Energy Guide: To Repair or Not To Repair, that is the Question!

Written by: Anna Meehan

If you are debating repairing or purchasing a refrigerator, then you have come to the right place! You may wonder whether it is more cost efficient to repair your current refrigerator or purchase a new one. The practical choice depends on the age and model of your current refrigerator.

If you own a refrigerator that is less than 12 years old, I recommend repairing it. If the compressor is damaged, then that is a different story! A compressor can cause many large problems and is expensive to replace. A repair to the fridge can cost anywhere from $200 to $600 (not considering a compressor). The large deviation in price comes from the service at hand. Replacing an icemaker, the temperature control, and any other small problems, the bill could cost around $500, including a service charge for the repair. If you only have to repair a leak, the cost could be even less than $200. The decision to repair or replace is up to you, but keep in mind, sometimes buying a new refrigerator is easier on the wallet.

When looking to upgrade, new refrigerator/freezer combos are energy efficient and can save you $60 a year on energy costs in comparison to an outdated unit. The new appliance should last years, so the refrigerator will eventually pay for itself! If you have a refrigerator older than 12 years, you should replace it to instantly see energy savings.

If you decide to purchase a new refrigerator, be sure to keep in mind size, energy costs, and possible rebates. Refrigerators range in size from a top/bottom fridge/freezer combo, a side-by-side refrigerator freezer, and — the most expensive and least energy efficient of them all — the french door refrigerator with a freezer drawer. Refrigerators range in size and should be purchased according to your own needs. The larger the refrigerator, the more expensive it will be. In addition to the model size, you should look at the actual dimensions of the fridge. They are measured in cubic feet, but some measurements can be misleading. Closely examine a refrigerator before you purchase to see how much useable space the refrigerator has inside. Also, measure the space the refrigerator will take up in your kitchen. Before shopping you should know how much room you have for the refrigerator. That way, you won’t purchase a fridge that does not properly fit the space allotted.

Additionally, you should check the energy savings according to the EnergyGuide tag on each refrigerator. The Energy Guide tag breaks down the energy costs so you can visualize the addition costs you will pay with the refrigerator each year. Energy Star refrigerators may save a few dollars a year, but to be safe check the EnergyGuide tags can help you save even more money! Also, shop during holiday weekends or Black Friday for extra savings.

In conclusion, you should repair a refrigerator if it is relatively new and does not have any major damage. If the refrigerator is older than 12 years or needs a lot of repair, consider replacing the unit. Be mindful about model type, capacity, and energy usage when purchasing a new refrigerator.

I hope you will be better prepared for repairing or replacing your refrigerator!


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