Should I Repair or Replace?
Energy monitoring is a great tool for detecting inefficiencies in your home. One of the biggest ways that it aids users is by allowing them to discover their usage habits. Small changes in your usage can result in significant savings. Monitoring also allows you to find energy vampires that are constantly left on or plugged in. What can it do for the large appliances that take up the largest portions of energy usage? Once you see the usage for these devices how do you know if it needs immediate attention? A simple answer is to look.
Once you have dialed in on your energy hogging units it simply becomes a matter of analyzing. A quick online search for the exact model you have should result in finding energy information or specifications about the device. Once you have obtained this information you only need to compare your current usage to the recommended usage to find out how your equipment is running. Another way to tell if your energy hogging devices are using too much is by observing how often they cycle, or turn on. If your refrigerator or freezer is cycling very frequently it may need to be replaced or repair.
The National Association of Home Builders completed and released a study documenting the average lifespan of your home devices. It may be interesting to note that the standard refrigerator only lasts 13 years and the average washer and dryer only last 10. This doesn’t mean your devices will stop working it simply means they will begin operating extremely inefficiently. It is important to note that a device will begin performing poorly depending on its usage and maintenance, simply because a device is getting old doesn’t mean it will run inefficiently. If age may be a misleading guide then how can you easily decide if it is time to replace or repair your large energy consuming devices?
Real-time energy monitoring allows you to dial in on your large devices. Once you observe their usage and compare it to user manuals or information online you should also consider its age. If the device is not very old and is running inefficiency you should consider a repair, if the device is old and running inefficiently it may be better to replace the old device. Energy monitoring allows you to know when to repair and when to replace. Once you gain this information look into rebate programs from your local utility and government. Saving energy and money becomes an easy decision when you have real-time information.