I have been thinking about replacing my old brown refrigerator for a long time. But, because it works fine (even the icemaker), I haven’t been in a hurry. I read something about refrigerators using more electricity than anything else in the kitchen and I knew that the era of brown refrigerators couldn’t have been that interested in efficiency. I found a website run by Energy Star that can calculate what your old refrigerator really costs you compared to a current Energy Star model. Mine is so old that I didn’t think they would have my model, and they didn’t (at first), so I entered the cubic feet and guessed at the year as being before 1980. It said I could save $250 a year. That didn’t seem possible. Later when I entered the model of my refrigerator without hypens, I found some similar sounding refrigerators made by GE from 1980 to 1984 and guessed I could save more like $100 per year. Still, not bad. (Follow up: I wound up saving almost a third of my electricity, at least $200 a year).
One thing I knew was that I wanted a very efficient refrigerator. This past weekend I visited Best Buy and looked at a few they had there. There were a number of Energy Star side-by-sides. I like the side-by-sides because they have water and ice through the door, meaning I wouldn’t have to open the refrigerator door for that. But even the most efficient side-by-sides use more electricity than a normal old top-freezer. That pushed me towards a top-freezer, with even more efficiency coming from its being an Energy Star model. The top-freezers are cheaper to buy too. Though they make models with water dispensers, I dispensed with that idea once I saw that some had water filters that had to be replaced every 6 months and were $40. I can open the refrigerator door for that. I think filters are becoming to refrigerators what toner and cartridges have become to printers.
I went to Lowe’s website to see what they had. If you go to their main page for refrigerators, it says “799 Refrigerators – viewing 1-12”. It blows me away how many variations they can have on a box that keeps things cool. And on websites the differences are that much less obvious. It’s just picture after picture of white rectangles. When Susan bought hers, even after we narrowed it down to a side-by-side refrigerator that could be no larger than a certain size, there were still a ton of options. It seems like Lowes primarily wants to sell high-priced fridges and mostly side-by-sides and newer french door fridges.
Sears has better prices, especially on their Kenmore brand refrigerators. I found a couple that seemed reasonably priced and will probably get one this weekend. It’s funny comparing the descriptions. I think the marketing people feel like they have to mention some feature and then they are required to tell you how that feature benefits you. I think the writers struggled at times. For instance, one has a shelf in the freezer, so they said “Full-width freezer shelf will hold your items until they are needed.” I think I understand how a shelf works. Another mentioned an ice-storage bin (not an ice-maker, just a bin): “Ice storage lets you enjoy the ultimate in cold beverages.” I am also familiar with the concept of ice.
If I had gotten one for $700 when I moved in to my house it would have more than paid itself off by now.
Happy Birthday, Dad!