As a homeowner, preventative maintenance and major appliance repair or replacement can be incredibly daunting tasks. When an appliance unexpectedly dies, you need to quickly find a replacement. It never seems to fail that your air conditioner will break on the hottest day of the year. This isn’t coincidence, unfortunately, but likely has more to do with upkeep, age, and the load put on unit. If you’re suddenly faced with the task of replacing a major appliance, and weren’t already shopping for one, recent discounts or deals may have passed you by. Before you make an investment in a new AC, refrigerator, stove, or dishwasher, however, consider more than just the price tag. Smart shoppers know that you might even find that a more expensive product will save you more in the long run due to overall savings and rebates.
Keep these things in mind when researching your replacements:
In Florida, cashback opportunities are available when you replace various appliances, though not all appliances qualify. For Florida residents, replacing non-gas appliances with new natural gas appliances can earn homeowners up to $1,750 cashback. Homeowners can also see cashback benefits when replacing a current system with a high-efficiency heat pump or air conditioning system. Pay attention to things like SEER ratings, as industry standards are changing, and a 15 SEER or higher rating will not only net you savings in rebates, but long term through monthly energy reductions.
New regulations for both air conditioners and water heaters went into effect in 2015, and they impact those needing to replace either unit. Dishwashers now are required to use less water. These regulations make for more efficient units, saving homeowners money in the long run. The water heater regulations may have the greatest impact, as the new units are larger and may not fit into the same space the old ones occupied.
It might not be one of the first things you think of when purchasing a new appliance, but aesthetics can be an important part of your purchase. For example, you probably don’t want to replace your stainless steel appliance with another color unless you also intend to transition all appliances in that room to match.
More and more appliances are jumping on the app bandwagon. When searching for a new appliance, you might also consider purchasing a smart appliance, which can alert you of issues. Some apps, like Wink, SmartThings, littlebits, or WeMo let you know your teenager left the fridge door open, whether you should change the temperature, or when you should run diagnostics to ensure everything is running properly. Programmable thermostats are making big waves lately, too. These gadgets link to the Internet, allowing you to control the environment inside your home while you’re out. Some even track your movements within your home, so they know what areas they need to heat or cool.
Before making your purchase decision, you might want to double check the store’s payment plan and interest rate before you seal the deal. Another store may have a better interest rate available. If you don’t have a service plan or warranty to cover your appliance breakdown and you weren’t prepared to purchase a new one, then getting the best payment plan and lowest interest rate will be important. Consider purchasing an extended warranty or a service plan from a third party to make sure you’re covered in the future.
Overall, when purchasing a new appliance, remember that every situation is different. Review consumer reports prior to purchasing – research is an important part of the process as well as maintaining your appliance to get the most out of it.