Thread Number: 63725  /  Tag: Refrigerators
Refrigerators in unconditioned spaces
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Post# 863041   1/20/2016 at 09:44 (520 days old) by sarahperdue (Alabama)        

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I have a second home in central Alabama that is under renovation, uninsulated and unconditioned.

I have an older fridge that I painted (properly--sanded, primed, sanded and used appliance epoxy) a year and a half ago. It's getting condensation and mildew on the exterior as well as rusting and dimpling under the paint. I don't have a recent picture of the rust.

We have moderate winters with several hard (below 20 degrees Fahrenheit) and hot, humid summers. Humidity is the home's biggest enemy.

I've been thinking that one of the fridges from the 40s or 50s that was built like a tank with tons of insulation might be a good solution (as well as looking very cool in my 1938 house). I'm making this assumption based on the difference between the exterior of the fridge and the interior cooling space as well as the fact that fewer homes had air conditioning.

The fridges I'm seeing in our area on craigslist at estate sales seem to be outrageously priced and usually in bad condition. Are the sellers on drugs? Is there an old fridge fad at the moment?

I'm attaching pictures of my current fridge. I think it's a Frigidaire, but I'm not sure. The plastic handles were originally white.

Will a vintage fridge of this type perform better in the conditions of my kitchen? If so, can you give me some recommendations on where to look/how to find one?

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Post# 863079 , Reply# 1   1/20/2016 at 14:26 (520 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        

A vintage fridge was DESIGNED to work in a hot un airconditioned kitchen, in the 30s 40s and 50s, many people were cooking on woodstoves , so you can imagine how hot those kitchens got, those old fridges had big compressors with enough reserve power to cool in any condition, todays junk is designed to work in a controlled environment, buy you a fridge that is simple and non self defrosting, you will be amazed at how much better your food will keep, especially vegetables, air blowing over food does one thing, dry it out, the old fridges had moist cold, no fans!

Post# 863099 , Reply# 2   1/20/2016 at 17:10 (520 days old) by Gusherb (Chicago/NWI)        

My uncle in Texas runs a chest freezer outside on his back porch year round, and a modern refrigerator in his garage and both have zero issues with the 110+ degree heat. In the garage there used to be something from about 1976 that lasted til a couple years ago. No condensation issues either.
I think a vintage refrigerator designed specifically for the purpose would be real cool though.

Post# 863105 , Reply# 3   1/20/2016 at 17:42 (520 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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this is something placed in recent machines, I would say in the past 5 years or so......they have a temp sensor as to run in a certain indoor temp only......if placed in a garage as some use for spare food or a beer fridge, they are finding out, they wont work in severe hot or cold conditions....

had a guy bring me a fridge that worked fine inside, but not out in the garage.....I explained this, and then he located an older fridge, and was fine from there......

just one of those things to keep in the back of your mind for what and where you want to place a spare unit.....

Post# 863156 , Reply# 4   1/20/2016 at 20:45 (519 days old) by sarahperdue (Alabama)        
Gusherb & AW Folks Who Know Fridges...

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Is the area where your uncle lives arid or humid? In Alabama, we have to wring out the air before we breathe it during the summer months.

Fridge Folks: It seems like I remember that the 40s & 50s fridges were more efficient than some of the 70s & 80s fridges because the later fridges had some kind of heating element that heated the exterior to dry it off to compensate for the larger cooling compartments and less insulation? I think I read that here but cannot remember how long ago.

As always, thanks bunches!

Post# 863178 , Reply# 5   1/20/2016 at 23:22 (519 days old) by gusherb (Chicago/NWI)        

My uncle lives in a drier part of TX, but when I visited in June of 2014 they were having an unusually humid summer with dew points consistently in the 70s. Probably not as humid as Alabama but it was pretty humid.

Post# 863446 , Reply# 6   1/22/2016 at 07:18 (518 days old) by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        
Me guesses......

That a price has been paid for all this vaunted 'efficiency'. Considering, a legacy compressor took up roughly a third of the bottom space while today it takes up roughly a fifth. SOMEthing went SOMEwhere.

Actually I think TWO things went somewhere. Capacity and longevity. Loss of capacity is why they're cheaper to run but won't work outside room temperatures. And those bo-tinesy compressors are vanes, with nowhere near the lifespan of swash/piston but cheaper to manufacture.

Post# 863464 , Reply# 7   1/22/2016 at 08:17 (518 days old) by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        

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And then factor in the resources consumed to repair or scrap/recycle (more likely scrap because most people don't bother much today with repair) all the "efficient" appliances that don't last near as long compared to ones that were built to last.

The increase in scrapping and recycling our modern appliances that don't last as long certainly impact (reduce) the gains realized by our modern "efficient" appliances.

Post# 863617 , Reply# 8   1/23/2016 at 06:29 (517 days old) by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

Yep, that and crap performance is the phantom price. The 'green' only applies to your money as it flies out the window into the seller's pocket. Everything else about next-gen disposable appliances is pritmuch brown. You know the shade.

Post# 863706 , Reply# 9   1/23/2016 at 16:25 (517 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        
A timely posting

Yesterday one of my neighbors called to ask me advice about buying a new upright freezer, as she "thinks" her early 70's Whirlpool is going out.

Having not looked at them lately, I really didn't know much of what to tell her. I'd looked at chest freezers a while back, but not upright.

I mentioned that since she has the freezer in an unheated enclosed porch, there could be an issue with a newer one working properly in there. She had already called Sears to get prices, so she called them back and told them where the freezer would be located. The saleslady told her that the automatic defrost model she was considering could not be used in an area that would drop below 45F, so she would need to get the manual defrost type. I talked to her again last night, and she has ordered a Kenmore 16 cu.ft. manual defrost model.

I'm glad this was posted so I could help her avoid getting the wrong one.

Post# 863997 , Reply# 10   1/25/2016 at 13:32 (515 days old) by sarahperdue (Alabama)        

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Is this price even remotely reasonable?

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