Should I replace our old fridge/freezer to save energy?

Jami74
Jami74 Posts: 982
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Our fridge/freezer is nearly 20 years old, it would have been an Argos best buy for our first home with our new baby. It still works absolutely fine, but would a new one (probably similar Argos £300 range) use less energy and would the difference be enough to warrant the cost of replacing something that still works?




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  • victor2
    victor2 Posts: 7,498
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    We replaced our old 26 year old American fridge/freezer with a similar style one last year and the power consumption dropped by nearly 2kWh per day.
    So at the new rates, a similar energy saving could mean around £1 per day.
    Could be worth getting a plug-in monitor and plugging the fridge into that for a few days, then see what its daily usage is. Look at the specs for a new one to see what it claims as typical annual usage in kWh (our new one stated that in the manual).

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  • Astria
    Astria Posts: 1,446
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    What is the energy efficiency of the one you have compared to the one you are thinking of buying?
  • brewerdave
    brewerdave Posts: 8,479
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    Our old 2nd fridge/freezer was probably of the same vintage and working fine BUT I realised this Summer ,that the compressor was almost continually running as it had got less and less efficient. The cost at the new cap meant it was a no brainer to replace it with a new small fridge and rearrange our freezer storage - the payback is about a year according to my fag packet calculations.. 
  • dunstonh
    dunstonh Posts: 115,620
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    edited 5 September 2022 at 8:57AM
    If it is efficient to do so then yes.  If it is not efficient then no.

    Chances are, given the age of yours, you would have a pretty quick breakeven point.  However, you haven't told us the energy levels it uses.    You may be able to find the energy sticker on the back of it or look it up online by searching the model number.   If that is not possible, then you could buy a tp link tapo 110 energy monitoring smart plug.   Leave it plugged into that for several and see what its daily use is.   Then you can compare it to modern models.

    I changed my FF early last week, and it saved 2.5kWh per day.  The new one runs at 0.7 kWh per day.     However, the most efficient FF cost a lot of money but the breakeven point is probably less than a cheaper model.     With the price you mention, you would be looking at models with an F rating on energy use.  Whereas at twice the cost the most energy-efficient model uses 130kWh per annum less.  That is about £72 a year more electricity with the cheaper model at October prices.  It will be more with January and April pricing.

    Moving to a modern F rated FF may not save you much money compared to your current one.  But you will only find out by using an energy monitor. (currently £9.99 on Amazon as £5 off)

    Also, look at your dishwasher.   We changed ours last week, and that also dropped about 2.5kWh per day.  That was cheaper than an FF and the breakeven point is much earlier.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • Jami74
    Jami74 Posts: 982
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    dunstonh said:

    Chances are, given the age of yours, you would have a pretty quick breakeven point.  However, you haven't told us the energy levels it uses.    You may be able to find the energy sticker on the back of it or look it up online by searching the model number.   If that is not possible, then you could buy a tp link tapo 110 energy monitoring smart plug.   Leave it plugged into that for several and see what its daily use is.   Then you can compare it to modern models.

    I changed my FF early last week, and it saved 2.5kWh per day.  The new one runs at 0.7 kWh per day.     However, the most efficient FF cost a lot of money but the breakeven point is probably less than a cheaper model.     With the price you mention, you would be looking at models with an F rating on energy use.  Whereas at twice the cost the most energy-efficient model uses 130kWh per annum less.  That is about £72 a year more electricity with the cheaper model at October prices.  It will be more with January and April pricing.

    Moving to a modern F rated FF may not save you much money compared to your current one.  But you will only find out by using an energy monitor. (currently £9.99 on Amazon as £5 off)

    Also, look at your dishwasher.   We changed ours last week, and that also dropped about 2.5kWh per day.  That was cheaper than an FF and the breakeven point is much earlier.
    Thanks dunstonh.

    On the product specs my current fridge/freezer claims to use 0.92kW/24 hours (335.8kW/year?). 

    From 1st October my rates will be Day:67.65p/kW and Night: 25.70/kW. (67.65X17)+(25.70X7)/24 = 55.41kW/hour.

