The main difference between old and new appliances is electric consumption. Today, newer models of household necessities, such as refrigerators and washing machines, boast energy-saving and other make-your-life-easier features that really do work, contrary to what some critics may say.
This is proven by a report, “Better Appliances: An Analysis of Performance, Features, and Price as Efficiency Has Improves,” by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and the Appliance Standards Awareness Project.
In general, new refrigerators are determined to have better temperature control and lower noise levels. They’ve gotten bigger without needing to consume more energy. In face, their energy use has dropped by over 50 percent on average between 1987 and 2010. Real prices (which factor in inflation) decreased by roughly 35 percent during the same period.
Meanwhile, new washing machines, both top- and front-loading models, are said to be excellent on stains and gentler on fabrics. Front-loaders, specifically, are known to produce a lot of vibration when they’re running but manufacturers have learned to minimize this over time. Newer models also feature automatic dispensers, touchpad controls and time-delay settings, making them easier to operate. Average energy use has gone down by as much as 75 percent and real prices are lower by 45 percent from 1987 to 2010.
Other products analyzed in the report, including air-conditioning units, toilets and dishwashers, increased in real prices. But those are “outweighed by electricity bill savings.” Their performance either stayed the same or showed some form of improvement from previous models. According to the research, an average American household using six new appliances that meet current efficiency standards will spend $360 less on annual utility bills than a household with the same products purchased 20 years ago.
“Everybody knows that replacing old appliance with a new, more efficient model will save you money on utility bills. What this report shows is that consumers haven’t had to sacrifice good performance or new features in exchange for improved efficiency,” said ACEEE executive director Steven Nadel in a statement.
“Many of us tend to be nostalgic about the past, but what this report shows is that your parents’ appliances not only cost more to run, but probably don’t perform as well either,” added ASAP executive director Andrew deLanski.