If you have an appliance that is over ten years old, it could be using a lot more energy than necessary, and costing you more than you think. First, check that your appliance is operating properly (intact fans, belts, seals, vents, etc.). Next, invest in an appliance energy monitor, available at most home improvement stores. Once you identify your appliance's consumption, compare it to the newest models available. Then check your electricity bill to see how much the difference costs you. You could be in for a shock!
Thanks to the international "Energy Star" program, it's now easier to compare the cost, features, and energy consumption of appliances. Manufacturers have responded well to guidelines and incentives encouraging reduced energy consumption over the past decade. Some of the top brands are now preforming with impressive results. However, don't assume that the highest priced units will always save you the most energy. Sometimes the many features of these units add to the consumption and there fore the operation cost of the appliance.