Photo: Fridge recycling

(Credit: garibaldi.)

Lissa Guilbault asks: My fridge is more than 10 years old and needs some maintenance. The deal offered by Hydro-Québec is that they will come and pick up any fridge that's 10 years plus and give you $60 for it. Is it better for the environment to repair my old clunker and keep it running, or take the deal offered by my Hydro provider, turn in my old fridge and maybe save some energy?

Just like computers and cell phones, major household appliances have made significant advances in the energy efficiency in recent years. For instance, a fridge purchased before 1993 could cost you as much as $100 each year to operate. A newer model, meanwhile, can cut that figure in half.

I would recommend taking advantage of your Hydro company's offer (and many provinces have similar programs) — purchase that new fridge. Look for the most energy efficient model (usually with an EnergyStar label) and match the fridge size to your own needs. Design alone will give you clues about energy efficiency. Refrigerators with a top freezer are the most efficient, while those with bells and whistles, such as automatic ice makers or built-in water dispensers, will consume between 14 and 20 per cent more energy. Split doors are the worst energy consumers.

October 7, 2009

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Oct 03, 2015
9:28 AM

To add to my previous comment. A fridge with the freezer on the bottom and the compressor mounted on top is the most energies efficient type of fridge on market. The Europeans had it right all along

Oct 03, 2015
9:21 AM

Your response that top freezers are more efficient is incorrect. Heat rises so freezers at bottom of fridge cycle on less frequently.

Aug 14, 2015
12:04 AM

Here in Manitoba, Hydro has a similar deal. “Retire your second fridge and get a rebate of $60”. My one fridge is made in 94. But I am the type to replace if broken. My furnace is from the 60’s.

Mar 25, 2012
8:15 PM

I am all for saving the environment, for the future generations to enjoy, and to help undo all the abuses of people before us, especially those with excessive "carbon footprints". Let us always promote recycling. And let us plant more trees. How about those people spilling toxic materials irresponsibly? Let us help educate them too.

Aug 17, 2010
4:33 PM

Split doors are the worst? I had no idea! We’ve had one at home for a long time. Our fridge is probably 15 years old, if not closer to 20, and is set to be replaced soon. Then the plan is to replace the 30- to 40-year-old fridge downstairs with this one. That one is probably our family’s worst offender, but at least is only run for a few months of the year.

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