Bob Vila Radio: Second Refrigerators

You might be surprised at how much energy it takes to keep a second refrigerator running in the garage or basement.

One out of four American homes has a second refrigerator in it, according to the Department of Energy—that’s 30 million extra refrigerators. That second fridge is often an old one that was supposedly replaced by an efficient new model but is still running in the basement or garage.


Listen to BOB VILA ON SECOND REFRIGERATORS or read the text below:

Second Refrigerators


That’s bad news, because a refrigerator is the single biggest consumer of electricity in most homes. Having two of them adds substantially to your energy use, and your costs. Plus, any efficiency gains you achieved by buying a new Energy Star appliance are going right down the drain if you keep the old one plugged in.

If you really need extra cold storage, consider buying a small new one with an Energy Star rating instead of keeping the old full-sized one. And if you kept the old one, so you could take advantage of buying in bulk, consider this: The Department of Energy estimates that it costs up to $750 a year to run your old energy hog, which is probably a lot more than you’re saving by buying those family packs. Need another reason to unplug? Those 30 million  extra refrigerators are using 25 million megawatt hours of power a year. That’s a lot of electricity we could save just by pulling the plug.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 75 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.