    Old: 50.98p/24 hours (£186.08/year) - assuming my old fridge freezer is efficient now as the when I bought it.

    Do my figures look right?

    And I guess the question I should really be asking is which one should I buy and where can I buy it for less :)
    Original F rated one I was looking at £440 - (307kW/year - £170/year)
    Energy class C one at £800 - (166kW/year - £92/year)

    Thankfully I don't have a dishwasher to worry about.



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  • macman
    macman Posts: 52,949
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    edited 5 September 2022 at 11:00AM
    On post-October prices, you are looking at an 8.5 year payback. Is a class C one really nearly twice the price of a class F one? 
    The reality though is that you would almost certainly have to replace a 20 year old f/f within the next 8 years anyway, so, sooner or later, you'll incur the capital cost regardless.
    And a 20 year old device is not going to have the efficiency that it had at new either.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • dunstonh
    dunstonh Posts: 115,620
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    On the product specs my current fridge/freezer claims to use 0.92kW/24 hours (335.8kW/year?).
    That use is higher than a modern energy efficient american FF (circa 0.70 kW a day).  A normal modern energy-efficient FF uses about 0.46 kW a day

    The other issue to consider is that the product spec tells you the use when in working condition when new.   Over time, dust and wear and tear will cause it to use more energy.  So, yours could be worse.  That is where a Tapo P110 smart plug could come into play.   2-3 days of monitoring will give you your real world use.


    And I guess the question I should really be asking is which one should I buy and where can I buy it for less
    Original F rated one I was looking at £440 - (307kW/year - £170/year)
    Energy class C one at £800 - (166kW/year - £92/year)
    I bought a Samsung C rated American FF. So, that tells you what I thought.  If you have a life expectancy on the item of 10 years,  the F rated one cost you £440 plus £1700 = £2140.  The C rated one cost £800 plus £920 which is £1720.

    Once bought, that purchase price is not going to change.  However, the electricity cost will only go up/stay high for multiple years.

    Thankfully I don't have a dishwasher to worry about.
    Washing machine and tumble are next on the list of heavy users.  An old A+++ machine from 5 years ago is now B-C on the new band.  An old A rated one is G.     Although using 30c and existing eco options on them is the first step (for items that just need refreshing)

    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • facade
    facade Posts: 6,891
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    Our old 2nd fridge/freezer was probably of the same vintage and working fine BUT I realised this Summer ,that the compressor was almost continually running as it had got less and less efficient. The cost at the new cap meant it was a no brainer to replace it with a new small fridge and rearrange our freezer storage - the payback is about a year according to my fag packet calculations.. 

    I had exactly the same scenario. My faithful little chest freezer (20 years old if it was a day) kept everything frozen, but seemed to never stop running so I replaced it with a new one, and it is rare that I hear this one running, so it must be cheaper. My electricity consumption has come down, but I've been making savings in other areas too so I can't put a figure on it.

    I assume (dangerous I know) that it had leaked refrigerant over the 20 plus years and had to work harder.
    I want to go back to The Olden Days, when every single thing that I can think of was better.....

    (except air quality and Medical Science ;))
  • victor2
    victor2 Posts: 7,498
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    Small technical point - kW is the measure of energy being used at a particular point in time. KWh is energy usage units (1000 watts for 1 hour) and what you are billed for.
    Back to the fridge/freezer though. Given its age, it is unlikely to still be performing at what the specs say, hence why it will be worth monitoring it for a few days, while it is still working!
    If it is "frost free", it may have a heating element in the freezer that comes on periodically, like once a day, and uses quite a lot of power.

    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the In My Home MoneySaving, Energy and Techie Stuff boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing [email protected]. 

    All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.

  • Alnat1
    Alnat1 Posts: 3,138
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    At 20 years old it's quite likely to be using a lot more than the advertised kWh. 

    I'm another of those who has recently ditched an old American FF which was using way over what it was supposed to. I went with a D rated Liebherr CND5704 which was on offer at the time at £529 (from AO). The C rated ones seemed quite a bit more expensive and weren't actually that much more efficient. According to my Tapo it's using less than the advertised kWh so I'm happy.
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