Our used Energy Star refrigerator was making a lot of noise. It was also starting to use more electricity and forming ice at the top of the freezer. The temperature was not staying constant either. All of these issues led to the concern that the compressor was going out.
Our energy company Xcel Energy offers a refrigerator recycling program for consumers to upgrade to more energy efficient models. But they do not offer the rebate if the refrigerator is not running. That meant replacing our refrigerator before it broke to qualify for the free pickup and $50 rebate.
The refrigerator fit our kitchen exactly so it was difficult to replace with a bottom freezer model. Our requirements were an Energy Star counter depth bottom freezer that was not larger than 33 inches. This combination was almost impossible to find! Samsung makes some refrigerators in this size but they are not rated Energy Star.
I downloaded the Energy Star excel spreadsheet for refrigerators to find possible models. The result was that there was only one real choice that was not a built in or foreign and outrageously expensive.
I ordered this model from Lowes as it was on sale for Black Friday and also purchased a 10% off coupon from an eBay vendor to help with the cost. The new refrigerator is only a little larger in capacity and uses much more electricity than the older one rated at 378 kwh/year. But my energy use monitor usually registered a higher usage than advertised at about 450 kWh/year. Still less than the new one at 547 kWh/year for only 1.1 cubic foot increase in size.
Because I needed to have the gap behind the refrigerator as small as possible I have not added the energy use monitor plug to this new appliance. I also had to cut the edges off the cabinet between it and the stove and move the stove cabinet down about an inch and a half to fit this in place of the old one. But this new refrigerator is much easier to use than the older deep and low unit. The freezer baskets are more accessible although I wish the ice maker tray was less wide.
The refrigerator and freezer have bright LED lighting and the refrigerator above offers lots of shelving options so that it seems to hold quite a bit more than the old one.
And our old refrigerator was moved to the front hall where it stayed plugged in until the vendor for Xcel came to pick it up. We received a check for $50 in the mail shortly after the pickup. I’m glad we were able to replace it before it broke. That refrigerator only lasted about 9 years and we had it for four of those. I hope the new one lasts longer.