Is it More Environmentally Friendly to Replace Old Appliances?


Home appliances can guzzle energy, especially older models designed in a different era of technology. If you have been wondering if it’s better to repair those old appliances or buy newer, more energy-efficient ones, we’re here to help.

When is it time to upgrade your appliances?

When your appliances start to break down, most people think first of the inconvenience — and reasonably so. As the clock ticks on your rapidly defrosting freezer meats, it’s hard to consider much else. An American Home Shield Warranty is one way to make your life easier. We will assign a qualified local contractor who can diagnose the issue and recommend repair or replacement depending on the age and performance of the appliance. And if we can’t repair the covered appliance, we will replace it for you and handle the removal of the defective item. 

First, take a moment to reflect on the environmental implications of your decision. Are you extending the life of an energy-guzzling appliance that’s driving up your power bill and exacerbating your carbon footprint? What is worse for the planet: contributing to technology waste by throwing appliances away or keeping an inefficient machine running? Unfortunately, it’s not always clear — so let’s take a closer look.

  1. How old is my appliance?

Old appliances are seldom as energy-efficient as their newer counterparts. Thanks to the marvels of modern technology, newer appliances are typically built to run using less power. If you’ve got appliances in your home that are more than 10 or 15 years old, they may be both expensive to repair and unnecessarily detrimental to the environment.

  1. Does your appliance still work well?

There’s a distinct difference between an appliance that works and an appliance that works well. An appliance that runs smoothly will require less power to function, meaning less strain on precious resources. Performance and the sounds produced by your appliances can be a good indicator of how well your machine works.

  1. Will an appliance upgrade be worthwhile?

For an upgrade to be worthwhile, you’ll need to weigh up the economic and environmental costs of replacing your appliance. For example, if your 15-year-old fridge needs new coils, a complete replacement may be more practical than spending half the cost of a new one to keep an old, inefficient appliance running.

The environmental benefits of replacing old appliances

Sometimes, replacing appliances is necessary, and other times, it’s simply a matter of upgrading your home appliances to be kinder on the planet. Regardless of the case, replacing old appliances can be environmentally friendly, thanks to the wonders of modern technology. Here are the environmental benefits of upgrading common home appliances.

New vs. old refrigerators

When it comes to upgrading your refrigerator, switching to a new product can have good implications for both the environment and your back pocket.

According to ENERGY STAR, an old refrigerator uses about 33% more energy than a new model with ENERGY STAR certification. You stand to save $144 in average energy costs over five years when upgrading from a 20ft3 refrigerator purchased between 2001 and 2010. 

What’s better is that you’ll also avoid around 411lbs of carbon pollution from entering the atmosphere over that same period. ENERGY STAR also estimates that properly recycling your old unit could save the atmosphere from an additional 1,680lbs of carbon pollution.

New vs. old stoves

Few people are as attached to their fridges, washers and microwaves as they are to their gas stoves, but old gas cooktops are far from the most efficient option for cooking. 

According to ENERGY STAR, traditional gas cooktops have an efficiency of approximately 32%, whereas modern induction cooktops are around 85% efficient according to their performance criteria. Induction cooktops use coils to create a magnetic field that generates heat directly within compatible cookware, rather than wasting energy by heating the surrounding air as conventional stoves do. 

New vs. old clothes washers and dryers

While necessary, clothes washers and dryers can be significant energy drains in the home. According to ENERGY STAR, clothes washers have dramatically improved efficiency and functionality in recent years. A new clothes washer uses around 14 gallons of water per load, up to 75% less water than agitator washers did 20 years ago. These newer machines that bear the Energy Star label use 25% less energy.

As far as clothes dryers go, ENERGY STAR anticipates that if all dryers sold were certified energy-efficient, 22 billion pounds of carbon pollution could be prevented annually. That’s as much as the emissions created by two million cars. 

New vs. old dishwashers

Dishwashers use both large amounts of water and electricity, so it’s important to make sure yours is energy-efficient.

ENERGY STAR estimates that by switching to a newer, certified dishwasher, you can save an average of 3,870 gallons of water over its lifetime. ENERGY STAR certified dishwashers are also 12% more energy-efficient than non-certified models. Models that are particularly old,  manufactured before 1994, also cost an additional $35 a year on utility charges and 10 gallons of water each cycle.

