New energy efficient fridge not working as well as the old clunker


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Gordon Roman and his wife, Deborah, found out about a state program that would replace their old energy-hungry refrigerator with a new energy-efficent model, and the state even paid for it.

Now some of their frozen foods seem to be thawing out, in that new “ice box”.

The frozen sherbet is more like soft serve, and their pre-cooked sausages feel soft and spongy, as if they are thawing out.

The Romans got the new fridge through a state program administered by NYSERDA, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, under a program called EmPower. A crew went through their house in Buffalo, changed out old incandescent light bulbs for new energy-efficient ones, and they took away the old power-wasting refrigerator and replaced it with a model that is more energy efficient.

Gordon liked that, “they deemed it was an old relic, that it took up too much power, that I would benefit from having a more energy-efficient one, so they offered to trade it out.”

But when the frozen foods didn’t freeze, Gordon called the manufacturer, Frigidaire, and in the last 7 months, Roman said repair technicians have become regular visitors, making about 20 house calls.

“Ordering parts, coming back and putting it in. Every part has been changed in the fridge–the compressor, the evaporator, the switches–you name it, they did it.”

The repairman have finally concluded, there is nothing more they can do–the Romans need another refrigerator–but Frigidaire representatives have responded by extending the warranty another 6 months.

Roman can’t understand why, after all these efforts to fix his refrigerator, Frigidaire is now saying the unit is not designed to freeze certain foods, like sherbet, ice cream, and other desserts.

“Then they come around and say oh, the fridge isn’t designed to keep that stuff cold? There is something basically wrong with their refrigerator, they are just washing their hands of it.”

A spokesperson for Electrolux, the parent company of Frigidaire, said the company is looking into the Romans’ record of repairs. A NYSERDA spokesperson said, appliances purchased through the EmPower program are warranted for a year, and the agency is looking into whether they can resolve the Romans’ dilemma.

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