3 fridges?

stoveguyyJuly 20, 2014

My girlfriend is alone now. Kids are finally moved out. She has a nice newer 22cu ft fridge in kitchen. A friend gave her an identical unit they upgraded and it's in garage with 2 cases of pop. She also has a 12 cu ft freezer in garage for pizza, cookies, ice cream. Do u think 1 person and 3 units is excessive? She and I disagree on capacity.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My opinion really shouldn't matter (the libertarian in me says people can do as they please, even if it doesn't make sense to me and I don't have to pay for it), but perhaps my logic has a place in the equation.

Additional refrigerator/freezers and stand-alone freezers are a great convenience for all the things we find to fill them, but may not always be worth the extra utilities they use. Does the additional electricity off-set all the "convenience" and bargains? Have you ever lived through a week without electricity and discovered how much cold storage is TOO much?

Refrigerators and freezers are designed to work efficiently at room temperature (70-degrees F), not a garage with extreme temperatures and humidity. Most people don't clean the coils regularly when they are in dusty garages, so that makes them work less efficiently. In fact, we had so much cotton flying around from cottonwood trees the last 2 months, a freezer in a garage caught on fire from the cottonwood debris. With the cost of meat going up, there are lots of break-ins into garages with freezers in our little town.

I'd suggest getting a Kill-A-Watt meter (check Amazon.com)and do a reality check about how much extra electricity these additional units are using, and is it worth the "convenience", or does it quickly cost more to run it than the bargains it holds.

My personal story.... Eight years ago we moved from a townhouse to a newly built single-family home. We had to leave the refrigerator in the townhouse and gave our 3/4-size freezer to my sister-in-law and we purchased a new side-by-side refrigerator (no frills stainless steel Kenmore unit - no water or ice dispenser) that had nearly the same storage capacity as the 3/4-size freezer. The new refrigerator costs 7-cents per day to run at our electric rate when I checked it for 407 hours with a Kill-A-Watt meter.

For the money saved from going from two units to one, I quickly adapted and learned how to do without the convenience of that old 3/4-size freezer. BTW - I do large scale home food storage (similar to what the LDS Church teaches) and to me, it's unwise to put so much food into cold storage (refrigerators/freezers).


    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 9:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

She needs little fridge space in garage and like lots of freezer space. I think now she has 14 ft of fridge and 20 ft of freezer? I contemplated getting rid of both and finding a unit with 15ft freezer/10 fridge, but there are none. Maybe a 50/50 capacity unit? Real cheap, used? Nope. The freezer is an older upright model. No idea how much power it uses. But I think she opens door once a week?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 10:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would say some actual facts are needed. Even if it doesn't get opened, an older model isn't as efficient--due to aging -and- to technology improvements. (I remember replacing a not-terribly-old fridge with a new one of slightly larger capacity and being sort of amazed at how much my electricity dropped.)

And then there's this: is there something she is accomplishing with those fridges that is worth the money -to her-? The point of money is to get something valuable for it.
And value is something only she can ultimately decide.

I would say that for a family of one (or one-and-occasionally-a-boyfriend) one largish refrigerator is enough in terms of capacity, and more is a luxury. Only she can decide if that's a luxury that adds value to her life.

If she wants to have cold soda available without crowding her main fridge, I wonder if a dorm-size unit might be more economical; they're smaller (though their technology often isn't as high-quality). And she could put the cold soda somewhere in the house then.

That would be a money issue, and some cold, hard facts would make a difference.

HOWEVER: How much, -really-, does her fridge setup cost her?

The Energy Star rating for a small 2.4cf cube fridge is $27/year. (interestingly, the 1.7cf fridge is rated at $30/year--the difference in lesser insulation, smaller less-efficient motor, etc.)

A 20.5cf Frigidaire top-freezer fridge clocks in at $57/year (that's only $5/month).
And a Maytag 21.2cf fridge clocks in at $37/year ($3.10/month).
(others of similar size are somewhere between these)

(these are Energy Star ratings for new fridges, so her actual energy use is hard to determine--factor in the idea that the fridge in the garage is fighting against the heat...).

So, at -most- a savings of $30/year ($2.5/month--not that impressive). Except that she would have to -buy- that smaller fridge (of course, she could sell the larger one).

Factor in the PITA factor of having to buy/sell fridges, and it may not save that much. Maybe better to just leave it all alone.

(I personally wouldn't have taken the friend's fridge, but hey--it was free, so it saved her $85 or $130 on a dorm-size fridge.)

