What To Do With An Old Fridge – At the end of last year my Sub-Zero refrigerator broke down. As the temperature rises, the frozen food melts. I called an independent repairman, what the locals call the “equipment whisperer.” I want him to diagnose the problem and tell me if the refrigerator should be repaired. He came into my kitchen with a bag of utensils and a stool and set up shop. When he opened the refrigerator door, he said: “Do you know how old this refrigerator is?”
I do not have. The refrigerator was there when we moved five years ago. All I know is that it’s a Sub-Zero, whose front matches my cabinets and appears to be attached to the wall.
What To Do With An Old Fridge
The device whisperer, named Dave Marsh, pointed to a small sticker on the inside of the refrigerator. It says “NOV86.” My refrigerator is 32 years old. Is it worth repairing?
Proper Refrigerator Temperature For Fresh Food
According to Sears Home Services, the lifespan of a typical refrigerator is about 10 to 13 years. According to Jeff Sweet, director of product marketing for Sub-Zero, Wolf and Cove, Sub-Zero will last 20 years or more. And apparently, my almost medieval fridge is not the only one. “We’ve heard of people with 50-year-old Sub-Zeros.”
However, no matter what type of refrigerator you have, you can extend its life, according to Sears Home Services, by keeping the inside clean to reduce the potential for bacteria build-up; Make sure there is adequate ventilation outside and inside, so don’t crowd too much; Look for tears, gaps or air leaks in the door seals; Change your water filter and clean the dust from the condenser coil several times a year.
Common signs that your refrigerator needs to be replaced include: it is more than 10 years old and in need of ongoing repair; There is excessive condensation; the engine is running hot; It is very difficult; It is not energy efficient.
Refrigerators are one of the highest energy consumers in the home. The EPA has a handy calculator that lets you enter your refrigerator’s type (side-by-side, French door, etc.), an approximate model year, its capacity, and your state’s electricity price per kilowatt (or national average). The calculation allows you to get an approximate idea of how much you spend annually on electricity for your refrigerator and how much you save in dollars and carbon emissions over five years. In my case, that’s about $881 and 2,510 pounds of carbon pollution over 5 years. (If my refrigerator was manufactured between 2011 and 2015, I would only save $40 over 5 years, but it would be much more efficient so I would save 114 pounds of carbon pollution over that time.)
Vintage Refrigerators For A Retro Look
Another concern, besides helping and contributing to global warming, is the built-in refrigerator. You can’t just slide the fridge out, measure the hole and assume you’ll get a new fridge – especially one that isn’t a Sub-Zero. My fridge is only 24 inches deep; Another brand would probably be too deep for the space. And it won’t work in my kitchen because the refrigerator is at the bottom of the cabinet and right beyond the door. If it goes too far, it will be forever hard to maneuver. And we will never be able to take the panels off and assemble another brand’s prefab. Then there is the matter of fixing the developments, the door sills, and possibly the electrical and plumbing as well, as the Sub-Zero is very customised. So we will also consider a small renovation project.
I asked Dave if, like other home appliances, refrigerators are designed to age in some way and if people with newer refrigerators actually take them in for repair. According to him, many repair works can still be done on all brands of refrigerators, but this will lower the costs. “Most refrigerator repair costs today are between $150 and $600,” he says. “With a $600 repair on a 5-year-old fridge, you’d probably buy a new fridge. But most people fix a fridge, it costs $300 or less – and that could include fans, motors, some electrical equipment. If it’s a closed system problem, you can consider a repair service for half the cost of a new fridge.
In 1986, my refrigerator was probably worth about $3,000, a huge amount at the time. To buy a replacement Sub-Zero refrigerator now would cost me about $10,000. Yes, a new refrigerator is more energy efficient and has newer, better components—the compressor, evaporator, and condenser technology was developed a long time ago—but we weren’t willing or able to spend that money.
In the end, my device whisperer determined that he needed to clean the coils and install a new compressor that he somehow managed to find. A few hours of work and $900 later, my Sub-Zero was fixed. It turns out that Sub-Zero keeps parts on hand for 15 to 20 years after a product is discontinued, so it looks like we only have a small amount of time to rework them if needed in the next few years. But, maybe we should stock up on parts now. As he left, Dave said, “It’ll take you another 30 years.” Seems like a pretty good investment. Decorate your fridge yourself to freshen up your kitchen without a big impact on your budget. Dress up those appliances with these quick and easy stylish refrigerator upgrade ideas that match any design aesthetic.
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When did we decide that the fridge is boring? We look at our appliances every day, so I can’t think of a single reason they wouldn’t look good and a great way to reflect our personal style at home.
From colorful chalkboard paint, embellishments and custom graphics – every sample shown is a work of art. It’s amazing what a spark of creativity can do!
Love the look of a classic fridge but hate the high price tag? Paint your existing fridge a classic color like petal pink or light teal! Intrepid DIYers have turned ordinary, (and in some cases normal), appliances into parts of a dialogue. This is just an example role:
An average white fridge gets a ‘shabby French’ update with new paint, some wax and some late night inspiration. three little girls
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Worse than awesome! A bold mason jar-inspired refrigerator makeover kicks off a kitchen design update. Check it out at Grillo Designs
Bold watercolors give this SMEG replica refrigerator a vintage feel. This makeup also has great suggestions for using a primer. Guide @ Alpha Foodie
I have to admit I’m pretty proud of it – because that’s what I did. Perfect for the men’s room, this is a custom design with a “beer safe” motif on the shared dorm fridge. I have a full tutorial and lots of tips on how to paint a refrigerator with spray paint.
This clever design completely covers the device to make it feel smaller. The beadboard wallpaper is the magic behind this beautiful refrigerator makeover. (Instructions @ Chung Splendor)
How To Organize Your Refrigerator Like A Pro
This is the ultimate camouflage! The front is actually a mirror that matches the rest of the cabinet panels. What a way to increase the luxury factor while hiding a loaded fridge. It also creates the illusion of more space in the butler’s pantry. You can see more photos of this beautiful kitchen at Better Homes & Gardens.
Maybe drawing is not really your forte? Pale! We live in a modern world with modern solutions. Change the outfit of your fridge! Removable wallpapers or peel and stick wallpapers are smart and have some great options! (Instructions @ Aunt Peaches)
Contact paper is another great and inexpensive tool for getting a whole new look on a budget. My favorite DIY – this dark blue makeup costs less than $20 and takes less than 2 hours. (Guide @ Freaky Souls)
Want something fun that can also be tenant friendly? Added bonus: it takes less than a day to sign up! Use removable tape like glittery gold washi tape, rainbow or even pretty floral designs. It’s modern charm minus the flashy price tag. (Tutorial @ The Every Girl)
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Colorbox is the conversion tool of choice among many of these transformations. If you’ve been following my journey, you know I strongly agree. Here are some great ways to create a modern and sophisticated painted refrigerator!
A mod-inspired masterpiece! Instead, her $3,000 dream refrigerator was turned into a $20 DIY paint project over the weekend. (Instructions @ Rainbow Piece)
Can you believe the new hardware is actually the bathroom towel bar?! This clever idea is impressive! From @ Restoration House Blog
The apartment’s stainless steel refrigerator gets a matte black makeover and new, polished hardware for the modern studio kitchen. (Instructions @ Juniper’s Home Page)
Diy Retro Red Fridge
An amazing storage freezer cleverly disguised in a DIY designed butchers pantry. And that color! (from Addiction to Decoration 2)
Does your kitchen often look like a big central station? Definitely mine
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