The government's Energy Star website has a nifty refrigerator retirement savings calculator that will help you calculate how much money you'd save by replacing your main refrigerator or freezer or removing your old one from the garage entirely.
I plugged in my own old General Electric refrigerator from 1998, and it estimated an annual electricity cost of $126.05 (based on $.11 per KWh). This cost was more than double what a new energy efficient model might cost to run, which Energy Star estimated at $58 per year. With the average homeowner staying in one spot for 13 years, a savings of almost $70 per year would net $910. That's the entry price for a decent brand new Energy Star refrigerator. You'd gain back the purchase price difference, and enjoy the convenience of a brand new fridge.
That timespan is just about the lifecycle of an average refrigerator also, and consider that the older your appliance gets the more inefficiently it's likely to run as components fail, filters go uncleaned, and so on.
So think about whether it's worth hanging on to that old crusty fridge in the garage just to store a few extra bags of ice and juice. It might be time to trade in or recycle the old workhorse and get yourself a newer model, or simply go without the extra convenience. After all, how many cans of soda do we need to have in the fridge at one time anyway?
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