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Sunday, July 28, 2002

Appliance Tip of the Day: Buying a New Refrigerator

So, Old Betsy just ain't keeping the beer cold anymore and she's making more noise than Grandpa on the toilet. You've had enough and you're ready to go buy a new fridge. You surf the the web to see what's out there and now you're really confused. So many brands, so many styles, what's a grasshopper to do? Well, you just go grab a cold one, budrow, and plop your pooper at the feet of the master for another magic carpet ride into appliance enlightenment.

If you were to base your selection only on the familiar yellow and black Energy Guide pasted on all new appliances, picking your new fridge would be a no-brainer. But life is never that easy. In addition to energy usage, you're also concerned about little things like:

  • storage space -- will it have enough room to hold your case of beer AND your tubs of potato salad?
  • configuration -- side-by-side or top-and-bottom?
  • cabinet size -- will it even fit in the space now occupied by your old fridge?

Scarey stuff, ey? Well, here are some energy considerations to keep in mind when purchasing or using your new beer-cooling buddy:

  • Top freezer models use 7-13% less energy than side-by-side models.
  • Automatic icemakers and through-the-door dispensers can increase energy usage by 14-20%.
  • Consider your needs and lifestyle when selecting the size of your new fridge. A refrigerator that has either too much empty space or that is overloaded will have to run more frequently.
  • Select a fridge that has earned the EPA's Energy Star. Energy Star fridges have several advanced features to save energy and must exceed the new 2001 standards by at least 10%. Fun fact to know and tell: if your refrigerator is at least 10 years old, it uses as much energy as two Energy Star labelled fridges.
  • Placement of the fridge has a big effect on energy usage. Direct sunlight and close contact with hot appliances, like ranges, will make the compressor work harder.
  • Don't crowd food items stored in the fridge. Overcrowding a refrigerator restricts air circulation and prevents the fridge from cooling evenly.

Happy shopping!

grasshoppers enjoying an ice cold beer from their new fridge with the master

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 21:48 ET.  [permalink]
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