Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Appliance Replacement: Pre-emptive with rebate, or wait until the end?

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Twenty years ago, I bought my refrigerator. It's a Maytag and has lived up to its reputation. Other than replacing the ice maker every 5 years or so and a roommate breaking one of the door shelves, it's holding up very well and has given me no issues or indication that it's going to die sometime soon. I take care of my things, like for example I clean the coils on the fridge every year or two, wipe down the seals and check for tears or cracks, and clean up spills when they happen. Other than a few scuffs and the broken shelf I mentioned earlier, the unit still looks like new.

Like many of us, I often get promotional postcard or email from our local electric company that says the following:

Your old appliances are wasting energy and costing you money!

If you are looking to replace your full-sized, working refrigerator or freezer:

  • We will provide you with a $50 check to kick off the savings
  • You could save $100 a year or more on electric costs
  • We will provide free pickup and haul away of your old fridge or freezer

While talking with friends (not appliance experts,) they seem to think I'm sitting on a time bomb and they're amazed the fridge has lasted this long.

Something I've considered is that if my refrigerator does stop working, I'll have to "panic purchase" and take whatever's available at that moment, as well as risking the loss of whatever was in the fridge assuming it dies while I'm on vacation or something.

Conversely, I could watch the ads for the units that I like and purchase a new fridge during an upcoming holiday-themed sale that appliances host all the time. The plus side to this is the utility company pays me $50 for the old one. Hardly a dealbreaker when talking about a $1500-2000 purchase, but still something I wouldn't get if I decide to wait until Fridgor Mordis sets in.

How can I find out exactly what sort of energy savings to expect from a new machine? Is this where I get one of those watt-meters and plug it into the wall and compare those numbers to the yellow EnergyGuide sticker on the new one?

So my fellow Frugalitarians: What would you do?

  1. Purchase a new unit when the price is right and lines up with my availability and convenience and enjoy energy savings, or
  2. get my full money's worth out of the unit I bought and replace it when it stops working and leaves me stranded? (It could theoretically last another ten years, or croak tomorrow)

Submitted May 28, 2019 at 01:30PM by JeepPilot http://bit.ly/2XaLrfn

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