Choosing Appliances For Your Park Home 

When choosing appliances for your park home, it’s a good idea to think about the cost over the lifetime of the appliance, not just the purchase price. When comparing potential bargains in the January sales, think about a range of factors. For instance, the lowest price washing machine may be less of a bargain if the running costs are higher than an alternative model.

Energy efficiency of your park home appliances

Saving energy is on a lot of people’s minds as we think about our impact on the environment and what we might do to lessen it. One major factor in this is our energy consumption. Cutting back on gas and electricity use is also an important financial consideration for many of us, as we go in to a new year with the possibility of energy prices rising.

The appliances you choose for your park home can make a real difference in terms of the impact you individually make on energy consumption. The most energy efficient appliances can be (but are not always) more expensive than others, but can still save you money overall and in the long term. With informed choices you can cut your fuel bills and often save significant amounts over the lifetime of a new appliance.

Environmental awareness is growing and manufacturers across the globe are keen to innovate and invest in greener technology. There are many new developments from super-efficient heat-pump tumble dryers to low-temperature washing technologies and high-efficiency fridges. This makes it a great time to update the appliances in your park home.

This short guide is designed to help you navigate the large array of choices out there in the new year and to match your budget with the best energy saving appliances available to you.

Comparing the prices of appliances for your park home

When comparing prices, look for ‘value for money’ rather than price. What this means for you will vary due to your own circumstances and budget. A general rule is that energy efficiency increases the initial purchasing price but reduces running costs and can save money over the lifetime of the appliance.

Simply replacing an old appliance with a new one is likely to increase its energy efficiency. New washing machines and dishwashers, for example, are likely to use less energy and less water efficiency with an improved range of operating temperatures or speeds in all price ranges. In this instance, if you are just looking for the most inexpensive item to buy you will probably still make improvements to the running costs compared to your existing units.

Energy ratings

A good place to start with any new appliance for your park home is with its energy rating. The energy rating label tells you how much energy the appliance consumes relative to similar appliances.

Energy ratings changed in 2020. Instead of the A+++ to G range, it is now just A to G, with A being the most energy efficient and G being the least energy efficient. The change was introduced because too many appliances were rated in the top three A+ to A+++ categories. This made it difficult for consumers to make a distinction between products and reduced the incentive for manufacturers to improve the energy efficiency of the appliances they produce. When considering a new product look first for the new energy label.

According to the Label 2020 website, If you choose products in the best available energy class you can achieve substantial savings

For example:

A D-rated fridge costs to run £125 less than a G-rated one over the average lifetime of the appliance (estimated to be 14 years), and will save the same amount of CO2 as not driving 700 miles.

When you’re looking for a new fridge-freezer a D-rated one will reduce electricity use, CO2 emissions and running costs by 87%, compared with a G-rated fridge-freezer. That’s a £25 difference in running costs every year for just choosing an energy efficient appliance.

E-rated freezers cost to run £215 less than a G-rated models over 14 years; the CO2 savings are equivalent to not driving 1200 miles!

Type of appliance

As you can see from the examples above, the type of appliance you can have an impact on the energy efficiency/price calculation you are making.

New technologies will also make a difference. Heat pump tumble-dryers, for instance, are much cheaper to run than vented or water-collecting types. The initial outlay for such an appliance is, however, about two thirds higher. Your own circumstances will matter when assessing the extra benefits to the environment and the long-term savings as against the extra expense.

You should also consider the size of the appliance you intend to buy; the smaller the appliance the less energy it consumes. An ‘A’ rated large American style free-standing fridge-freezer, for example, will obviously tend to consume more energy than a smaller, under-the-counter model. Make sure you are comparing like to like in terms of their energy rating.

Water usage

For appliances that use hot water, such as washing machines or dish-washers, the amount of water they use is connected to their overall level of energy consumption. Low water usage combined with a high energy rating is the optimal combination to reduce the environmental impact of your appliance. It could also reduce your water bills if your park home is connected to a water meter. 

Low energy operation

While the energy rating is an important and accurate guide for new appliances, it is a good idea to check consumer websites too. Some of them such as Which? have conducted their own research and comparisons. The tests they carry out can sometimes differ crucially from those which produced the official energy rating. Washing machines, for example, are often tested at 60º but are more typically used for most washes at 40º. This does not make the energy rating inaccurate but is something worth thinking about.

Life expectancy of the appliance

The real difference that a high energy rating will make is best measured over the whole lifetime of the appliance. Calculations are usually made on the basis of the typical lifespan of the appliance in question. Build quality and other specifications will affect the expected life and often the price of your appliance.

A typical fridge lasts 14 years, for example. However, not all products are ‘typical’, so it is good to remember to modify the guidance you take from the energy rating.

The frequency with which you need to replace or repair an appliance will affect the value for money that you are getting as well as the total impact on the environment that your appliance will have. Check review sites or ask servicing engineers about the build-quality and lifespan of different models.

When replacing any appliance in your park home, remember to recycle it appropriately. If it is still in good working order, it may be worth selling it second-hand or donating it to a charity or free-cycle scheme. If you are having your new appliance installed by the retailer, many of them will also collect and safely recycle the old ones you are replacing.

We hope that this short guide will help you when you’re choosing new appliances for your park home and that you can find some real bargains in the January sales!

This is a marketing article from Park Home Assist, multi award-winning providers of residential park home insurance.  If you would like to speak to an advisor regarding insurance for your park home, please contact our friendly team in our Northampton office on 01604 946 796.

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