However, a *freezer* can hold foods longer so that she can buy meat when it's on supersale. So I wouldn't mess with the fridge capacity.

It seems to me her only excess is in that 2nd hand-me-down fridge. And it's a pretty wimpy excess--unless her -actual- energy use is higher (which is sort of likely).

I agree, it would be interesting to know how much money it actually costs her.

She may not need to buy a meter, though--does she have her electricity bill from before and after? (If she doesn't, the utility can probably tell her what it was.) Of course, stuff like "did we run the AC?" may muddy the waters.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 11:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

cavell, this seems a rather small nit to pick. Are these units taking up space that could be put to much better use (in her opinion)? Is the electric bill getting paid in full, without sacrificing anything else? Do they make her happy? Does she collect any other major appliances?

From the outside, and without any tone of voice or facial expressions for clues, it almost sounds like your question has to do with proving yourself right, and getting validation that your girlfriend is not only wrong, but silly or ridiculous. It isn't really a question of how much fridge/freezer capacity one person needs.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 12:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a nice side/byside in garage. Can't talk her into a swap. 2 for 1. And I will take both of her units to recycling on way home.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 8:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There is no way on God's green earth I would swap anything for a side-by-side. Oh, maybe a dorm-size fridge, I'd swap for a side-by-side.

But I would never trade the grungiest or oldest top-freezer or a bottom-freezer for a side-by-side. Ever.

And if her fridges are all that new (your words: "nice, newer"), why would they go to recycling? If I wanted to get rid of them, I'd sell them.
Brand new, a 22.0cu fridge is $1,000. Sure, hers won't be worth that much, but they're surely worth $450 each.

My vote: leave her fridges alone.

This post was edited by talley_sue_nyc on Mon, Jul 21, 14 at 21:39

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 9:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It is not wise if you are living on a budget. When we moved our kids to our city, their fridge was in our garage turned on low. My elec bill was so high I called the company. They ask if I added a new appliance and I realized it was the extra fridge and she agreed. It was $30 higher a month and that was years ago, so it would be higher than that now.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 10:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with annkh. If your girlfriend wants 3 fridges/freezers, why do you care? Are you paying for the electricity?


    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 11:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

People keep fresh food in kitchen fridge. To eat in 2-3 days? Hence the word, "fresh". Why does 1 person need a 2nd fresh food storage device in garage? Heck, why not have both units in kitchen? Does not change the argument. It's not like she has 200lbs of beef in the freezer. We are talking fresh food capacity.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 9:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Why does this matter so much to you, would be my question.

Is this a control thing? Is it because you just don't think it's appropriate?
Or do you genuinely think she's spending money that she doesn't need to spend?

I'm sure her garage fridge isn't necessary. It may even be costing her more money than $57 a year.

But if she's resisting your arguments, then I would drop it.

There's some other benefit she gets out of having 2 fridges and 1 freezer. It may be that mentally, it makes her feel she's got a luxury. Actually, she does: "more fridge than you need" is a luxury. To you it's a waste--but that's a value definition, and you don't get to make her value decisions for her.

The *only* part of it that's a waste is that she's spending money to run the garage fridge.

And, as someone upstream pointed out, the garage fridge is often not very energy efficient. If this is your worry--that your girlfriend could do something else with that money, then there's info available that might get her to be willing to investigate the facts. And facts are your friend--not value judgments.

Here are some website with info about garage fridges and energy consumption


(according to this calculator, eliminating the extra fridge--if it truly is "nice, newer" just like the one inside the kitchen--would save $60/year; maybe more if the heat in the garage is a factor; and more if your electricity rates are higher than the national average)


But--if my boyfriend were on my case about my extra fridge, and pressuring me to let him drop it off at recycling (esp. if it were a "nice, newer" fridge), I'd dig in my heels just because.

Something to think about.

This post was edited by talley_sue_nyc on Tue, Jul 22, 14 at 10:50

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 10:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

she has a 4 cuft dorm fridge in garage which is not used. it was her kids. i have to believe the 4ft fridge uses less power than the 22 ft bottom freezer?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 8:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Never assume anything.... The only way you can ever know the actual amount of electricity used is by checking it with a Watt-A-Meter ($15-$25) set at the electric rate you are paying. Check it over a period of time (at least a week) in the place where it is actually going to be used. You may even be able to borrow a meter from your electric company.

The Energy Star ratings are only good (or bad) guesses required by the government. We all know if the unit is only opened a few times a week it won't use as much as when you have 3 kids in the house who open it every few minutes getting something, or just standing there staring at the contents.

