labels can save money. Although many
energy-efficient products are more expensive to
purchase, these products will cost less to operate
over the lifetime of the appliance. Consider the
following example of
comparing labels when
shopping for a refrigerator. These steps will
calculate how long it will take for the more expensive
and energy-efficient refrigerator to pay
for itself. Model A’s
purchase price is $775 and costs $100 per
year to operate. Model B’s purchase price is $600
and costs $150 per year to operate.
1. Subtract the purchase
price of the cheaper refrigerator
(B) from the price of the costlier model
(A): $775 - $600 = $175.
2. Subtract the lower
annual operating cost ($100)
from the higher ($150):
$150 - $100 = $50.
3. Divide the difference in purchase price (Step 1) by the
difference in the annual operating
expense (Step 2) to come up with the number of years it will take
Model A to
recoup the difference in the initial purchase price: $175 / $50 =
In just a little over three
years, Model A, the more efficient refrigerator, will cancel
out the difference in the
original price in energy savings. And at a savings of $50 per
year in operating expenses (Step 2), $750 will be saved over the
15-year life of the
refrigerator! Since Model B is $175 cheaper than Model A, subtract
that from the $750
energy savings to find out how much will be saved with Model A
— it’s still $575 over
the lifetime of the appliance.
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programmable thermostat, if
6. Clean and
check awnings and outdoor furniture.
trees and shrubs away from home.
crawlspace or basement for water
crawlspace, and attic for
pest problems like wasp or hornet nests
and termite tunnels.
the grading for settling or erosion,
standing water, and drainage problems
to see that soil around the house
drains away, and make sure the gutters
and downspouts are managing rainwater