Apparently I have upset the appliance gods. Right before the holidays, the dryer stopped drying anything. And then right after the holidays, the refrigerator started freezing everything.
December turned into one costly month budget-wise. And what about Earth-wise? You’d think that fixing something old would be automatically better than buying something new. But, actually, when it comes to the life cycle analysis of most appliances — or their cradle-to-grave environmental impact — it turns out it’s the use of an appliance that has the biggest impact. Which means if your refrigerator is a shade of ‘70s avocado, you’ll step lighter on the planet if you embrace the energy efficiency of the 21st Century.
While there are a lot of variables to consider, here are some tips to help you decide whether to repair a broken appliance or replace it:
By now we all know that hucking your old stuff into the landfill and buying shiny new “green” stuff is not the way to solve any of the planet’s perils. With clothes dryers this is especially true because the technology in new machines hasn’t improved enough for substantial energy savings. Even the EPA seems to have thrown up its hands by not including clothes dryers in its Energy Star program that certifies energy-saving products. After the refrigerator, which is on all the time, clothes dryers are the second biggest energy drain among household appliances.