Buying a new refrigerator can be overwhelming. From sizing to configurations to color to features, the options are endless! Being that refrigerators account for a good chunk of your electric usage, it is important to consider the following tips to make a truly informed decision:
Look for ENERGY STAR products
ENERGY STAR products help their owners save money and energy while protecting the environment. ENERY STAR certified refrigerators use significantly less energy than older models which could save you nearly $260 over a span of five years.
Opt for a top-mounted freezer
Refrigerators range in configurations. Before springing for a bottom freezer or a side-by-side, consider investing in an ENERGY STAR top-mounted freezer which uses less energy than a 60-watt light bulb and are reasonably priced. Top-mounted freezers cost about $45 a year to run while side-by-sides cost about $77 and bottom freezers cost about $70.
Don’t be fooled by the features
Think about what you need in terms of features when you are researching new refrigerators. Things like through-the-door ice can add up to about $10 per year on your electric bill. This may seem small, but things can surely add up on your receipt AND your electric bill if you go for all the bells and whistles!
Recycling your old refrigerator is essential to helping prevent global warming. Refrigerators contain harmful materials, refrigerant and foam which can produce greenhouse gas emissions. There is also more than 120 pounds of recyclable steel in most refrigerators that are 10+ years old. Below are a few ways to recycle your refrigerator:
• Buy your refrigerator from a retailer that partners with EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) Program. This voluntary partnership helps protect the ozone layer and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
• Check with your state energy office to see if they have a refrigerator/freezer recycling program. Some programs even offer cash to recycle your old fridge!
• Ask your local waste management division if they pick up and recycle large appliances.
• Contact a local scrap metal recycler.
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