Guest Post: Frugal Kitchen Efficiency Upgrades
by Charles Gervasi
A friend of mine just replaced his old refrigerator in a very frugal way. He started with a 29 year-old 14 cu ft Hotpoint. He wanted to upgrade to a larger model. He found a 17 cu ft Frigidaire on Craigslist for $250. The seller accepted $225 in cash. He sold the old refigerator for $100, so the net cost of the upgrade was $125.
He used a Ryobi power meter to measure the power consumption of the old refrigerator and the new one. Some libraries lend power meters like this for free. The old refrigerator used 140 kWh of power per month, while the new one uses 31 kWh per month. Don't let the kWh units scare you. Kilowatt-hours (kWhs) are a measure of energy, like gallons or liters are measures of gasoline. My electric company charges $0.14 per kWh. So if I upgraded to an appliance that used 100 kWh less per month, it would save $14 per month. Assuming my friend pays a similar amount, he will have recouped the cost of the refrigerator upgrade in well under a year.
Image taken by Florida Friend - Out with the old, in the the not quite new!