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Illinois Country Living

Doug Rye, licensed architect and the popular host of the "Home Remedies" radio show

Energy Solutions:

Some Cold Hard Facts
Do you really need two or three refrigerators or freezers?

Somebody is here to help you again. You know it is really not that difficult. As I write this column, I am still on the road conducting energy seminars. Still teaching folks just like you how to have lower utility bills and comfortable homes. As I help folks every single day, yes, I mean every single day, Monday through Friday at work, Saturday on the radio and even Sunday after church, it often occurs to me just how simple it really is to solve most of your energy problems.

So why doesn’t everybody implement these solutions? Sometimes it is a lack of funds, but most of the time, I believe it is simply a lack of action and a lack of awareness of some really simple steps.

In last month’s column, I challenged you to prepare your energy plan. I trust that you have completed that. Please keep in mind that it might need revision as time goes along. I really wish that there was a way that I could sit down beside every one of you and read your list. I would enjoy the fellowship and no doubt become wiser for it. I have a pretty good idea, however, what issues most of you face. And I told you that I would give you more energy-saving tips this month that many of you could implement at absolutely no cost.

So here we go.

Perhaps you can relate to the following story: A recent energy audit at an older house in Arkansas revealed that the family had a refrigerator in the kitchen, which is needed and expected. The family also had a refrigerator and a large chest freezer in the garage. There was absolutely nothing in the refrigerator except three trays of ice cubes in the freezer compartment. It was in running condition and doing a good job. The chest freezer had two small boxes of popsicles. The lady of the house said these were for the grandchildren. Being a pawpaw myself, I understand the importance of that. When I explained to the family that is was costing about $60 per month to have 36 ice cubes and 20 popsicles, it was quickly understood by all that there had to be a better way. So the lady of the house moved the popsicles to the kitchen refrigerator while her husband gladly unplugged the two unused and unneeded units.

Of course, we discussed the importance of properly caring for and even more importantly, the safe disposal of these two units. Empty refrigerators or freezers can be death traps to pets or heaven forbid, children.

Here are the facts about those extra refrigerators and freezers:

• Fact 1 – Refrigerators and freezers that are 10 years old or older use at least $1 per day on energy costs.

• Fact 2 – It is very difficult for us to dispose of a refrigerator or freezer that is in perfect working order.

• Fact 3 – You probably don’t even need that extra refrigerator, which easily costs at least $30 a month.

If this tip fits your situation, list it in on your energy plan, get rid of it and mark it off your list. And smile when you get your next electric bill.

You know, this really isn’t that difficult. Maybe somebody will help you next month, too. In the mean time feel free to call me at 501-653-7931 with any energy savings questions you may have.



More Information:

Doug Rye, a licensed architect and the popular host of the "Home Remedies" radio show, works as a consultant for the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas to promote energy efficiency to cooperative members statewide. To order Doug's video, call Doug at 1-888-Doug-Rye. More energy-efficiency tips can also be found at


© 2008 Illinois Country Living Magazine.
Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives

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