The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Out with the mold

Out with the mold...ahem...old.To energy star or not to energy star?  That was the question when our fridge started to die over a month ago.  Refrigerators are the single largest drain of electricity in most households, sucking up about 14% of your energy usage.  That's money going down the drain and pollutants going into the air.  But could we afford to go green?

You can download a very useful spreadsheet of energy star appliances' features and energy ratings here.  I was curious about whether the label was a marketing gimmick, but perusal of the spreadsheet made it clear that energy star fridges do save electricity, often 100 KWH per year or more.  The problem with energy star is that new models are out of our price range, with the cheapest ones going for over $500.  No one seems to be willing to sell used ones at all.

In with the new.Instead, we decided to buy a small (9.7 cubic foot), non-energy star refrigerator.  Small is a plus for us since I'm a maniac about eating up leftovers promptly, resulting in a fridge which is usually half empty.  The new fridge would cost about $350 plus tax and uses a similar amount of electricity as the larger, energy star models.  (There are small, energy star models, but no one seems to carry them.)

But on our way to Lowes, we stumbled across a used appliance store which just happened to have a small used fridge.  We pulled it away from the wall and wrote down its model number, then hurried north to a library fifteen minutes away to look up its ratings.  The used Whirlpool fridge is rated at 310 KWH per year (significantly less than both the locally available energy stars and the small non-energy star we had our eye on), has a slightly large capacity than the small new one, and was selling for $150.  I thought my day couldn't get any better...then Mark bargained them down to $125.  And now I'm dreaming of non-powdered milk, butter that doesn't melt in the door of the fridge, and unmoldy hotdogs....

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Ain't nothin' like scoring an awesome bargain on something you need, is there? Also, non-melting butter is a plus..... :-)
Comment by Jiffyner Fri May 1 14:13:58 2009
I'm still extremely excited! I keep enthusing every time I open the door. Yay! :-)
Comment by anna Fri May 1 20:08:10 2009

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