Despite this, dishwashers are still usually more efficient than handwashing. A new ENERGY STAR certified dishwasher will use around a quarter of the energy usage of handwashing and save you around 8,000 gallons of water each year. 

New vs. old microwave ovens

Microwaves are an often-replaced household appliance, as their relatively low price tag makes replacement more convenient than repair. Unlike other appliances, they aren’t ENERGY STAR certified, making it a little trickier to pick a new microwave that’s environmentally friendly.

Thanks to new standards implemented in 2016, new microwave ovens have been built to use less power in standby mode. Standards for energy consumption for microwaves in standby mode tightened by about 75% for countertop microwave ovens and in-built microwave ovens, with hopes to prevent 38 million tons of carbon pollution over the next three decades.

Another benefit is the smart technologies of newer microwave models, with sensors to help you avoid overcooking food.

When not to replace an appliance

electronic-waste-image.jpg

While it’s true that new appliances tend to be more energy-efficient than older ones, replacing an old, still-functioning appliance with a more efficient one comes with its own burdens.

After all, your personal environmental footprint extends further than the home. Some things to consider are the resource costs associated with manufacturing and delivering your replacement, as well as the environmental toll of sending your appliance to the dump. 

According to a UN Environmental Program-sponsored report, around 53.6 million metric tons of electronic waste was generated in 2020 rather than being recycled. To put this into perspective, that’s approximately 57 billion dollars worth of electronics, including appliances.

While it’s not always easy to track the direct impact of this, it’s safe to say that in some cases, it’s better to stick to the old model — especially if it’s still working well.

How to thoughtfully dispose of old appliances

Once your appliance has reached the point of retiring, it’s time to start thinking about how to dispose of it in the most environmentally friendly way possible. Here are some options to keep your appliance out of the landfill for a bit longer:

  • Sell it: Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are full of people looking to purchase cheap broken appliances and flip them for a profit. 
  • Give it away: If your appliance is still in working condition, check to see if any local non-profits may be interested in giving it a second life.
  • Recycle: Many cities offer recycling programs that will allow you to recycle large appliances. In some cases, you may even receive cash from a scrap metal recycler.

To replace or to repair?

repair-man-image.jpg

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. With the exception of safety concerns, it’s almost always more environmentally and economically friendly to keep appliances until they start to act up. Believe it or not, simply knowing when to repair and when to replace your appliances is a piece of information that will help you on your sustainability journey.

Given the monetary and environmental implications of their initial investment, large appliances such as fridges, washers and ovens should be preserved for as long as reasonably possible. It’s generally recommended that you repair your larger appliances for the first five to 10 years, depending on how often they’re used. If you’ve purchased something of exceptionally high quality, this period can extend to up to 20 years.

Smaller appliances like microwaves are likely only worth repairing if they’re relatively new or under five years old. The exception would be if the repair was quite simple and could be carried out without paying too much out of pocket.

Still unsure?

If you’re still scratching your head trying to decide what to do, let us take care of it for you. With an American Home Shield Warranty Plan, we will assign a qualified contractor to diagnose your appliance-related issues and suggest the best course of action. 

Whether it’s repair or a total replacement, you’ll rest easy knowing that you won’t be left out of pocket or without an appliance.

The Weekly Wrap-Up


Are you searching for a new home? Take a look at some of this week’s fabulous featured properties.

6216 Martinique Street | Plano | $1,199,000

2722 Seabiscuit Road | Celina | $900,000

6012 Mickelson Way | McKinney | $675,000

156 Palisade Drive | Gun Barrel City | $670,000

1907 Kensington Drive | Carrollton | $425,000

Pumpkin Patch Round-Up


From pumpkin spice to pumpkin pie, you definitely need a little pumpkin in your life. Whether cooking up some fall favorites or getting your porch ready for the season, visit these fun, local spots to find your perfect pumpkin. 

