Friday, August 22, 2008

Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

When I was up in Virginia, my family that we were staying with had a refrigerator from the 1940s in their garage. I think it was a Westinghouse. You open it up and there's an icebox on top. It kept things very cold.

I'm sure that the energy efficiency of this old thing would make it eat more electrons than my air conditioner, but it still works. I can almost guarantee that a refrigerator purchased today would die in under 40 years, not even coming close to the life of this 70-something year old appliance.

It's a shame that in this day of improved technology (as compared to the good old days) that not everything lasts as long as it used to. It seems that companies think that planned obsolescence will earn them more profit in the long run. They are flawed, at least theoretically. If they made a better, longer lasting product, then they could capitalize on its superiority by charging a higher price.

I've mentioned the same thing with my HVAC unit & water heater, which are both still original (house was built in 1977). Current estimates for water heater life spans are sub 20 years. I guess new ones are more energy efficient, but I doubt that they offer much advantage over the old ones (unless you compare apples to oranges and say that now you can get a tankless one).
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