Nearly every home in America has a refrigerator. No surprise there. But a quarter of those homes have two (or more) fridges.
That’s a lot of refrigerators.
If you’re one of the 23 percent of Americans with more than one fridge, take heed: you’re wasting a chilling amount of money and electricity.
Despite what appliance companies would like you to believe, you’d be better oﬀ doing without the second refrigerator. Here’s why:
- It’s costing you. According to the nonproﬁt American Council for an Energy-Eﬃcient Economy, nearly 15 percent of U.S. homes have second fridges that are at least 20 years old. Those old dinosaur fridges are energy hogs, especially when you compare them with the new energy-eﬃcient refrigerators available today. “A fridge that just meets the new standards will use $215 to $270 less per year in electricity than a comparable unit that met the ﬁrst state standards set in 1978,” writes Marianne DiMascio of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project.
- It’s costing the environment. Continuing to use old energy-draining refrigerators not only costs you money, but it also takes a signiﬁcant toll on the environment compared with more eﬃcient new appliances. “[The Department of Energy] estimates that the new eﬃciency standards will save nearly 5 quads of energy over 30 years, or enough to meet the total energy needs of one-fourth of all the homes in the United States for a year,” DiMascio writes. “DOE also estimates CO2 emissions will be cut by 344 million metric tons over 30 years, an amount equal to the annual emissions of about 70 million cars.”
- It’s not getting used. How often do you really use your second refrigerator? If you’re like many people, its doors only get opened around the holidays or when you’re having a party and you need more space to keep extra food and drinks cold.
If you really want to keep a second fridge at your house, you’d be better oﬀ purchasing a new one. If you get a basic model, you likely won’t spend more than $300 or $400. You can easily make that money back in energy savings.