LESLIE: Kevin in Maine is thinking about getting a new washer and dryer. How can we help with that decision?
KEVIN: So we have an old electric washer and dryer and we’ve been talking about upgrading them for quite a while. We have a newborn and we do cloth diapers; we do a lot of laundry. My question …
TOM: You do a lot of laundry. A lot of laundry.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) A ton of laundry.
KEVIN: A lot of laundry; a lot of laundry every day. (Tom chuckles) And so what my question is – is an old washer and dryer kind of like a car? You run them into the ground or would it be better to upgrade to something that’s going to be more efficient?
TOM: Well, that’s a great question and depending on how much laundry you do, the return on investment could be pretty significant. Now, with a new baby and lots of diapers – and certainly, I can tell you as a father of three and Leslie as a mother of one, it doesn’t get any better. I mean the laundry just really piles up and so, with old equipment, it may make good sense for you to replace it now. The new equipment is far, far, far more energy-efficient.
LESLIE: And it uses way less water and far less detergent.
TOM: Exactly. So it’s a good time to do that. Can you run it into the ground? Absolutely. The deciding point would be whether or not it needs a repair and at that point, you don’t want to put any money into an old appliance.
In fact, I wrote a very detailed story about this on MoneyPit.com. If you go on MoneyPit.com and you search “appliance repair versus replace,” you’ll find that we even developed a chart that tells you how much money you should spend on an appliance repair, based on the age and the replacement cost of the appliance. So it’s all sort of figured out for you right there on the website.
But generally speaking, with real old equipment and a family that’s on the up-curve of the amount of laundry, it probably would make sense for you to think about replacing it and getting some new, energy-efficient equipment; certainly Energy Star-rated equipment.
KEVIN: Excellent. Let me ask you one real quick question, too. And so we have the option – right now, it’s an electric dryer but we have the option of making it a propane dryer. What are your thoughts on that?
TOM: (overlapping voices) Mm-hmm. Would this be the only propane piece of equipment in the house? Are you heating by …?
KEVIN: No. No, actually, I was listening to your show when I was traveling – which is how I heard about you guys – and I’d been thinking about a tankless hot water heater for quite a while. And so we recently got a tankless hot water heater but we also have two Rinnais in the house. So we already have a tank and we’re all set up. And when the put the tankless hot water heater in, they put a T on the line so it would be …
TOM: Oh, then I would definitely go gas.
KEVIN: You would definitely go gas? OK, OK, OK.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Yeah. Definitely go gas.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) It’s going to cost you far less money to run.
KEVIN: It is? OK, OK. Very good. Guys, you’ve been helpful. I appreciate it.
TOM: You’re welcome, Kevin. Thanks so much for calling us.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) And congrats on the new baby.
TOM: Absolutely. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. He’ll be calling next week to ask a storage question: “How do I find more room in my house?”
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) I know, right? And man, the amount of laundry I remember doing when Henry – that whole first year, like every day was another load of laundry.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Yeah.
LESLIE: Could you imagine with cloth diapers on top of the regular washing? The (inaudible at 0:16:33.9).
TOM: (overlapping voices) Yeah. How could such a small human being generate so much dirty clothes?
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Oh, good Lord. And you know what? There are services out there that will come and take those cloth diapers away and bring you nice clean ones every day. (Tom and Leslie chuckle)