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Is it time to replace the fridge?

Is it time to replace the fridge?

My husband and I have a refrigerator that he bought new in 1994. When he moved here, it replaced my gold fridge from 1979.

According that that coincidental replacement schedule, we’re due for another new fridge now that the one from 1994 is 15 years old.

We looked at a few fridges recently to get an idea of the general price range so we’d know what we need to save up, but now I’m not sure whether we would really benefit from a new fridge or not.

Most of the new fridges had estimated annual costs of $67-$74 to run, but they cost anywhere from $1000 to $2000. If we kept a new fridge for 15 years, and spent $1500 on it, that would bring our average annual cost to $167-$174.

But, I have no idea whether we would really keep a new fridge for 15 years, since we may or may not be moving in a few years. If we moved, we would almost certainly leave our fridge with the house.

I also haven’t been able to find an estimate of how much it costs us to run our current fridge, which might be an important fact to know.

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After all, if it’s so inefficient that it’s costing us $300 a year to run, it would probably be worth it to buy a new, low end replacement.

If we do keep our existing fridge longer, we need to get the door seals repaired.

Decisions, decisions.

View Comments (4)
  • I think you’re definitely going to want to try looking up the efficiency of your fridge. Also, I quite quickly/easily found a how to replace fridge door seals. Other than the fact that you have to order by model number (something to price out, I’m sure) it’s apparently quite easy.

    I think you’re failing to do some integral math here. Even if your fridge cost $300 to run (which is pretty unlikely since by the ’90s energy efficiency was a concern) it would still take you 6 years to officially have saved money.

    From what I can tell, most fridge door seals/gaskets cost around $50 but let’s say it was $100. That would bring this year’s cost to $400 ($300 to run, $100 to reseal). Meanwhile you’ve spent $1500 to buy the new fridge and $64 to run it.

    In year 6, you’ve finally spent less — a total of $1884 [$1500+(6*64)] compared to $1900 [($300*6) + $100]. And that’s only if it’s truly cost you more than 3 times the energy to run an older fridge!

    So, worst case scenario for your old fridge (and best case scenario for your new one’s costs) you’d need to live in your house another 6 years before you’d see an overall savings.

    Also, have you just considered looking on freecycle and Craigslist? People give away (or, sometimes sell cheaply) fridges when they replace their old ones.

  • Oo, thanks for the link, that looks helpful. And yes, math isn’t exactly my strong suit. But either way, we’re not looking at it paying for itself in 2 or 3 years, which is what it would need to do to be worthwhile financially. The other problem is that I’ve discovered via more looking that no one seems to sell fridges without ice makers. I wonder if it’s possible to order them without… We don’t use ice really, and I’d rather have the extra freezer space.

  • Will a new energy-efficient fridge earn a tax deduction? I know in Texas a few weeks ago people could buy energy star appliances without paying sales tax.

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