ALVARADO 

Sunset Hill Tree Farm Pumpkin Patch

3400 County Road 206, Alvarado

October 2 – October 31

ARLINGTON

St. John the Apostle Pumpkin Patch

5450 Mansfield Road, Arlington

September 27 – October 31

AUBREY

Team Family Farms Pumpkin Patch

1042 W. Sherman Drive, Aubrey

September 25 – November 7

BEDFORD

Bedford Public Library Pumpkin Patch

2424 Forest Ridge Drive, Bedford 

October 14 – October 31

CANTON

Yesterland Farm Pumpkin Patch

15410 Interstate 20, Canton

September 18 – November 7

CLEBURNE

Mainstay Farm Park Pumpkin Days

1004 W. Bethesda Road, Cleburne

September 24 – October 31

CORSICANA 

Main Street Pumpkin Patch at The Square Root

222 N Main St., Corsicana

October 1 – October 31

DALLAS 

Autumn at the Arboretum

8525 Garland Road, Dallas

September 18 – October 31

Dallas Farmers Market Pumpkin Patch

1010 S. Pearl Expressway, Dallas

September 18 – October 31

St. James Episcopal Church Pumpkin Patch

9845 McCree Road, Dallas

October 2 – October 31

DENISON

Elves Farm Pumpkin Patch

601 Harvey Lane, Denison

October 2 – October 31

GUNTER

The Big Orange Pumpkin Farm

15102 TX-289, Gunter

September 18 – November 24

FAIRVIEW

Creekwood Pumpkin Patch

261 Country Club Road, Fairview

October 2 – October 31

FLOWER MOUND

Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch

5100 Cross Timbers Road, Flower Mound

October 1 – October 31

FORNEY

The Gentle Zoo Pumpkin Patch

12600 FM 2932, Forney

October 1 – November 1

FORT WORTH

Arlington Heights UMC Pumpkin Patch

4200 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth

October 16 – October 31

FRISCO

Pumpkins on the Prairie

3521 Main St., Frisco

October 8 – October 31

GRAPEVINE

Hall’s Pumpkin Farm and Corn Maze

3420 Hall Johnson Road, Grapevine

October 1 – October 31

MANSFIELD

St. John Youth Pumpkin Patch

1218 E. Debbie Lane, Mansfield

September 19 – October 31

MCKINNEY

5G Farm

6601 County Road 166, McKinney

September 17- October 31

MIDLOTHIAN

Shadow Creek Pumpkin Farm

1530 Indian Creek Drive, Midlothian

October 2 – October 31

PLANO

Pumpkin Patch on the Corner

3101 Coit Road, Plano

September 26 – October 31

RICHARDSON

Arapaho UMC Pumpkin Patch

1400 W. Arapaho Road, Richardson

October 1 – October 17

ROCKWALL

Blase Family Farm Pumpkin Patch

1232 E. Fork Road, Rockwall

September 25 – October 31

SOUTHLAKE

The Patch at Southlake

101 E. Highland St., Southlake

October 1 – October 31

STEPHENVILLE

Lone Star Family Farm Pumpkin Patch

4199 Highway 67, Stephenville

September 25 – November 6

The Weekly Wrap-Up


Are you searching for a new home? Take a look at some of this week’s fabulous featured properties.

3551 Torrance Boulevard | Frisco | $1,595,950

6715 Lakehurst Avenue | Dallas | $1,350,000

201 Dowdy Road | Lowry Crossing | $1,250,000

11626 Hillcrest Road | Dallas | $1,100,000

140 Tanda Trail | Trinidad | $699,000

1134 N Clinton | Dallas | $699,000

2205 Canton Street #123 | Dallas | $659,400

BIG TEX + BIG SAVINGS


2021 State Fair of Texas | Friday, September 24, 2021 – Sunday, October 17, 2021

Y’all, it’s fall – which to North Texans means pumpkin spice everything, football and the return of The State Fair of Texas! The time-honored tradition kicks off in all its Lone Star glory on Friday, September 24. 

Big Tex + Big Savings = Texas-Sized Fun. We’ve rounded up a comprehensive list of discount opportunities so you can save on admission (which could mean more corn dogs!). Check out the list below to see the many ways Fair Fans can save BIG this year!

