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Jul. 31, 2007

Frost Free Savings

by Annette Heist

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When I bought my house in 2005, it came with a refrigerator–an almond-colored, freezer-on-top, fridge-on-bottom, standard Kenmore, circa 1980. With no ice-maker. Not the fridge of my dreams, but it worked well enough to keep. Then the noise started–a low, tired, sort of wail from deep within the fridge. (A carpenter working in my kitchen described it as “the sound of a chicken laying an egg.”) It was time to think about a replacement.

I wasn’t thrilled at the thought of spending hundreds of dollars on a new appliance. But this site, the Refrigerator Retirement Saving Calculator, gave me the push I needed to dust off my Sears card. Using the website, I learned that my old fridge was costing me about $185 a year to run. A new Energy Star-certified model that I had my eye on would cost about $45 a year to operate. Over five years, I would save $700 in electricty costs.

Three movers, one plumber, and $1400 later, I am in love. My new refrigerator is blinding white and has more room than I need. It makes ice, which it can dispense (along with water) through the door. And it’s supposed to cut my energy use by almost 120 KWH a month. Although that probably doesn’t take into account the KWHs I waste standing in front of it with the door open, admiring it while I rearrange the condiments and the contents of the crisper drawers.

(In case you were wondering: Yes, the refrigerator is bigger than I need but it was the smallest Energy Star-certified model offered. And that is a picture of it.)

About Annette Heist

Annette Heist is a former senior producer for Science Friday.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

Science Friday® is produced by the Science Friday Initiative, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Science Friday® and SciFri® are registered service marks of Science Friday, Inc. Site design by Pentagram; engineering by Mediapolis.

 

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