What kind of regular maintenance do the units get? Clean coils and door gaskets. Seals can leak the refrigerant and may not work efficiently.

And while you are at it, purchase a refrigerator/freezer thermometer. If the unit can't maintain a temperature 40-degrees F and colder for the refrigerator (and check the temperature in several areas of the refrigerator - there are often hot-spots and cold-spots), and 0-degrees F and colder for the freezer, then you have another problem. The danger zone for food is 40-140-degrees F. Bacteria multiplies fastest in the danger zone.

Occasionally you will find people who set their units at the warmest setting thinking they are saving electricity, only to find their milk will sour in a few days due to the temperature being warmer than 40-degrees F. You want ice cream stored in the freezer to be hard as a brick, as an indicator it is working at the proper temperature.


    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 9:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

any fridge in a garage is not going to be operating at optimum efficiency.

The advantage of a dorm-size fridge for soda, to me, is that you can put it indoors more easily.

Energy Star ratings are sometimes helpful to choose between models at time of purchase. They might help your girlfriend guess whether a dorm-size fridge will cost more than a full-size. And if you look at those numbers, the dorm-size fridge actually doesn't come out all that far ahead.

Basically, these are *her* fridges, and her money, and her set-up. Is she interested in making changes, or decisions?
If so, you could help her get some facts. And show her some of those links that point out the benefits of paring down.

But we're not her, and you're not her.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 11:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Guess I mispoke. She has 3 fridges, 1 freezer. Friend said, free fridge. Cool, pop fridge. They did u fridge for a little bit of food storage for 6months when kid was home. Kid is gone now. And left 4 ft fridge in corner. It does bug me. House fridge is 1/2 full. Garage fridge is 1/10 full. Freezer is 1/4 full.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 11:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I happen to agree with the OP. A freezer that is opened once per week is a freezer that isn't being used much. And a full-sized fridge that holds 2 cases of drinks is a lot of electricity being used to cool very little.

Unless the fridge in the kitchen was very small, I'd see both these units as a waste.

And for the record, I'm single, live alone and have a full-sized fridge that has a lot of empty space in it. And I believe that the empty space is also contributing to energy waste--I think fridges and freezers are designed to work best at a certain capacity.

On the other hand, since the girlfriend has resisted all of the OP's suggestions, I think this is turning into more of a relationship issue than anything else. If the girlfriend really wants all those fridges and freezers, she has every right to keep them. Stop bugging her about them.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 11:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sorry, double post.

This post was edited by camlan on Fri, Jul 25, 14 at 12:07

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 12:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with the OP as well, and I think it's pretty obvious that there are way more fridges than the girlfriend needs.

But like Camlan, I also think it is easily segueing into a relationship issue.

I might suggest the OP think a bit about why it bugs him so much.

It's definitely wasteful--why does that bother him?
And, how can he share that in a way that doesn't come across bossy?

Or, how can he lead his girlfriend to see this the way he does.

Or, maybe he'll realize that he can let it go.
Because there isn't a universal code of behavior that says people are required to not waste energy or money.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 3:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

YOU contemplated getting rid of HER property?! What right do you have to get rid of anything that is hers? I agree with the others that stated this is more about the relationship then having multiple fridges or wasting energy. Back off and let it go. She has the right to spend her money anyway she sees fit to do so. I didn't read anywhere in your posts that she asked for your opinion about the situation. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 12:28PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!
I don't think I've ever seen that happen on this particular...
Where to donate a 15yo nebulizer
Years ago, when my now-17-y-o was a little one, he...
Please recommend a good paper shredder
I have a little one that can shred two sheets (max)...
How do you let go of stuff that's worth money?
On the "share your success" thread, taft...
Best life lesson I ever learned
Best life lesson I ever learned was at 25 years old...
Sponsored Products
Chrome Finish Classic Double Arm 7 3/4" Wide Wall Mirror
Lamps Plus
Regal Rhys Wool Area Rug in Green - 3' x 5'
$369.00 | FRONTGATE
Regent Old Nickel One-Light Mirror Wall Sconce
$320.00 | Bellacor
Chelsea Home Serta Ronalynn 3 Piece Living Room Set in San Marino Choclate Poly
Beyond Stores
Remer by Nameeks N21 Bidet Faucet - REMER N21
$193.00 | Hayneedle
Possini Euro Midtown 15" High Satin Nickel LED Wall Sconce
Euro Style Lighting
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™