Buying a treadmill? Run through your options

Treadmills make expensive clothes racks. If you’re in the market for one, think long and hard about how you’ll use it before sinking thousands of dollars into something that will collect dust once your resolve to exercise wanes.

If you’re sure you’ll use it, though, a treadmill might be the best piece of exercise equipment you can buy for your home.

Here are four questions to answer before you make the investment:

Can you afford a good one? A treadmill that costs less than $1,000 is unlikely to be durable enough for anything but walking. If you’re going to run or use the machine constantly, be prepared to pay more.

Is this the best time to buy? If you wait until after the new year to buy yours, you could get a deal. Prices tend to inflate when everybody’s buying them.

Can your home’s electrical system handle a treadmill? If your home is older, call an electrician. You might need to add a dedicated circuit for your new machine.

Do you have room for it? A treadmill is a pretty big machine. It’s noisy. And you’re going to sweat when you run on it. You’ll want to keep it in a room where the kids don’t watch TV or sleep nearby. And good ventilation in that space will prevent it from smelling like a locker room.