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Need a free refrigerator? Where to find free appliances

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According to home services website HomeGuide,1 a new refrigerator costs between $600 and $2,300 on average, plus a $75 to $200 installation fee.

If you don’t have the money to shell out for a new refrigerator, stove, heater or or other appliance, there are ways to get free appliances that are also reliable: 

Top sources for free appliances

Here are some sources to help you get a free household appliance fast:

Buy Nothing Project

Buy Nothing offers a community-based platform to help you find free stuff from your neighbors. You can join for free and then choose a community based on where you live.

To find a free appliance:

  • Create a free profile on Buynothingproject.org
  • Create a post to ask for the item you want
  • Browse all active gifts in your community to see if any match your needs

You’ll communicate directly with the people offering the item if they reach out to you. If they decide to choose you as the recipient, you'll work with them to make arrangements to pick up the appliance or have it delivered.

Facebook group

While they might not be officially affiliated with the Buy Nothing Project, you may also be able to find a Facebook page for your community where people post and request free items. 

Craigslist

Craigslist is a popular choice for finding free stuff. It’s an online classifieds website where you can connect with people in your town to get free appliances and more.

Craigslist free appliances listing.

To find a free appliance:

  • Create a free profile on Craigslist
  • Click on the free or appliances category under the for sale section
  • Use the search box to search for a washer, dryer, refrigerator or other appliance
  • Click on the item you want and use the reply button to communicate

You can use built-in messaging on Craigslist to chat about the details of the free items and plan meetups to look at the items and pick them up. Always use caution when arranging a meetup, and bring someone with you if possible.

Facebook Marketplace

If you have a Facebook account, you can access Facebook Marketplace. It’s like an online yard sale, where users post items they no longer want, some of them free. 

To find a free stove, free oven or other free appliance on Marketplace:

  • Log into or create a free Facebook account
  • Click on the Facebook Marketplace icon (it looks like a little shop with an awning)
  • Click on the Free Stuff category and browse
  • Use the search field to type in what you are looking for, such as: free stove

To communicate with people offering free items, you’ll use the Facebook Messenger app and arrange a pickup/dropoff.

Marketplace is also a good place to find free furniture.

Freecycle

Freecycle draws people from all over who want to recycle and reuse household goods and unwanted items to cut down on waste in landfills. It’s free to register for an account, or you can use your Facebook login to get started.

To find a free space heater or other free appliance:

  • Sign in to Freecycle or register for free
  • Choose your hometown group (nearest to your home) and any other towns that are easy for you to get to
  • Make a post requesting an appliance or browse what others have already offered by using the search feature

You can search just in your hometown or in all of your chosen towns. Freecycle has a built-in online messaging system that you can use to chat with the owner and make arrangements to get the item to your home or pick it up.

Freebie Alerts app

The Freebie Alerts app, available on the App Store and Google Play, sends you a notification every time your neighbors are giving away free stuff, including appliances of all sizes. 

The app monitors:

  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Nextdoor
  • OfferUp
  • TrashNothing

You can choose to receive alerts from all or some of these sources of free stuff. 

If you want specific appliances, you can use the whitelist feature to notify you of offers with certain keywords. When you want an item, just tap on it in the app to communicate with the person giving it away. You can also post items you would like to give away.

Get the Freebie Alerts app

Family and friends

Let your friends and family know what you're looking for. They might be ready to upgrade or no longer have a need for an item and would be happy to let you have it free of charge. You never know until you ask.

On the r/povertyfinance subreddit, Reddit users shared their top places to get free appliances:

Organizations that offer appliance assistance for low-income families

Some programs and nonprofit organizations offer financial help to replace old appliances, or you can apply for government assistance to pay for new appliances:

Grants for appliance assistance

While we did not find grants specifically for appliance purchases, if you meet income requirements for your household, you can apply for grants to help you purchase one. 

For example, the Modest Needs organization offers self-sufficiency grants to cover monthly bills you can no longer pay because of financial hardship or unexpected or emergency expenses (such as your stove breaking, keeping you from preparing meals for your family).

