Household Appliances: A Lower Price Tag Does Not Always Mean Cheaper

When purchasing appliances, most families go and get whichever model will do all of the things that they need the item to do for the lowest price that they can attain the item. Most of the time people don’t fork over the extra cash for a higher-end model when a basic version will do most of the same things for far less money. The price tag on many appliances, especially washing machines can be quite deceiving. The model with the lowest sticker price might not always be the best deal.

Consumer Reports recommends a washer by Whirlpool that runs for $1400 on the street. The Whirlpool Duet HT GHW9400P seems to be quite expensive on face compared to a basic top loader which can be purchase for $200.00. In this case, you truly do get what you pay for. The life expectancy of the Whirlpool Duet is 14 years, whereas the average expected life of an inexpensive washer and dryer is merely 6 years. You’ll have to spend $500 in inexpensive washers alone to do laundry for the same amount of time as the more expensive model.

There’s still a $900 difference in price between buying one ‘expensive’ washing machine versus two or three cheap ones over a period of 14 years, but once you take a look at the energy usage of the two different models, the price situation looks quite difference. The Whirlpool Duet HT GHW9400P uses a mere 1 kWh of electricity for the average wash, where as a low end top loading washing machine will use about 2 kWh of electricity for the average wash. The Whirlpool model can actually do larger loads with less energy, so for every 10 washes you do with a standard top loaded, you’ll be able to do 8 loads with the higher end whirlpool model. That will save you the use of water, laundry detergent and electricity.

If you’re a very light laundry user, say it’s just you and your spouse without any children, you probably won’t benefit from the higher end model, but if you have a larger family and do several loads of laundry per week, you’re going to save money over time. If you have a large family and do 7 or 8 loads a week, you’re likely to save enough money to make up the difference in price over that long period of time.

You’ll have to do the math for your family, usage patterns, cost of detergent, water and electricity, and you might find out that it makes sense to purchase a model which on face looks more expensive but could save you money over a long period of time in repairs, lower electrical usage, lower water usage, lower detergent usage, and the like.

The moral of the story is that a cheaper price tag doesn’t always mean that you’ll be spending less money throughout the lifetime of the product. Carefully consider all other additional costs that you’ll have to fork over during the lifetime of the product and determine if a lower cost model is always the cheapest way to go.

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