STATE FAIR SAVINGS

BIG TEX INSIDER PROMO CODES – Sign up to become a Big Tex Insider and receive exclusive State Fair ticket and merchandise discounts and promo codes straight to your email inbox. Each Monday during the Fair, a special promo code will be released that provides Big Tex Insiders special access to $10 tickets good for Tuesdays and Thursdays.

SEASON PASSES – Trying to get the full State Fair experience can be quite hard to do in one day. With the season pass, however, you can enjoy a full 24 days of admission as well as VIP benefits for just $50.

GROUP TICKETS – Enjoy fun times at the fair with all of your friends or coworkers! When purchased in advance, groups of 25 or more can attend the State Fair for as little as $16 per person. Don’t forget to preload Midway game cards and food and ride coupons to any group ticket order. For assistance in purchasing group tickets, call in advance, 214-565-2979. 

HOMETOWN HEROES

MILITARY APPRECIATION DAY IS EVERY DAY – All active military, retired military, and veterans save $5 off on weekdays and $7 off on weekends when they present valid documentation of military service at the gate or online. Spouses of service men and women with a valid Military Spouse ID and accompanying children under the age of 18 also receive discounted admission. For information on how to obtain your Military ID Card before your visit to the Fair, contact your military branch or go to www.cac.mil.

FIRST RESPONDERS DAY IS EVERY DAY – All first responders can save $5 off on weekdays and $7 off on weekends when they present a valid badge or ID card from their department or organization at the gate or online, plus up to three discounted admission tickets for their family members. 

ANY-DAY DISCOUNTS

KROGER – Get $3 off premium one-day admission or $5 off season passes when you buy tickets in advance from your local Kroger. Purchases can be made at the checkout counter or service desk until October 17, 2021.

MCDONALD’S – Discount coupons can be found at any participating McDonald’s locations in the North Texas area. Present these coupons at the fair gates to save $5 off general admission tickets on weekdays and $7 off on weekends. One coupon per person. McDonald’s discounts may not be combined with any other offers. 

AFTER 5 P.M. – No matter your age, all adults pay child’s prices at the State Fair of Texas after 5 p.m. SAVE up to $7 on adult tickets when you arrive after 5 p.m. any day of the week.

DISCOUNTS OF THE DAY

FRIDAY | SEPTEMBER 24

NORTH TEXAS FOOD BANK OPENING DAY – On opening day, bring two jars of peanut butter for the North Texas Food Bank and enjoy a discounted admission price of $10 at the gate. 

TUESDAYS | SEPTEMBER 28 & OCTOBER 5 & 12

THRILLING TUESDAYS – Most rides are offered at a reduced price on Tuesdays.

DR PEPPER VALUE DAYS – Dr Pepper Value Days are every Tuesday and Thursday and $10 tickets can only be purchased online. Only Big Tex Insiders receive the promotion code for this exclusive savings so be sure to sign up now at BigTex.com/Insider

WEDNESDAYS | SEPTEMBER 29 & OCTOBER 6 & 13

NORTH TEXAS FOOD BANK, FEED THE NEED WEDNESDAYS – By bringing five canned food items, fairgoers will receive admission for only $5. All canned donations go to the North Texas Food Bank, which helps feed members of the community. $5 admission tickets can only be purchased at the gate on Wednesdays with a canned-food donation.  

THURSDAYS | SEPTEMBER 30 & OCTOBER 7 & 14

THRIFTY THURSDAY FOOD SPECIALS – Thursdays are the best day of the week for foodies, thrifty families, or anyone who can’t get enough fair food! Featured items include State Fair classics like corn dogs, cotton candy and funnel cakes. Participating food vendors also offer one of their signature menu items at a reduced price, ranging from mini versions to regular-size items.

DR PEPPER VALUE DAYS – Dr Pepper Value Days are every Tuesday and Thursday and $10 tickets can only be purchased online. Only Big Tex Insiders receive the promotion code for this exclusive savings so be sure to sign up now at BigTex.com/Insider.

SENIOR DAYS – Every Thursday, anyone age 60 and older gets into the Fair for only $5. $5 admission tickets can only be purchased at the gate on Thursdays. Seniors must present ID to receive the discount.

