An appliance package pictured together up against the wall of a home, including a washer, dryer, and fridge

You’ve thought of upgrading your old appliances for a while now, but the problem is, you’re never sure where to start. 

Why buy one appliance when you can purchase several in a package? And if you proceed with a new appliance package, will you save energy? What about money?

We’re sure you’re looking for specific numbers for energy and money savings per appliance. Well, worry not, as we’re here to deliver.

Ahead, we’ll go through every appliance in the average household, discuss how much energy old models use, and how much more efficient the new ones are. 

Does Buying a New Appliance Package Save Energy or Money?

Upgrading to a new appliance package is a highly energy-efficient choice. If you have appliances only a decade old, upgrading can reduce your energy usage by 20-40 percent. You’ll undoubtedly see those savings reflected on your utility bills.

A Comparison of Old Appliance Energy Usage vs. Energy Star Appliance Energy Usage

ApplianceEnergy Usage (Old Model)Energy Usage (New Model)
Refrigerator1,700 kWh per year450 kWh per year
FreezerUp to 1,200 kWh per year489 kWh per year 
Kitchen Stove or OvenUp to 5,000 watts per use1,500 watts if used for two hours
Washing Machine400 to 1,300 watts per use 500 watts per use
Dryer3,000 watts per use 200 to 300 watts per use
Dishwasher1,800 watts per use680 watts per use
Air ConditionerUp to 2,700 kWh per year 625 kWh per year
Furnace15,350 to 25,670 watts per hour29,900 watts per year
Water Heater400 to 3,000 kWh per year1,350 to 2,690 kWh per year

Next, let’s take and in depth look at the energy consumption and further considerations for each of these appliances listed.

Refrigerator

It only makes sense to begin by talking about an appliance that’s a must in every home: the refrigerator.

Chances are, you and your family are in and out of the fridge all the time. But, exactly how much power is your refrigerator using? 

A homeowner looking at tomatoes in her hand as she stands in front of the open natural gas refrigerator in her kitchen

That depends on how old it is. 

The average lifespan of a refrigerator is 12 years. However, since getting a fridge replaced is expensive and inconvenient, most people put it off.

If your fridge is bordering on 20 years old, Clean Energy Resource Teams or CERTs says that it likely uses 1,700 kilowatt-hours of energy a year. That doesn’t sound like a lot, right?

Oh, but it is.

Let’s talk a little more about kilowatt-hours so you can see what we mean.

A kilowatt-hour, which is expressed as kWh, is how much energy you use by running a 1,000-watt appliance for 60 minutes. A 100-watt lightbulb would need 10 hours to burn through only a single kWh of energy. So, is 1,700 kWh per year a lot?

Yes, it is, especially when paying 12 cents per kilowatt. You’re spending $204 per year on your fridge’s energy alone.

Upgrading your refrigerator to an Energy Star-rated model will save you money. A new model will use only 450 kWh of energy per year, a difference of 1,250 kWh. 

Freezer

You can’t have a fridge without a freezer, right? You rely on your freezer to keep perishables frosty cold so you can thaw them out and cook them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. 

Yet just how much power is your freezer sucking up, and how is this affecting your utility bills?

Sears Home Services states that the average amount of electricity a freezer requires is 200-1,200 kWh. 

Freezers are not as offensive energy-wise as fridges are, but remember that most households use a freezer and fridge in tandem. Thus, you’d have to add up the energy both use to get a true read on how this would affect your bills. 

Your freezer could cost up to $114 a year if it operates at 1,200 kWh an hour. 

When you add the $204 per year in energy spending for the fridge, you get $318 per year to run your fridge and freezer together. Ouch!

New freezers, like modern fridges, are more energy-efficient and only require about 489 kWh of energy per year. Rather than spend over $100 to power your fridge for a year, you’d spend $59 instead.  

Kitchen Stove or Oven

A common sight in apartments and some homes is the electric stove. It’s safer than a gas stove, but using an electric stove or oven, even several times per week, to cook your meals contributes to your overall energy usage.

An electric oven range can suck up 2,000 to 5,000 watts when used on high heat settings. So you could spend upwards of 36 cents per hour on your electricity bill if your range is only running at 3,000 watts.

An electric stove oven range installed on a home next to a kitchen sink

If used for two hours a day, an energy-efficient single stove might produce only 1,500 watts. So now you’re paying 10 cents per kWh.

Washing Machine

Next, let’s look at that all-important household appliance, the washing machine.

Every time you wash your clothes for 30 minutes, the standard run time for a washer, you use 500 watts or 250 watt-hours (Wh).

 If you convert the Wh to kWh, you get 0.25 kWh on the low end.

Keep in mind that that’s once per use. If you run your washer every single day, then the yearly cost would be $11.21.

According to Energy Star, switching to an eco-friendly clothes washer can reduce water usage by 33 percent and energy by 25 percent.

