Why buy a new refrigerator if the present one is still running after thirty years? And, not only that, when its “harvest gold” color is getting harder and harder to find. But seriously, one real reason to think twice before replacing such an old refrigerator is the fact that the life span of new refrigerators is so much shorter than new ones. A salesman at Best Buy recently told us to expect 5 years from current models. It’s amazing to realize that if we keep our old refrigerator we may get more years out of it, still, than we would out of a replacement.
Yet we did spend quite a bit of time looking at new refrigerators at the beginning of summer. Life expectancy was not the only shock. The new refrigerator models look so appealing that it’s easy to forget about certain important details. For example, my initial first choice looked worth getting until we realized that the door had room for only one full-sized gallon drink container, and the shelves did not have enough clearance to put standard-sized drink containers there. And the shelves were not adjustable. At this point, our old fridge still was preferable to the newer option.
Quieter cooling systems and energy efficiency are important features of new refrigerators. Certainly, we would save a lot of money in our annual electric bill if we had a new refrigerator. As we started checking out more models in Bradenton Home Depot, Lowe’s and Best Buy, we made energy efficiency a top priority, looking for the Energy Star logo. We also wanted to consider having the freezer on the bottom instead of the top, thinking that would mean less bending for often-used items.
It would be overkill to buy a super-fine refrigerator since the rest of our kitchen is still vintage harvest gold, and small scale. We would not want to have to remodel to create a bigger space for a bigger replacement refrigerator. Often, we feel more refrigeration and freezer space would be desirable, but then if we consider hurricanes and power outages, there is an advantage to not having too much food to worry about. It seems easier to learn to live with fewer things in the refrigerator than to have to get a generator or transfer large quantities to coolers of ice when the power goes out. These are the kinds of thoughts that complicated our decision making, even when we realized we could fit a bigger refrigerator into the existing space.
We were surprised to find that we could fit a French-door style refrigerator into the existing space. This was exciting for awhile, but then we concluded that with the layout of our small kitchen, it’s really more convenient to have a single door open away from the kitchen work area. Even a small French door opening toward the work area would partially block access to the interior. The fact is, the simple old refrigerator has some good features that work well with the rest of our kitchen.
We studied models from brands LG, GE, Maytag, Samsung and Whirlpool. We got tired. We went home. Our old harvest gold refrigerator has carried us through the summer.
When we first looked at property along Florida’s west coast, a real estate agent on Siesta Key referred to Anna Maria Island as “funky and junky.” That did not deter us from coming to have a look. We knew that what some people might call “funky and junky,” we would call “unpretentious, authentic, and naturally beautiful.” Sure enough, that’s what we found here, and, best of all, it was affordable.
What we got for our money was really old things that still worked pretty well. When we asked the seller of our house if the seawall was good, he said yes, and bragged that it had been there for fifty years. To him, its age seemed to be a sign that it was very well made.
The same seems to be true of our refrigerator. It might be pretty funky and junky but until there are better made models there’s no good reason yet to buy a new refrigerator.