Get Rid Of Your Old Fridge In The Garage!

A neighbor gave Jane an old fridge 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

The Old Fridge Costs 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
Refrigerator kWh/month (per kWh)
$0.14 $0.15 $0.16
Top freezer*,

18.5 to 20.4 ft3:

July 2001 or newer


37 5.18 5.55 5.92
1993 to June 2001 58 8.12 8.70 9.28
1990 to 1993 82 11.48 12.30 13.12
Older than 1990 100 14.00 15.00 16.00

21.5 to 22.4 ft3:

July 2001 or newer


51 7.14 7.65 8.16
1993 to June 2001 71 9.94 10.65 11.36
1990 to 1993 110 15.40 16.50 17.60
Older than 1990 135 18.90 20.25 21.60

1.7 to 6.0 ft3,

manual defrost:

Conventional 32 4.48 4.80 5.12
ENERGY STAR 26 3.64 3.90 4.16

*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.

New Fridge VS Old Fridge

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 the Energy Star website.

Video: How to get rid of your old fridge properly