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Refrigerator upgrade
Old 08-19-2019, 10:49 PM   #1
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Refrigerator upgrade

Hi all.

I am thinking about upgrading my fridge.

The one I have is a standard freezer on top style with built in ice maker. But it is probably original to the house, thus 15 years old. The house is an average spec-built house, and the appliances are likewise thus average grade.

I have read that upgrading old appliances could save on electricity. My electric costs are about 10 cents per kWh.

I'd probably replace it with just a newer model of the same style.

Any idea on what the payback period could be?

Any idea on what to do with the old one? I don't like the idea of sending it to the landfill even if that's part of the deal with the new one ("Buy ours and we'll haul away your old one for free!").

Places to buy it from? Tips/tricks for a good deal?

Any other thoughts?

Thanks!
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Old 08-20-2019, 12:10 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SecondCor521 View Post
I have read that upgrading old appliances could save on electricity. My electric costs are about 10 cents per kWh.

I'd probably replace it with just a newer model of the same style.

Any idea on what the payback period could be?
Look up the old one and the cost/year of running it, same for the new one, take the difference, divide into the cost of the new one. You should be able to find these costs online looking up both fridges by the model number. I can't imagine the payback period is going to be any less than probably 25 years....assuming the new one lasts that long. If you have an older one that has no problems, you should consider your reason(s) for getting a new one. Older ones are generally better quality than newer ones.

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Any idea on what to do with the old one? I don't like the idea of sending it to the landfill even if that's part of the deal with the new one ("Buy ours and we'll haul away your old one for free!").
Craigslist
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Places to buy it from? Tips/tricks for a good deal?
https://www.geoutletstore.com
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Old 08-20-2019, 12:34 AM   #3
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From both an environmental and financial perspective, I doubt you'll be making things better by junking an operational fridge that is 15 years old.

If you want to know the power use of your present fridge, maybe go online and see if there's one of those EnergyStar /energy use labels for your present unit (check this site. They started labelling fridges in 1996). The tests may have changed over the years, but it would be a starting point. They give the KWH/year to operate the appliance. Then compare to the labels in the newer fridges.

Here's a rough gauge: This 21 cf top freezer fridge costs about $1000. It meets the present energy star standards and uses 400 kwh/yr in the gov tests (so, would cost you $40/year to run). If your present fridge uses twice the electricity (unlikely), you'd save $40/yr. That's a 25 year payback--if we assume the time value of money is zero.

Environmentally--There's quite a bit of embodied energy in a refrigerator, so scrapping one early means that energy use is amortized over fewer years. I don't know what happens to the foam insulation in a scrapped fridge, but I know it's not re-used to make new ones.
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Old 08-20-2019, 02:13 AM   #4
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Some power companies offer rebates for buying energy efficient appliances. Check with your power company to see what they offer before buying a new refrigerator.
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Old 08-20-2019, 04:10 AM   #5
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Interesting spreadsheet at:
https://www.energystar.gov/sites/def...alculator.xlsx
I downloaded, and it appears safe to use.

Your electric cost seems very low, at least to me. So, your payback period is longer. I will take a guess that your payback period will be 10 years. What you'll get goes beyond savings, in that you'll likely have a quieter fridge, more features you want, and will save a bit on energy costs.

If you already have an energy star model, and it works fine, it stills pays you to comparison shop, in case the old one stops working.

I would comparison shop at best buy, home depot, lowes. Do it online to save aggravation. But go to the store and find exact model.

BTW, if you buy at the store, and the appliance staff is good, they'll follow up on the order, and hopefully make things go faster.
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Old 08-20-2019, 04:36 AM   #6
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What you'll get goes beyond savings, in that you'll likely have a quieter fridge
+1

We live in a relatively small-ish home and didn't realize how much noise our 17 year-old fridge made until after we replaced it with a new one.
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Old 08-20-2019, 05:25 AM   #7
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We have a refrigerator with double doors on top, a refrigerator door in the middle and a freezer on the bottom. Ours is a Maytag, but Whirlpool has the same unit for sale--made in the same factory.

