When a major household appliance needs replacing, you may be tempted to save some money by purchasing a used or refurbished model. Be forewarned: what you save now may end up costing you more down the line, according
to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM).
Why? Used or refurbished appliances may not be as efficient as the latest offerings, resulting in higher energy bills.
Consider this: a 20-cubic foot refrigerator manufactured in 1991 consumes, on average, more than 857 kilowatt hours (kWh) a year, while a 22-cubic foot refrigerator carrying the ENERGY-STAR® label manufactured in 2012 consumes only 452 kWh a year. That difference amounts to over $50 in savings per year for the typical household.
Used or refurbished appliances also have the potential to break down, resulting in more costs for repairs. And, secondhand appliances may have a lower life expectancy overall, especially if the previous owner neglected to conduct regular maintenance.
Keep in mind some states and utility companies offer sizable rebates when you purchase new energy-efficient appliances, and even when you recycle your old appliances.
In sum, a new appliance, when designed with energy-efficiency in mind, is a far better deal than a used one.