a more recent model, you’ll want to check their energy efficiency rating. Most household appliances (including computer monitors and TVs) are required to have them in New Zealand. As a general rule of thumb, the more stars the label has, the more energy-efficient the appliance is.

As well as a star rating the label will show the energy consumption of the appliance per year, which can help you calculate how much the appliance costs to run.

And some appliances have more than one label. A heat pump, for example, will have both an energy star rating for heating and cooling, and washing machines often show the kWh consumption for warm and cool cycles as well as having a water rating label.

4 - Be a smart shopper

There is a lot to consider when purchasing a new appliance. They’re often a long term investment, and you want to make sure you’re getting one that’s right for you. This is why it is a good idea to take some time and consider the options available to you. 

While it may be tempting to purchase the same brand, make and model you always have you could be missing out on energy efficiency and savings.

So, use it as a starting point instead. What other models are there that offer the same features for a similar price? Are they more energy efficient, or not. And, keep your lifestyle in mind. If you used to have a busy household with three kids and a dog but the kids are now all living out of home, you may be able to downsize that 10kg washing machine.

Read more tips on reducing energy costs during the colder months

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