Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New Refrigerator

Buying a new energy efficient refrigerator is a frustrating process. Most sites don't have the energy star guides (the yellow flyers that say how much power a device uses). Sites like Lowes.com allow you to compare features between competing models, but not how much power they use, they do allow you to download the energy guides individually.

You have to pay attention to how much power it uses, because sometimes they get the math wrong and two models with dramatically different power needs will have the exact same cost of operation listed. Also, the little scale on the flyer is bogus. You know the one that says "Cost Range Of Similar Models"...I think this scale is based on very tight parameters, models of exact same size (like 25.8 cu. ft.), type (french door bottom mount freezer) and only within that particular manufacturer... It's better to just evaluate them based on the "Estimated Yearly Electricity Use"

My refrigerator is at least 13 years old, the energy star website estimates that it uses 857 kwh/year to run (and costs $91/year). I'm looking for a larger refrigerator, preferably french door with a bottom mount freezer and an ice maker as well as an internal water dispenser. Currently, I've found a Samsung model that is 25.8 cu. ft. that uses somewhere between 462 - 505 kwh/year to run (and costs just $49/year - saving me $42/year).

Part of me thinks I should get a top freezer replacement of almost equal size that only uses around 330 kwh/year, saving about $56 (over our current fridge). This really would be the better option for the planet, but with a family of 5, our current fridge is usually maxed out and the freezer is always maxed out.

Kitchen Remodel

Our house was built in 1979. The stove is original to the house as are the cabinets, but I think the previous owners replaced the cabinet doors when they decided to sell the house. The original refrigerator was in the garage when we moved in, but the previous owners had put a new refrigerator in the kitchen (which makes it at least 13 years old now). I think we've gone through 2 dishwashers since we've been here. The stove barely functions, the cabinet doors are cracked and the refrigerator is making some crazy knocking noises. It's time for a remodel.

I met with Charlie so he could take measurements and get an idea for what we wanted. I'll be doing the demolition myself to save cash and I'll be buying the appliances myself for the same reason. My guess is that Charlie is going to come back with an estimate of $20k to $25k for the project.