Do you have an old refrigerator in your basement? Are you hearing a lot about going green and energy efficiency? Seems like all appliances are Energy Star rated, meaning they consume at least 20% less energy while still offering the same features and performance. And ads say that buying a new refrigerator will pay for itself in as little as 3 years. But are those real world results? Let’s use an electricity monitor to take a look at the actual usage to find out.
Energy Star highly recommends replacing all refrigerators made before 1993. It also recommends considering removing second freezers or refrigerators, like those often found in a basement or garage. Replacing both the main and second refrigerator with a proper size model should save a lot of money in energy usage. This is mainly due to the fact that the second unit is often an older model that was previously used in the kitchen.
Once you choose to replace or get rid of your old refrigerator there are four ways to recycle it. Your local manufacturer/retailer, state energy office or local electric utility company, municipal pick-up, and local scrap metal dealer all generally have recycling programs. According to the Energy Star site “The average refrigerator aged 10 years or older contains more than 120 pounds of recyclable steel! The 冷氣機保養 energy saved by recycling one such refrigerator is equivalent to almost 290 kilowatt hours. That’s enough energy to run a new ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerator for 8 months.”
According to the Energy Star website, refrigerators made prior to 1993 use twice as much electricity as a new model. The pre-1993 refrigerator costs at least $100 a year to operate while an Energy Star qualified models use less than a 60 watt light bulb to run. The site offers a cost calculator for replacing or removing an older model unit, located on the refrigerator page. The estimated maximum savings from getting rid of a standard size model (19.0 – 21.4 cubic feet) from 1990-1992 is just under $150 a year in electricity costs. If your model is a little older, 1980-1989, the savings jumps up to just under $200