Wednesday, May 7, 2014

New vs Old Refrigerator - When Should I Buy A New Fridge?

A few months ago I bought a refrigerator off a friend. Unfortunately, because there were some problems with it, it was not usable. I was bummed simply because I now had to add "find a refrigerator" back on my to-do list. I hate having to add things back on my list once I cross them out. Anyway, I was lamenting and singing the woes of my refrigerator needs to a friend when she said she and her husband have an extra fridge in their garage that I was welcome to. I was a little reluctant at first since I definitely need a black refrigerator to match my other appliances and, guess what? Yup! It is black. Oh, but things got even better.

We took a walk out to the garage to give the fridge a once over. I was very pleasantly surprised that it is a model that I had admired back in the day when I was appliance shopping for a prior home. Part of the GE Monogram line of appliances, this unit was quite expensive then and was way out of my budget. What made the fridge was so cool was an extra small door in the regular door that is known as a "Beverage Center." Built into the door of the refrigerated side, this small door is a convenient way to grab a soda or bottle of milk without opening the larger door which, in turn, allows all the cool air to escape forcing the refrigerator to have to work to cool itself back down. The freezer door side has a water and ice dispenser as well, so you can get water and ice without ever having to open the door.

You may be saying to yourself right about now that an older fridge is an energy hog. Well, let's consider it's "greenness" and the positives of using an older fridge as opposed to buying a newer one. First of all, I am not using more resources to make a new fridge when this one works great. Secondly, I am preventing a perfectly fine appliance from landing in our landfills. Thirdly, the cost savings of buying a newer fridge will not offset the savings of using this free refrigerator. Let us consider:

Old Fridge
New Fridge
Cost: Free
Power to Run for a Year: $250
Cost of Power to Run for a Year: $90
Cost at end of 5 years: $1250
Cost at end of 5 years: $1650

It will be 7 years before the costs will equal out. By then I may decide that I need a new fridge, but for now the best option is to use the older fridge.

This refrigerator has lots of bells and whistles. It was the top model of its time and I love the diagnostic center on the front designed to keep you posted on the overall function of the unit itself. Should the fridge break down or stop cooling, the diagnostic center can help me determine what may be causing the failure.

This is a large side-by-side refrigerator of 26 cu. ft. That is a plenty of space to store just about everything from a turkey to butter to fresh fruits and veggies. Glass shelves clean easily and can be moved quickly to better accommodate holiday fixin's and such. I love that the beverage center door acts as a shelf when open and the inside has a cover so the cool air doesn't all rush out each time I reach in for a can of soda.

So, while I understand that Energy Star appliances are a great and green thing, sometimes it is better to simply use what has already been produced to save on landfill and using resources to make a new item when the old item still functions perfectly well. Energy Star ratings may seem impressive until you actually consider all the costs involved. Appliances are a big expense and I believe running the numbers and analyzing the bottom line is the only way to know if new really is better than old.

1 comment:

  1. Your article made me smile for some happy you like it!