What That Beer Fridge Is Really Costing You
Second refrigerators tend to be old energy hogs
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 27, 2014 12:15 PM CST
Jackie Galinis looks in her refrigerator and freezer to figure out what she can make for a Thanksgiving meal at her home in Pawtucket, R.I., Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2011. Galanis, 30 years old, plans to cook...   (AP Photo/Stew Milne)

(Newser) – Oh, the second fridge. Almost one in three households in the Midwest has one; locals know it affectionately as the "beer and deer" fridge, reports the Chicago Tribune. Across the rest of the US, the average is closer to one in four households. Some 15% of those second fridges are at least 20 years old, reports the Washington Post in an article titled "Why it's not okay to have a second refrigerator."

Older refrigerators are considerably less energy efficient, and even more so if they're not packed with food, or if they sit in a utility area where they have to work harder to stay cool in the summers. Indeed, buying a new, energy-efficient refrigerator doesn't do much for the environment if you're moving your old appliance to another part of the house: Those who do so are adding to their carbon footprint, not reducing it. What's more, the old machine can cost $130 a year just to keep plugged in, says an expert. (Check out the mess this beer fridge caused in Australia last year.)