2 Ways to Reduce the Second Price Tag on your Refrigerator

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Buying a refrigerator, to the surprise of many consumers, is a lot like buying a new mobile phone; there is a price tag for the product with a second less obvious price tag for the cost of operation. In both cases, the second price tag can be far more costly than the amount of the purchase of the product, a fact that is muted somewhat by monthly payments rather than a lump sum. Usually, the monthly pricing plan for a mobile phone is part of the deal and is advertised as such but, when it comes to buying a refrigerator, determining the amount of the second price tag takes a little more effort. Due to the fact that even the most energy efficient refrigerator will still be one of the biggest consumers of energy when compared to the rest of the appliances in your home, taking a couple of minutes to assess the cost of operation is a worthy investment of your time.

The first way to reduce the second price tag is to review the yellow and black EnergyGuide label containing specific data on each refrigerator that is under consideration. The top of the label will present product specifications to ensure that the comparison of relative energy consumption is being done with refrigerators that are similar in size and configuration. The center of the label reveals two vital pieces of information; the estimated cost of operation (the yearly amount of the second price tag) as well as where the product stands within its category with regard to the cost of operation versus similar refrigerators.

The second resource related to the cost of operation will be listed on the EnergyGuide label and will also have one of its own; the blue and white ENERGY STAR label. Certification from ENERGY STAR signifies that rated products consume at least 20 percent less energy than is mandated by federal standards, which virtually assures that rated products will be among the most energy efficient within each category.          

With this data in hand, you can make informed decisions on both the purchase price as well as the cost of operation. In many cases, refrigerators that have a lower purchase price will have a higher yearly cost of operation which, over 15 to 20 years, can result in a substantially higher total price tag than more energy efficient products that are more expensive at the time of purchase. As an added reward, ENERGY STAR rated refrigerators often come with rebates paid by local utilities and/or government agencies, which should also be factored in to the calculation of the true cost of each product.   
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