Eco-friendly upgrades to your bachelor pad might sound expensive, but compared to the cost of other environmental upgrades — double-paned windows ($300 – $800 each) and solar panels, for example — appliances might be a relatively inexpensive investment. Plus, they pay back in utility bill savings. See where these upgrades might fit in around your bachelor pad, so it still looks appealing and inviting without draining your bank account.
Cost of eco-friendly appliances
There are two price tags to consider when looking at eco-friendly appliances. One is the actual cost of the appliance; the other is the cost (or energy required) to operate the appliance. If the cost to power the appliance is low, you’ll see significant savings over time. If the cost to power the appliance is high, though, it will take a long time to realize savings large enough to warrant the cost of the appliance itself.
Here are some eco-friendly labels to look for when shopping for appliances:
Energy Star: Energy Star appliances have been strictly tested and approved by the United States Department of Energy to earn their rating.
EnergyGuide Label: EnergyGuide labels provide data on the cost of energy required to power the appliance. You can use this data to compare the efficiency of different models.
Appliances to consider upgrading
When deciding which appliances to upgrade or replace with eco-friendly alternatives, keep these considerations in mind:
Dishwashers: Eco-friendly dishwashers use, on average, 10% less energy and are capable of saving more when they include several wash-cycle options.
Clothes Washers: Buy a washer with a larger tub capacity. It allows you to wash more clothes with less water. Newer eco-friendly models also cycle the clothes through water streams and use sensors to determine the correct pressure needed throughout the wash.
Dehumidifiers: Eco-friendly dehumidifiers use 15% less energy than other models.
Refrigerators: Eco-friendly refrigerators are 20% more efficient and save about $158 on utility costs. Icemakers on the freezer door side save about 14% to 20% on bills. Also, topside freezers are 10% to 25% more efficient than bottom or side freezers.
Freezers: EnergyStar freezers use about 10% less energy, but are much simpler in design. You also have to keep up regular maintenance so the freezer doesn’t break down from ice buildup.