I was just researching online the advancements made in energy efficient refrigerators. Suddenly, I realized that I was no longer researching. I crossed that invisible line where I was actually shopping for a new refrigerator. I got caught up in the idea that my refrigerator (1999) was so old that I needed a new more efficient one.
Online they talked about what the old refrigerators consume; well over 1,000 KwH each year. My refrigerator is so old it must be more than that. Apparently, there are new refrigerators that consume 350 KwH per year. That sounds like a 300% improvement at least. I should buy it. Right?
Wait!!! I almost forgot that I have an energy monitor in my house. I can find out exactly how much my refrigerator consumes. There it is. My old nasty refrigerator only consumes 545 KwH per year. That’s not bad. My wife might insist we get a new refrigerator because she does not like the old one but I will not be duped into thinking that I made an energy efficient investment.
I made a list of what I think needs to be replaced eventually:
1) Upgrade from the original 1971 single pane windows for entire house.
2) 2 x Air Conditioning and Heating Units. They are 16 years old and I think oversized for the house.
3) Old Washer and Dryer. They are at least 15 years old.
4) Old Electric Oven.
5) Upgrade to Tank less Water Heater.
6) Pool Pump. I use timers at different times of year to minimize usage but keep pool clean.
I can’t do it all so which one is the right investment for me? Let me introduce you to the power of the energy monitor. I get detailed by the minute information by circuit on what is on, when it is on, how long it is on, how much it consumes, how much it is costing me. Bonus: I don’t have to be a scientist to figure it all out. The monitor does it for me.
That is how I determined that I am only consuming 545 Kwh per year on my refrigerator. Compare that to the 350 Kwh and you can see that it won’t be my biggest bang for buck regardless of price. I decided that I don’t need an energy efficient refrigerator today.
However, when I reviewed my list with the energy monitor I determined that my pool pump is consuming over 8,000 Kwh per year. And I thought I was conserving in that area with the timers. Unfortunately, I replaced my pool pump for $400 two years ago. It probably doesn’t make sense to replace it now, does it? I started researching online. There are now energy efficient pumps available that consume a fifth of what my pump consumes but costs ~$800. Should I replace it?