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Cool Story for a Hot Day

May 5, 2010

It’s just starting to get hot outside.  You know, the kind of heat that is really frustrating when you’re in a full suit for the day, sit down inside after walking a bit outside and before you know it, the suit is drenched in sweat.  Gross! I know.  I’m basically in that terrible state right now as I write this blog, which is why a story I found on refrigeration jumped out at me when I was browsing the blogosphere.

Christina D.B. Frankel writes a column for her hometown paper in California.  It’s called Living Green and it runs twice monthly in the Tracy Press. One of her columns talked about making sure your refrigerator is green.  And because I’m sweating my you know what off right now, I’d like to talk about something more cool.

Freon is a refrigerant in many older refrigerators, Frankel wrote.  Freon was less dangerous than its predecessor but it was still a chlorofluorocarbons, or CFC, which I remember my seventh grade science teacher telling me is a bad thing. Frankel writes that the world already woke up to the dangers of freon and CFCs, but she also says a lot of refrigerators purchased before 1996 could still use Freon as its refrigerant and insulation.

Frankel writes that the refrigerator is not some giant, white monster that you need to chuck out of your kitchen at this moment!  She wrote that the problem with freon in refrigerators is when you send that refrigerator do the dump.

“When the refrigerator is dumped, shredded or crushed, more than 25 percent of the CFCs within will be released,” Frankel wrote.

The EPA dreamt up a solution to the refrigerator fear by launching a rebate and proper recycling program.  The program means you buy an Energy Star appliance and dispose of the refrigerator properly with a certified recycling center in order to get the rebate.

But before I shut the door on the refrigerator story, here are alternatives Frankel listed if you don’t want to chuck the ice box just yet:

1. Clean the coils and replace the seals on your box.  This will keep it running efficiently.

2. Get rid of the extra refrigerator you have.  But of course, recycle it properly.  This is easier said than done.  My mom has an extra refrigerator in her garage that she swears by during the cooking frenzy season that is the Holidays.

3. Get the rebate now!

And remember to stay cool and stay green!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 5, 2010 7:56 pm

    I absolutely love the “cash for clunkers” program that have been set up all across this country.

    (Cash for clunkers is another name for the refrigerator recycling programs each state had to create in order to get their appliance rebate money from the government.)

    Most people aren’t aware that keeping an old refrigerator in their garages can actually not only double their energy usage it can close to triple it.

    This is due to the fact that their old refrigerators use more energy and also end up needing more than they did in the kitchen as in the warmer months they are also fighting the heat that they are sitting in.

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