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Saving Energy...and More

May 2nd, 2017 at 02:37 pm

The fridge in this rental home is growing black mold on the gaskets that seal the door to the unit. It was here when we moved in and seems to be an issue in the Southeast. We have attempted to clean. One of those cleaning tries resulted in the gasket getting a tear in it because it was dry rotted. I finally decided I can't keep using the fridge unless these gaskets are replaced. I did my research, including price and how to install. I emailed the landlord and have approval to purchase and do the repair. The new gaskets (there are two because it is a French door unit) will arrive from Sears on Friday. The cost is $109, which I paid for but will deduct from the rent per the landlord. I was thrilled that the landlord responded so quickly. I'm hoping that replacing the gasket may save some more energy costs, but it's hard to know if it was leaking cool air or not.

I got a $14 bill in the mail from our state transit authority for using a toll road in a nearby town (no toll booths on this road) We've been using it for over a year, without being billed. Our guess was because we have out of state plates with a state that doesn't even have toll roads. Maybe there was no reciprocal agreement. But the state has caught on and billed us for trips we made in late March and early April. I have no problem paying the bill now that we actually have one! It is a very nice road. Now I have to decide if I want to keep using it or find another route.

I've decided the money I already saved up for tuition but don't need in full for our daughter's summer class will remain in that budget category. I know that we will owe around $1500 for housing that will not be reimbursed with the Post 911 GI bill. So I'm going to make sure we have that money ahead of time.

On Saturday, I bought a small wooden desk chair at a neighbor's garage sale for $5 on Friday. Today I used two cans of spray paint to spruce it up. It most likely will just be a decor piece, but it will function as a chair if needed. Such a deal to get a new to me chair for under $14.

I redeemed $35 worth of Swagbucks for Amazon gift cards yesterday. They have arrived in my inbox, and I have used $20 worth to buy my husband two new cell phone cases (one is for his work phone). I do like getting some things for free!

9 Responses to “Saving Energy...and More”

  1. snafu Says:

    How wonderful of you to do the research, source the items for the best price, order and offer to remove and replace the gasket. Most tenants would demand the landlord get a Sears [or refrigeration] repairman to the rental to remove and replace the offending item! The cost would be at least double.

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    Sears is outrageous with their labor prices around here. They had a $50 part replaced in about 20 minutes and it cost $300 in total. Yes, most tenants would demand that. I half to demand they make the call to get heating/air conditioner people out there. Often they try to tell us to call, which we have a problem with because it seems we then are contracting for services, yet we are paying for them. Overall we have good landlords, but they are very hands off in some areas where they need to be hands out. The replacement of gaskets won't take more than 30 minutes.

  3. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I wonder if that is what is on our fridge's edging/seal .. I had no idea the seal cost so much though ...

  4. livingalmostlarge Says:

    I admit to calling and asking landlord to fix problems instead of doing it ourselves. We called about a leaking toilet and DH could easily have fixed the flapper. But he didn't want too. But they aren't exactly perfect.

  5. LuckyRobin Says:

    Toll roads seem like such a weird concept to me.

  6. creditcardfree Says:

    FT, seals vary, it could be as low as $20. Depends on the model of fridge.

    @LAL, I'd prefer that the landlord to all the maintenance, but they don't have a property manager and they live four hours away. So in most cases they have to call a professional to do repairs. We did fix a flapper on one toilet ourselves. It's almost hard to force myself not to do DIY having been a previous homeowner.

    @LR, nearly all the toll roads I have been on have far less traffic, which I love. I'm sure that is not the case everywhere. But the cost keeps people from using them, so I agree it is a strange concept.

  7. rob62521 Says:

    I'm sure the landlord would rather pay for the new materials than to have to replace the fridge. Good job on your part of doing the research.

    Your deal on your chair is great!

  8. PatientSaver Says:

    My fridge gaskets also develop black mold on them. I remember watching a segment on Dr. Oz about cleaning them. I use q-tips soaked in vinegar. My fridge is about 8 years old now.

  9. creditcardfree Says:

    Thanks, PS! I will definitely be proactive with keeping the mold off the gaskets once I have the new ones in place.

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