Ensuring a basement’s energy efficiency

Getting rid of an older fridge can provide energy saving benefits.

Ensuring that a basement remains draft free starts with regular maintenance and inspections. That's why I try to inspect pesky corner areas and the spots near our door surrounds at least once a season. But, there are other ways a basement may be sapping money out of your wallet.

For example, my wife and I keep an extra fridge in the basement. This allows us to store extra leftovers from the holidays and other gatherings. Also, it always helps to stock up when there's a big sale on quality food at the store. However, while we do use this added fridge frequently, sometimes months go by when all that's left inside are a couple of ungrilled chicken wings.

As a result, we decided to downsize to a new energy-efficient model and ditch the behemoth that we had. We also try to unplug it when we aren't around, and now only use the fridge in certain circumstances. We've found that this not only helps us reduce our energy bills, but that we don't waste as much food in the process.

And there's research to back up the approach we decided to take. A friend of mine pointed out that Energy Star indicates that an older refrigerator can cost $100 more a year to operate than a newer model. So, after a few years of sticking with the old fridge, many homeowners could have already gained the savings to buy a top-quality model.

These savings could also go to other necessary basement items like dehumidifiers. Moisture in a basement can be one of the biggest energy sappers. So, regardless of the condition of the fridge, those with water problems may want to direct their attention to this product first.

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