Wouldn't have anything else.
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Old 08-20-2019, 05:29 AM   #8
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+1

We live in a relatively small-ish home and didn't realize how much noise our 17 year-old fridge made until after we replaced it with a new one.
Same with dishwasher. It seemed quiet 20 years ago. Had to run it late at night to enjoy a show or movie on the television. Thankfully it died and the water it leaked went to the basement (mostly).
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Old 08-20-2019, 05:44 AM   #9
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If the old frig still works list it on Craigslist, if priced right someone will pick it up. Maybe look at some of the different frig designs, having the frig section on top is a convenience worth having IMO if you're like most and use the frig section most of the time. The big box stores usually have big appliance sales around November.
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Old 08-20-2019, 05:58 AM   #10
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Energy use is specific to your model and the temps you keep it at and how often you open it and such. I doubt there’s been much improvement in 15 years, but probably some. Also, if it was a lower efficiency model at the time, comparison to a high efficiency model now may show a larger difference.

I had an experience early in adult life where the refrigerator stayed with our first house so we used it. I remember when we replaced it being shocked at the difference in the electric bill. Refrigerators can be a significant energy user.

As for getting rid of it too soon, keep in mind that the energy company encourages getting rid of the second fridge (beer fridge) and older units for environmental reasons. I’d just let the store take it with them and be done with it.
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Old 08-20-2019, 06:05 AM   #11
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The one I have is a standard freezer on top style with built in ice maker. Any other thoughts?
We opted to *not* have an ice-maker with our new fridge. In the past, we had found the ice-maker/dispenser to be of some benefit when our kids were at home. That benefit was greatly discounted when we returned from a 10-day vacation to find that the water line on the ice maker had sprung a leak while we were away.

Now that it's just DW & I, we old-school it with our new bottom freezer by filling plastic ice cube trays. The down side means having the first world problem of opening and closing the freezer drawer to get ice.
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Old 08-20-2019, 06:57 AM   #12
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My only advice is to avoid Samsung appliances. I've got a 3 year old Samsung refrigerator that keeps freezing up every 2 months and has to be manually defrosted. When you do searches online you see this is a very common problem and one that isn't fixable.

Stick with Whirlpool brands.
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Old 08-20-2019, 07:35 AM   #13
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I got a new fridge last year and my electric bill is now $10-$15 lower each month. I'm surprised the difference is that much, but the old one was VERY old - probably over 25 years old.
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Old 08-20-2019, 07:41 AM   #14
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Buy the new fridge and move the old one to the garage/basement. Whenever we have company we demonstrate anew that one can never have too much refrigerator space.
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Old 08-20-2019, 07:57 AM   #15
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From both an environmental and financial perspective, I doubt you'll be making things better by junking an operational fridge that is 15 years old.
+1

Wait for it to die.
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Old 08-20-2019, 08:44 AM   #16
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Buy the new fridge and move the old one to the garage/basement. Whenever we have company we demonstrate anew that one can never have too much refrigerator space.
+1. We put our old fridge in the basement. I use it solely for beer.
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Old 08-20-2019, 09:05 AM   #17
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We have a 23 cu ft Maytag bottom freezer. I removed the icemaker to give us more room in the freezer. The water here is very hard, and the ice would taste funny.
I have a small icemaker in the garage that we use with purified water.
We felt simplest is beat,in other words, no french doors, no through the door water and ice.
We saved the door shelves from our old fridge, and they fit the new one perfectly. we just added one of the shelves to the door.
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Old 08-20-2019, 09:47 AM   #18
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We're in the same boat. Would love to replace what we have. After many discussions we will keep until it dies. Hopefully we'll be able to transfer the frozen items before they thaw. Then we'll just pull the trigger on something. I know what I want and we do have limitations on dimensions so cannot go with a gargantuan model.
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Old 08-20-2019, 10:23 AM   #19
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You won't see an economic payback replacing it...

My 1996 fridge was one of the first redesigned models (basically, the manufacturers doubled the thickness of the insulation vs older models) & even replacing one that old won't payback.

New fridges have had so many reliability problems I won't be replacing mine until it dies.
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Old 08-20-2019, 11:44 AM   #20
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I would suggest replacing it with a Sub-Zero.
This will force you to renovate the kitchen.
Payback period will stretch to the horizon.
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