For more information on this year’s State Fair of Texas, visit bigtex.com. All discounts for the State Fair of Texas will be posted to BigTex.com/discounts.

Special thanks to Ebby Halliday Companies Core Services Team for providing the research for this post.

Photo credits: Kevin Brown/State Fair of Texas

The Weekly Wrap-Up


Are you searching for a new home? Take a look at some of this week’s fabulous featured properties.

6821 Dry Creek Road | Quinlan | $4,900,000

1221 Wyndham Hill Lane | Southlake | $2,295,000

304 Page Road | Overbrook | $1,950,000

9 Home Place Court | Dalworthington Gardens | $1,700,000

1271 Shelby Lane | Celina | $1,699,999

EHC Introduces New Agent Tools for On-The-Go Productivity


There is a lot of noise in the real estate industry around the topic of technology. Ask most professionals and they will tell you they just want agent-centric simplicity along with ease of access to help them provide their clients with the best possible service. 

With that in mind, the Ebby Halliday Companies recently launched ART (Agent Resources & Technology). The new, Google-based intranet consolidates everything an on-the-go professional needs to make their business run more efficiently and quickly.

Said President and CEO Chris Kelly, “What this means for clients is added responsiveness from an agent and an overall enhanced transaction experience.”

Travis Mathews, Vice President of Operations, spearheaded the project. 

“This modern platform fits the way agents work, which is primarily on-the-go and at a brisk pace,” says Mathews. “It’s searchable, optimized for mobile, and organizes content in a way that allows for both quick access to tools as well as detailed resources on how to use them in your business.”

Agents have taken to ART quickly, making comments like “The search engine is wonderful… so user friendly! Thank you to everyone who worked tirelessly to make this tool a reality. Ebby agents have the best support team in the industry!” and “Very user friendly! Thanks for your vision of this great on-the-go tool!”  

The Ebby Halliday Companies are always looking for dedicated and motivated professionals who’d like to join the family through one of the three brokerage brands or its ancillary companies that provide mortgage, title, and insurance services: Prosperity Mortgage, Home Team InsuranceTexas Premier Title, and HSTX Title. For more information, visit ebbyhallidaycompanies.com.

Stunning Pools for the Summer


Summer is here and if the pool is calling your name, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve gathered a few of our favorite sparkling pools so you can cool off from the North Texas heat.

6 Island Drive | Mabank | $2,900,000

2326 Perkins Road | Arlington | $2,495,000

1808 Watermill Court | Plano | $1,949,000

4604 Charles Place | Plano | $900,000

8021 Strathmore Drive | McKinney | $675,000

To view more spectacular homes for sale, visit ebby.com.

Springtime is the Ideal Time


After cooler-than-normal temperatures, it’s welcome news that we’ll be enjoying temperatures in 70s and 80s this weekend in North Texas.

And, you can bet that with our spring weather potential buyers will increasingly be out and about discovering homes for sale across the region. Not surprisingly, those with the best “curb appeal” are often the first to sell.

Buyers often pass quick judgment on a property based on its drive-up appeal. A small investment in time and money to spruce up your property’s appearance could mean fewer days on the market and a higher sales price.

Below are a few areas in particular on which you should focus:

*  For a burst of color, plant spring flowers.

*  Tidy up your gardens.

*  Remove glass from light fixtures around your home’s front door and clean thoroughly.

*  Wash down your front door. If the sun has faded the paint, consider repainting.

*  Clean and polish your front door’s hardware. Replace it if necessary.

*  Check your house numbers. Are they still in good shape and visible from the street? If not, replace them.

*  Wash the windows. If this isn’t your strong suit, hire a professional.

*  Check your roof to make sure no shingles are missing or damaged.

*  Remove debris from your gutters and drain spouts.

*  Clean your patio furniture. You want potential buyers to be able to visualize your outdoor living area’s potential.

If you’re considering listing your home, contact an Ebby Associate to learn more about how to prepare it to sell in today’s ultra-competitive market and how Ebby Halliday Realtors will market your home, both locally and globally, to produce the most-favorable results for you. To get started, visit the award-winning ebby.com.