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View Poll Results: Replace Which First?
A/C 9 69.23%
Refrigerator 3 23.08%
Windows 1 7.69%
Doesn't Matter 0 0%
Voters: 13. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-01-2009, 06:27 AM
Location: Ashburn, VA
577 posts, read 1,789,540 times
Reputation: 299


Our house is about 15 years old. The past few years we've had to have freon added to our A/C because there seems to be an internal leak somewhere. This costs about $300 each time but usually lasts all year. We know that the average life span of the A/C is about 20 years and we will probably need to replace it soon. The question is, do we make a preemptive strike and do it before it goes out completely or do we milk it for all its worth?

We also are interested in replacing our refrigerator because it also is about 15 years old. The energy use is supposed to be 1171 Kw/H but adjusted for age is about 1405. New ones seem to run in the 500-700 Kw/H range. I'm curious how much money we would save by getting a new, more energy efficient fridge. Would it offset the cost of replacing the current one?

Should the A/C be of a higher priority? Probably so, but I figured I'd ask around and see what people's thoughts are on this. Oh, and of course the windows will need replacing soon, too. Mostly just a question of practicality and priority. Any thoughts from those with experience or opinions??
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Old 10-01-2009, 07:03 AM
Location: Ocean County, NJ
228 posts, read 1,040,701 times
Reputation: 110
I think you'll see the biggest benefit in money savings by upgrading your AC unit. The $300 a year in freon is probably enough to offset the savings you'll get with a new fridge.
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Old 10-01-2009, 07:17 AM
Location: Jollyville, TX
3,850 posts, read 9,441,266 times
Reputation: 4402
I say go for the AC unit now. We replaced ours after 13 years and saw an immmediate reduction in our energy bills. If it were me, I'd want to get the biggest expense out of the way first. Also, the newer fridges don't last as long. Might as well get mileage out of your old one before you have to replace it.
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Old 10-01-2009, 10:41 AM
3,627 posts, read 12,819,691 times
Reputation: 2698
I would go for the AC as well. The new ones are much more efficient.
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:52 PM
Location: Knoxville
4,248 posts, read 20,777,669 times
Reputation: 5008
Typically a/c units do not last 20 years. This may change your calcs.
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Old 10-02-2009, 09:53 PM
5,748 posts, read 10,763,103 times
Reputation: 4502
Could you live without the A/C? It's a serious question. Our A/C and fridge both went belly up shortly after we moved into a new house. We replaced the fridge and just lived without A/C. Our average energy bill for an 1700 sq. ft. house is somewhere around $50/month.
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Old 10-02-2009, 10:04 PM
3,389 posts, read 4,335,624 times
Reputation: 2226
I'm all for milking everything to the bitter end but would start saving up in case more than one thing goes at once.

For order- I would replace the AC first because you'll see the largest results and thats the biggest cost; however I'm assuming its a heatpump since this would be a mid 90s house in VA. Then the fridge. And windows only if it is truly an upgrade. 13 year old windows should not be that bad. And even cheaper ones could be made more efficient with new caulking, storm windows (exterior) and films (interior) for a lot less than new windows where installation costs will also come into play.
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Old 10-02-2009, 10:19 PM
48,516 posts, read 83,922,814 times
Reputation: 18050
They how have a leak stop that can be put in the line of the AC that stops mopst small leaks that are hard to find.I'd try this and put the new windows in myself.
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Old 10-03-2009, 11:04 PM
Location: Bradenton, Florida
27,236 posts, read 41,383,899 times
Reputation: 10958
I answered the poll before reading the background.

I suppose if your refrigerator is running smoothly, without any apparent problems or failure to keep your food cold and preserved, you can put off replacing it.

If there seems to be any sort of draft coming in from your windows, I'd replace those first--because you can lose heat as easily as losing cool air...so it's a year-round problem.

Otherwise, the best advice is generally to fix what's broken...your air conditioner.
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Old 10-04-2009, 03:04 AM
71 posts, read 389,318 times
Reputation: 64
It takes many years for a refrigerator to pay off its cost. At $300 a year + energy savings, you'd pay off the AC in just a few years.
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