Keep It or Toss It? How to Evaluate an Old Fridge

Are you moving to a new home? If so, you may be wondering if it is in your best interest to take that old refrigerator along — or keep a fridge left behind by the previous owner. Appliances are heavy and can be cumbersome to relocate. Though great New York movers are never afraid of a heavy fridge!  There are a few things to consider before just tossing out that old fridge, though. Weigh your decision carefully if finances are tight, which can be the case during a move. With a tighter economy and the wish to be environmentally friendly, it is not always feasible (or responsible) to throw away a usable appliance. After reviewing the tips below, if you decide to buy a new or refurbished unit, recycle the old one by contacting scrap yards or donate it to a local charity.

1. Does it run?
While this is the most obvious thing to look for, sometimes it isn’t obvious that a fridge is on its last legs. If the freezer has frost buildup (in frost-free versions), icing issues, or any water dripping, then it may be time to replace the entire unit. Loud, squealing fans or bad defrosting units can ‘bite the dust’ so to speak, during a move. The excess jarring that occurs while transporting the fridge may put an old fridge over the verge of usefulness. Any loss of cooling indicates the need for repair or replacement.

2. Is the appliance energy efficient?
Energy efficiency is very important in both old and new homes. The cost of using older appliances often outweighs the perceived frugal option of allowing the fridge to die a natural death. Electricity bills can be slashed quite a bit just by replacing an non-efficient refrigerator. Energy efficient models will also reduce the power load in older homes, reducing any surges on a breaker.

3. Will the fridge fit?
Measure your fridge and the space it is destined for. There should be a one inch clearing space on each side and the back of the area where the unit will be placed. You may need to buy a new fridge if the space cannot be modified (i.e.- renting a home). Improper placement will reduce the efficiency of a refrigerator and sometimes cause the fridge to over-heat which could be a fire hazard.  Likewise, you might have another vision for the space where a fridge was left behind, in which case, make sure you tells the seller to get it outta there!

4. Is the refrigerator large enough for your family?
When moving to a new home because your family has grown, consider if your fridge is large enough for your increased needs. More family members means larger food consumption. You will need ample space to store perishable items. A larger unit will also reduce the number of shopping trips you will need to make, saving you on transportation costs.

5. Decor.
While some may consider decor a trivial matter, others will want their fridge to match other appliances in the new home. An almond colored refrigerator will look out of place in a modern themed kitchen with other white or stainless steel appliances. There are removable facings that can be installed over the doors of refrigerators. For units in good working condition, this may be a more cost effective option over replacement.

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