Get Rid Of Your Old Fridge In The Garage!

A neighbor gave Jane an old refrigerator when he remodeled. Like many Alaskans, Jane stuck the old fridge in her garage and loaded it with essentials like fish, game meat, and liquid refreshments.

Jane thought she got a bargain, but how much is that free fridge really costing her?
old fridge for garage

Old refrigerators cost more to operate

A standard sized fridge built before 1992 costs $270 a year in electricity. A fridge built before 2001 costs $90 a year in electricity. But a fridge built after 2003 costs just $60 (and about $30 for the compact refrigerator) a year in electricity. Jane’s freebie will cost her $1350 in electricity for the next five years.
Estimated monthly cost at the following rates
RefrigeratorkWh/month(per kWh)
Top freezer*,

18.5 to 20.4 ft3:

July 2001 or newer


1993 to June 2001588.128.709.28
1990 to 19938211.4812.3013.12
Older than 199010014.0015.0016.00

21.5 to 22.4 ft3:

July 2001 or newer


1993 to June 2001719.9410.6511.36
1990 to 199311015.4016.5017.60
Older than 199013518.9020.2521.60

1.7 to 6.0 ft3,

manual defrost:

ENERGY STAR263.643.904.16

*bottom freezer models use about the same amount.

Note: Ice makers will increase operating costs by 15% to 20%. Through-the-door ice and water dispensers will add another 10% to 15% to operating costs. Each cubic foot larger adds about 25 kWh per year.

Now, what if Jane went out and bought herself a brand new fridge? That would be a lot more expensive, or would it? Let’s add it up.

Let’s say Jane was to buy a basic fridge on sale for $650 (or cheaper one from our TOP 8 Refrigerators for garage). The electricity to keep it running would cost her $300 over five years. Jane’s total cost of $950. So, as you can see, Jane could buy herself a brand new fridge and still save almost $400 over the next five years.
You can calculate how expensive is your refrigerator here.

That’s the magic of ENERGY STAR appliances*. New appliances not only save energy, but they also work better, and they’re less likely to fail, spoiling your precious food.
When shopping for a new fridge, keep in mind that top and bottom models use up to 25% less energy than side-by-side models. Also, the smaller the fridge, the less energy it consumes. And here’s another energy saving tip you probably didn’t know.

Refrigerators work more efficiently when they’re full. So if yours is mostly empty, fill some old milk jugs with water and place them inside the fridge and the freezer compartments. Also, set the temperature of the fridge to 40 degrees and the freezer to 4 above 0. You’ll use less energy, and your ice cream will be easier to scoop.

*According to Energy Star web site.