These units run on about 500 watts of energy compared to the upwards of 1,300 watts that a non-Energy Star washer uses.

Your washing machine is not the energy hog you might have thought it was (that’s your dryer, as we’ll show you in just a moment). 

What the washer is, though, is a water hog.

Did you know that the average washing machine requires 20 gallons of water per load? So it’s no wonder that moving resource Moving.com notes that upwards of 16 percent of all the water the average household uses is from the washing machine alone.

An Energy Star clothes washer uses 14 gallons of water per load. That savings of six gallons of water does add up, especially if you do laundry frequently. 

Dryer

Okay, so we already prefaced this by mentioning how your dryer will require a lot more energy than your average washing machine.

That’s simply due to how both these machines function. 

A washer is much more water-reliant. The clothes in the washer will spin a little to get out the dirt and grime, but a dryer constantly spins clothes until they feel warm and dry.

Plus, dryers run longer, with an average runtime of 45 minutes compared to a washer’s 30 minutes.

A dryer requires 3,000 watts of power per hour. The machine will use 2,250 Wh, which is 2.25 kWh in that same timeframe. 

If you use your dryer every single day, you could spend $100.93 per year on electricity just on the dryer. 

Interior view of a heat pump dryer

Even using the dryer weekly is still costly, as running it for 45 minutes will cost you $14.38 per week.

Once you make the jump to an Energy Star-certified dryer, you’ll love the reduction in wattage required to run it. The dryer needs 200 to 300 watts due to the inclusion of a single-phase capacitor induction motor. 

Dishwasher

A dishwasher is one of life’s modern conveniences. 

Sure, you could take the time to soak, scrub, and scour at your grimy dishes, but why do that when the dishwasher cleans your forks, knives, and plates to perfection?

Well, because you’re using more energy than we bet you thought you were, especially if your dishwasher is older.

A dishwasher that runs for 60 minutes sucks up 1,800 watts of power. That’s approximately 3,600 Wh, which converts to 3.6 kWh. 

If you’re running your dishwasher for twice as long–which older models might require due to their age–now you’re looking at 7.2 kWh of electricity.

Just to simplify this example, let’s assume that you’re only running your dishwasher in 60-minute increments. If you use the dishwasher daily, at 3.6 kWh, it costs you $161.50 extra on your energy bills.

Now compare that to an Energy Star dishwasher. This green appliance uses 680 watts per cycle, 20 percent less than an older dishwasher. 

Air Conditioner

Does anything feel better than air conditioning on a hot day? Well, maybe the first ice cream of the season or sinking your toes into the sand at the beach, but we digress.

Air conditioning is necessary for keeping your home cool when the temps begin to climb. Running the AC is going to cost you, though.

Assuming yours is a central air conditioner, if you run it for only an hour, the AC uses 3,000 to 5,000 watts. If you were to use the AC for three hours, that’s 9,000 to 15,000 watts! 

If an air conditioner is rated at 24,000 British thermal units or BTUs, it uses 228 kWh per month. So that’s 2,736 kWh per year.

Now let’s say you switched to an Energy Star air conditioner. A small window unit that produces 5,000 BTUs an hour would require 450 watts of power.

Through-the-wall air conditioning would use only about 625 kWh for the year. That’s right—for the year!

Furnace

Warming your home via an electric furnace is exponentially more expensive than even cooling the house is. If yours is a forced air central system running on 15 kilowatts, the furnace will use 15,350 watts, which costs you $1.53 an hour.

A 20-kilowatt central electric furnace uses 20,490 watts, which costs you $2 an hour. A 25-kilowatt central electric furnace drives up the wattage to 25,670 watts, $2.50 an hour. 

About 1,800 watts of power is upwards of 36 kWh per day.

An Energy Star-certified furnace uses about 299 kWh per year, 29,900 watts. Considering that a standard electric heater uses 15,350 watts in about a day, the savings are tremendous

Water Heater

A tankless water heater installed on a wall

The last appliance we want to discuss is the water heater. An electric water heater generates enough warmth for you to do the dishes, bathe yourself, and wash your hands using warm water.

Since your water heater is likely tucked way back in your basement, you might not think about it much, but it’s silently contributing to what you spend on electricity month in and month out.

The hulking water heater requires 400 to 3,000 kWh of energy per year. 

According to this Energy Star page, by switching to a certified heat pump water heater, a two-household water heater uses only 1,350 kWh per year. Now that’s more like it! 

You could save upwards of $170 per year, which is a lifetime savings of $1,470 over the entirety of the time you’ll have your water heater. 

Conclusion 

Do you want to save hundreds of dollars in electricity costs per year and pocket thousands of dollars in appliance costs? Then buy an Energy Star-certified appliance package. 

As we’ve shown you, you’ll use a lot less energy across the board, which leaves more money in your account for bills, loans, or savings! 

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