When to splurge and save on appliances to help cut your energy bills

Child loading the dishwasher

Dimitri Halkidis

Posted August 11, 2021

Prioritising an energy-efficient home is just smart thinking.

Less energy used means less dollars spent, and that means a healthier household budget and a more sustainable future for your family. So whether you’re doing a reno or building from scratch, here are a few ideas on where to spend and what to save when it comes to energy-saving appliances.

Mother and children opening an oven

Oven. To save or spend? Image: Getty. 

Spend on: Your washer and dryer

Once considered a huge energy (and money) sink, dryer technology has come a long way since first hitting households back in the 1930s. Investing in a high-quality, energy-efficient heat pump dryer may feel like a big hit to the paycheck, but its operating costs will more than makeup for it in the long run. Even smaller households can see big savings here, and not just from energy use. Heat pump dryers collect the water from wet clothes and drain them down your laundry sink, meaning it’s perfect for poorly ventilated rooms and reduces the risk of water damage and mould.

Similarly, washing machines nowadays have been designed with water and energy efficiency as a priority, so paying a little bit more for a high-quality one means you’ll be saving on both your water and electricity bills in the future.

Save on: Your oven

When it comes to size, features, and build quality, ovens can vary a great deal. But when considering energy saving options, you can't really go wrong with any modern electric oven. If you're looking for something to save you money on, any basic range will do.

Spend on: LED downlights

Old-school incandescent lights haven’t been a thing here in Australia since they were phased out in 2009, but there’s still a big difference between your energy-saving halogen or fluorescent lights and actual LED downlights. Designed to save you energy and money, your average LED light can last up to 40 times longer than an equivalent halogen light, meaning that not only do they use less energy, but you’ll wind up having to replace them far less often as well.

Save on: Your fridge

Fridges and freezers are, by and large, mostly the same across makes and models when it comes to energy efficiency. So long as you buy a fridge that’s the appropriate size for your needs, then it doesn’t really matter if you fork out more for the luxury edition or stick with the classic model. At the end of the day, the change in energy use isn't that great, and if your fridge comes with more bells and whistles attached, you may find yourself paying more in energy costs per year than an entry-level model!

Woman looking in a refridgerator

The fridge is an area where you may wish to save. Image: Getty.

Spend on: An air fryer

Air fryers are small convection ovens ideal for cooking frozen meals or reheating leftovers. They're the perfect addition to any modern energy-saving kitchen requiring no preheating. Plus, using less energy overall than a conventional oven, they're the perfect addition to any modern energy-saving kitchen!

Don't give your oven the flick just yet though - part of the reason air fryers are so energy efficient is because of their size, so if you need to roast a whole chook or bake something for a large family, you’ll definitely appreciate the space an oven offers.

Save on: Toasters and electric kettles

Like fridges, your toaster and kettle - staples of the kitchen though they may be - don't need to be expensive to be energy-saving. If you're looking for a particular aesthetic, or if you just want a preview function or different temperature settings, then go right ahead. But if all you're after is a toaster that toasts and a kettle that boils, any recent model will tick that energy efficiency box.

Spend on: Your dishwasher

Purely from an energy-saving perspective, dishwashers don’t vary much. However, a good dishwasher will save you dollars when it comes time to pay the water bill, and every drop of water saved is a good investment. Take the time to pick a dishwasher that suits your household, and prioritise one that's water-efficient as well as energy saving.

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