If your refrigerator or freezer needs repairing and is over 15-years-old it is recommended to replace it. It might even be worth replacing if it is over 10 years old because Energy Star refrigerators use less energy, which not only helps the environment but saves you money as well.
Energy Star has a convenient “Flip Your Fridge” calculator to help you determine how much money and carbon emissions you can save by choosing a newer Energy Star model. For example, by switching out your 15-year-old fridge to a newer Energy Star model you can save over $200 and 445 lbs. of carbon*.
If you determine it is best for your household to purchase a new refrigerator or freezer, then be sure to check out the helpful tools on the Energy Star website, such as the Most Efficient Models of 2022 and the Rebate Finder based on your zip code.
Being Energy Star certified isn’t always enough: Energy Star measures energy intensity and emissions, but doesn’t measure for hydrofluorocarbons, which have a higher impact on global warming
than that of carbon dioxide. However, Energy Star added a filter for this when you search products, so just be sure to select "Lower impact on global warming” under “Refrigerant Type” in the Energy Star product finder. Luckily, most new domestic refrigerators are transitioning to more climate friendly refrigerants such as R600a or R290 and are getting away from using harmful refrigerants.
And of course, be sure to recycle your old refrigerator through a partner of the EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) program.
*Calculation based on a French door model fridge per the electricity price of California.