Most modern homes are filled with appliances, various structures, and systems to make it more comfortable and luxurious. Some of these are necessities, like plumbing, heating, washing machines, and so on. But some systems (like AC and a pool) are considered luxuries. What a homeowner needs to understand is some appliances might end up being extremely expensive, even if they aren’t luxuries.
This article isn’t about overpriced appliances like a stove worth $47,000+ or coffee machines inlaid with gold. It’s about how much a regular home appliance or system ends up costing you when you consider long-term expenses it incurs.
Why Are Home Appliances More Expensive Than You Expect?
Some of the things that make your home more comfortable and/or luxurious are expensive by default. For example, the central heating system or pool will set you back a few thousand dollars. There are also structural elements and essential systems, like roofing and plumbing. Those cost a small fortune to install and upgrade.
However, you also need to consider other types of unavoidable costs, such as:
- Regular maintenance
- Power use (for electric appliances)
When you calculate these and sum up the total yearly expenses you’ll see that the original price can double or even triple as the years go by.
However, while you might give up on some things as they get too expensive in the long run (e.g. a pool), you can note that some items are actually necessary for comfortable living. The heating system, good plumbing, washer, and dryer, as well as the dishwasher that all reduce your stress and water bills. Installing these items is worth it regardless of how expensive they can become over time. It is important to use clever ways to cut the long-term costs associated with home appliances and systems.
How to make Your Home Appliances and Systems Cheaper in the Long Run
1. Cut repair costs with a home warranty plan
Repair costs can be the biggest and they are also unexpected, so you should try to avoid them above all else. Home warranty plans are designed specifically for that. The advantages of such insurance include (but aren’t limited to) making repairs cheap and making it easier to find a contractor. The home warranty company will be your one point of contact for all repairs of covered items. This is an important perk for those new to the region or people who are too busy to spend hours comparing every repair contractor in town.
Bear in mind that there are over 200 home warranty providers in America and they each offer a variety of plans. Therefore, you should research the options first and compare them carefully when selecting an appropriate plan. Consider the items you need to cover in your home, their rate of use, their age, and your plans for replacing or upgrading them.
Home warranty companies use contractors they are associated with, so you should research those as well in order to be sure that they are well qualified and have reasonable rates. Remember that the plan will have a limit on how much of the repair costs it will cover. Therefore, you need to be sure you won’t be overcharged.
2. Do regular maintenance
Regular maintenance will reduce the risk of a major breakdown. There are also home warranty plans that will cover these costs, so you will be able to save even more money. You can find instructions on caring for any kind of appliance or home system online. There are even many free videos that demonstrate exactly how to do basic cleaning and maintenance. You can also find tables that explain how often any part of the house needs to be checked over by a professional.
Aside from scheduled full maintenance by professionals you should also learn how to take proper care of your appliances and home systems. It will be up to you to clean them and ensure that they aren’t exposed to any unnecessary risks. This is very important for plumbing as you’ll need to prevent clogged drains.
3. Invest in energy-saving appliances
All your electrical home appliances add a hefty amount to your energy bills. But some are particularly energy-hungry, like the heating system, lighting, and washer. Therefore, to cut the associated costs, you will need to invest in items that consume the minimum of energy by default.
Check for the Energy Star rating on every appliance to understand how energy-savvy it is. The green rating is the best, but such items are more expensive. Do some simple calculations to determine by how much you will be able to cut your energy bills with the help of this more efficient appliance. Then decide if it’s worth the extra money. Be sure to consider the expected term of service of the device.
You should also look for appliances with an auto-off feature that helps keep their energy consumption to the minimum. And don’t forget that it’s not only appliances that need to be improved in order to achieve maximum efficiency. For example, your furnace won’t have to work as hard if your house is well-insulated and isn’t leaking hot air.
4. Research the item thoroughly before buying
The most important thing you should do in order to reduce costs associated with home appliances and systems is to do thorough research of each before you invest in it. You will need to not only look for the cheapest high-quality option but also:
- Research how reliable the item is through reviews on consumer forums.
- Understand how to operate it and whether it’s suitable for your home (climate, level, and frequency of use, etc.)
- Learn what kind of maintenance the item needs and how much it will cost you.
- Find out what the most common breakdowns are and how much repairs might cost. It’s essential to determine if the replacement parts are easy to find in your country.
- Study the exact limits and terms of the manufacturer’s warranty.
Remember, not every item that seems appears to be a great deal at first glance will actually be one in the long run. Buying something for a cheap discount might end up costing you a lot more if it is unreliable and breaks down in a month. Therefore, never neglect to take the time to research and compare if you want to equip your home with the best appliances without breaking the bank.
for more great home ownership tips, check out the other blogs on Check This House.