Lindsay Miles of Treading My Own Path recently moved to a new house. The new house didn’t have appliances, and her old ones either didn’t fit in the new space or were on their last legs. Appliances can be an expensive addition, and typically not a welcomed expense after the house purchase/deposits/down payments and moving expenses.
Lindsay took her time and considered her options. Used is often an option, especially for minimalists that try to limit their impact on the Earth and like to save money for more valuable experiences. She considered used but found the local options to be limited. She was also concerned about the energy efficiency of an older appliance.
The next step was to review her options for new appliances. She found something interesting when looking at the energy ratings.
It turns out that under the star system, fridges are compared with other fridges of a similar size. They do not compare all fridges with one another. Crazy, right? This means the star rating is fairly meaningless on its own. What is far more important when choosing a fridge (or any electronic appliance) is to look at the actual energy rating. All appliances should state their energy use in kWh (which stands for kilowatt hours) over a year.
The star system is unique to Australia, so keep that in mind if you are in Australia and looking for appliances. Different countries have different systems in place for providing energy efficiency information to consumers.
Here are some links that give you the info on energy rating labels in different parts of the world:
- United States: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0072-shopping-home-appliances-use-energyguide-label
- EU: http://www.which.co.uk/energy/saving-money/guides/energy-labels-explained/eu-energy-efficiency-labels/
- Australia: http://www.energyrating.gov.au/consumers
Ultimately, Lindsay decided on new appliances and went with a small refrigerator and a quality washing machine that should last many years. You might find this interesting after our recent article about giving up luxury items — Lindsay also decided to forgo the dishwasher. Here is what she had to say about that:
Despite my husband’s wishes, we won’t be getting a dishwasher. It’s an appliance we simply don’t need. We will be practicing mindfulness and doing the dishes. Well, I say we, but I suspect it will be me. I’m okay with that.
I recommend you read through Lindsay’s article to get additional details on her thought process for choosing her new appliances. I Saw it in the Stars (A Guide to Energy Efficiency)
I know some of you have been through this exercise. We did when we moved into our house. We went with used appliances as they were in abundance here and we were able to find some quality appliances for reasonable prices. Share your stories of appliance buying in the comments section below.