LESLIE: Bob in Iowa has got a situation with a refrigerator. Tell us about it.
BOB: Well, I got an older, 70s-model refrigerator that works; freezes everything and keeps everything cold. But the problem I have is some mold and the seal is sort of hardening a little bit. I was wondering if I can restore that or clean that up somehow.
TOM: So you’re talking about the gasket?
BOB: Right, right.
TOM: Yeah, well you can replace that refrigerator door gasket. They have appliance – that’s called appliance gasket. Essentially, it’s an easy-to-find product; you can usually get it at a hardware store and certainly an appliance store or you can go to a site like RepairClinic.com and order some new appliance gasket and just basically replace the seal all the way around the refrigerator.
BOB: OK. Well, the gasket is still in good shape. It’s not cracked or …
TOM: I thought you said it was starting to get hard.
BOB: Yeah, it is. It is starting to get hard and stuff. I just didn’t know if it could be – if there’s something you could use to clean it up and soften it up or would it be better just to …
TOM: No. No, because what happens is you get some – you get degradation from UV light over the years and it deteriorates the vinyl or the rubber; so you can’t bring it back but you can replace it and it’s not expensive. I will say, though, this inherited, old fridge is not doing you a lot of favors energy-wise because the new refrigerators today – even the real inexpensive ones – run on about the same electricity as about a 100-watt light bulb. A 1970’s fridge, on the other hand, is costing you quite a few dollars to run every month. So you know, if …
LESLIE: And now, isn’t there that whole like cash for clunkers appliance system going on?
TOM: Yeah, but the money comes and the money goes and I don’t know if there’s going to be money left very long in that program, so I don’t think we can really count on it. But frankly, the energy savings alone is enough to warrant replacing this thing. If it costs you any money more than just a couple of dollars, you really want to think about just getting a new one because they’re very wasteful, the old refrigerators.
BOB: OK, well I appreciate that.
TOM: You’re welcome, Bob. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
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