I held my breath as they tucked it in place. Another 1/4 inch wider and it wouldn't have fit.

I held my breath as they tucked it in place. Another 1/4 inch wider and it wouldn't have fit.

There’s a tall, cool stranger in my kitchen this morning.

A few weeks ago, the bracket holding up the crisper drawers in our fridge cracked, which caused the shelf to sag onto the drawers, making them hard to open. The part to repair it was available for about $100, but we started thinking that maybe this was the time to finally replace the fridge. The old one was a 10 year old Frigidaire that had been left by the previous owner. It was not Energy Star rated, and it used about 825 kwh of electricity a year, which is high for a modern fridge. It had no water in the door, which meant it was opened 1.3 million times a day by family members raiding the tub of filtered water within. And the door opened the wrong way, opening out towards a walkway rather than being open towards the nearby counter top, which always bugged me. I hate inefficiently designed household systems because they make my lazy self do more work than is really needed.

We decided to upgrade rather than repair, which is costlier in the short term, but more in line with our values in the long run. We have been contemplating the virtues of replacing it for the last two years, and the need for repair moved us to finally take action. The new fridge uses 580 kwh a year, which is a 30% energy savings. It offers filtered ice and water right in the door, which will also be an energy savings, since the fridge no longer needs to be opened just because the kids are thirsty.

My favorite feature is the Tilt-out Fruit Bin inside the fridge door. This three-compartment bin allows me to store fresh, ready-to-eat fruit and veggie snacks right at eye level for the kids. We’ve already stocked it with baby carrots, grapes, and tiny pink lady apples, and it’s been a big hit with the kids and hubby:

Eye-level bin of Mommy-approved snacks.

Eye-level bin of Mommy-approved snacks.

The freezer side is surprisingly empty. Our old fridge was a freezer-on-top model, and the freezer always felt crammed. The side-by-side offers much better organization in the freezer, and it now feels like there’s nothing in there. Hopefully I’ll find some good bargains at the farmer’s market this week, since I now have the room to freeze large quantities of goodies for use later in the year.

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