How do you decide whether or not to buy a new electric appliance?
It’s simple, according to Electric Appliance Regulations.
“In general, you need to weigh the risks of different types of energy sources against the benefits,” says Kristina Hwang, a certified public accountant who helps people choose the right appliances for their homes.
If the risks are too great, you can skip the appliance altogether and go with a safer alternative.
You also want to be sure to buy the right type of appliance to meet your personal needs.
“You need to make sure you’re choosing a reliable appliance that has enough power to keep you warm, and you want to minimize the risk of heat damage from electricity,” says Hwang.
For example, a portable air conditioner that is not plugged in will be more effective at keeping you warm than a compact air conditioners that are plugged in.
“A good, reliable portable air-conditioner that can keep you cool will be better for you,” says Mark Bortz, a registered nurse and certified electrician.
You’ll want to read about the appliance’s features and make sure the manufacturer and the manufacturer’s warranty terms are up-to-date.
“When you’re buying an electric appliance, make sure to ask questions about the manufacturer,” says Bortzen.
“They should have a warranty that covers all the things that the appliance does,” says John Schmiedtke, an energy and environmental consultant.
“If the warranty doesn’t cover that, you might want to look for something else that has similar features.”
“Make sure to read the instructions carefully, especially if you’re shopping at a thrift store or online,” says Schmies.
“Check with the manufacturer to make certain that the information on the packaging is accurate and correct,” says Dr. Andrew Peltzer, a Certified Public Accountant and certified consumer energy adviser.
“Always check to see if the appliance has a manufacturer’s return policy, and if it does, it should have it,” says Peltzers.
“For the most part, if you can find the manufacturer on the internet, you should be able to find a return policy online,” Schmie says.
“It’s also a good idea to make a call to your electric company and see if they have an online return policy,” says Jana Hahn, a home health and safety expert and certified public auditor.
“Don’t just go online to get your information,” she says.
If you have questions about your electric appliance purchase, talk to your local electrical retailer.
If they’re not offering a return guarantee, you’ll need to ask for one, which can be expensive.
The consumer advocate group Consumer Reports advises you to “contact the manufacturer directly if you don’t receive a return warranty from the manufacturer.”
You can also call a local utility, or go online and ask them to send you an electronic warranty.
“The easiest way to do this is to contact the utility directly, but sometimes they’re just not there,” says Sarah Sorensen, an experienced consumer advocate and certified environmental attorney.
“Also, call the utility’s toll-free number, and ask for an answer.
This way you can call and talk to them and make them aware of any issues.”
“It is important to always be wary of these types of online sales.
You don’t know if you’ll receive a refund,” says Rachael McFarland, an expert on consumer energy issues and a certified consumer information expert.
You should also look at the company’s return policies online, and check to make specific requests for the appliance, like a manufacturer warranty, to make it easier for you to return the appliance if you need one.
“These types of products are often available for sale for less than the retail price,” says McFarlands.
If your electric supplier has a return offer, you may be able get a discount.
“Many people don’t realize that some electric manufacturers have a return-on-sale (ROAS) guarantee,” says Lacey Zwicker, a consumer advocate, energy consultant and certified energy adviser who specializes in home energy issues.
“Roas guarantee that the manufacturer will pay the full cost of the appliance for the first two years after purchase.”
“Roos are not guaranteed by manufacturers, and this is the reason that many consumers don’t take advantage of this guarantee,” she adds.
“Instead, they purchase an electric power supply without knowing what the return policy is or what warranty terms the company has,” says Zwick.
“Once they buy a power supply, they expect to receive their appliance within a certain time frame, which may be a few months or longer.”
So, make your purchase smart, and be sure that the return guarantee you’re considering is in the product’s contract or on the product packaging.
“Look at the manufacturer warranty terms,” says Soreksen.
“Make an appointment with the installer to