MADISON (WKOW/ANGIE'S LIST) -- Your refrigerator is the most used appliance in the kitchen, so when it breaks down, you may be faced with a big decision: should you repair or replace your appliance?
A good practice in determining whether to repair or replace is to look at how old the refrigerator is and the cost of repair. If it's a unit that is 10 years or older and the cost of repair is half the cost to replace it, you'll probably be better off investing in a new, energy-efficient model. You can boost home efficiency by purchasing a well-sealed and insulated fridge.
A new refrigerator with an Energy Star label uses at least 40 percent less energy than the conventional models sold in 2001.
Now is a good time to be on lookout for deals as stores will be making way for new models before the end of the year.
Maintaining your refrigerator is an easy way to avoid repair or replacement costs. Don't stuff the refrigerator and freezer so full that the air flow is blocked. Be sure to regularly clean the condenser coils and check the seal. If the seal is not tight, you are losing efficiency and not keeping food properly chilled. Close the door on a thin sheet of paper and if the paper slips, your fridge is wasting energy. Replace the seal or adjust the door latch if needed.
For more from Angie's List about repairing your refrigerator, click here.