You can also search for “nonprofits near me” to locate community organizations that help low-income families with grants and other financial assistance. 

Check out our post on 8+ legit grants for single moms for hardships and more in 2024.

Tax credits and rebates

As part of the Inflation Reduction Act,2 households can access a tax credit to cover up to 30% of the cost for qualifying efficiency improvements, up to:

  • $1,200 in credit for adding insulation or installing efficient windows and doors
  • $2,000 for electric heat pumps that provide super-efficient heating and cooling
  • $150 for a home energy audit conducted by an inspector

State programs will also offer rebates to help you replace old appliances with more energy-efficient models and make energy-efficient upgrades to your home.

The program may be in the form of a voucher or grant and is administered at the state level through September 2031.2

Households are eligible for rebates of up to $4,000, while low-income households could receive up to $8,000 for home efficiency. Maximum payouts may vary by state and type of appliance.

As an example, low-income Vermont residents may be eligible for a voucher for up to $1,200 to purchase a new appliance such as a refrigerator or washing machine.3

Rebates covering up to 100% of the installation cost are available to low- and moderate-income households for appliances like:

  • Heat pumps
  • Water heaters
  • Clothes dryers

Since this is a new program, states and tribal lands are still in the process of applying for and receiving funding. To find the latest on what’s available in your state, contact your state energy office

LIHEAP

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federally funded program that operates at the state level. It provides help to low-income households by:

  • Providing financial assistance with heating bills
  • Preventing energy shut offs or getting services reconnected
  • Increasing the energy efficiency of a home
  • Repairing or replacing heating equipment

Under this program, you may be able to get your furnace repaired or replaced at no cost to you. LIHEAP services also include weatherization support, which can help with replacing appliances that are not energy efficient.

To determine eligibility, visit the LIHEAP Clearinghouse website.

WAP

The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is another federal program that benefits low-income households in each state. The program replaces old refrigerators with models that run more efficiently and save money on energy use.

To apply for WAP, contact your state weatherization administrator.

Home energy assistance for low-income people

Search for ‘free appliances near me'

To find free appliances for local delivery or pickup, try searching online for “free appliances near me” or do a search for a specific appliance.

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You can also be specific about the city or county you live in. So, try searches like: “free washer and dryer near Charlotte” or “free electric stove near Los Angeles County.”

Ideas to get free appliances delivered

Some places that offer free appliances might be able to deliver them to your home for free. If you have to pick them up, you can seek out free or low-cost transportation options from:

  • Your network: Ask family, friends, co-workers, social club members, or anyone else with a truck for help getting the appliance home
  • Churches and nonprofits: Check with churches, religious organizations, and local nonprofit organizations in your community to find out if they offer free moving help or can provide financial assistance to rent a truck
  • Rent a truck: Look for an affordable truck rental on a site like KAYAK, which compares rates from multiple vehicle rental businesses or looks for places that rent by the hour like U-Haul and Home Depot (Home Depot’s rentals start at $19 for 75 minutes, plus fees)

You can also check out our post on free moving help.

Where to buy cheap appliances

If you've exhausted all efforts to find free appliances or financial help to buy used appliances, check out this list of sources where you can find cheap and/or used appliances:

  • Habitat ReStore: Run by the charity Habitat for Humanity, this discount store sells home appliances for a discounted price, but it is not available in all states

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  • Salvation Army: You can find affordable, used, small appliances like microwaves and air conditioners through some Salvation Army branches

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  • Small appliance stores: Look for neighborhood appliance stores that can offer lower pricing on appliances than large home improvement stores and be sure to ask about display models, open box, and scratch and dent models offered at a steep discount
  • Yard/garage sales
  • Craigslist
  • Facebook Marketplace

If you're looking to unload an old appliance that no longer works, check out our post on how to get rid of old appliances.

How to choose a reliable used appliance

Free appliances quickly lose value when they no longer work. That’s why it’s important to choose an appliance that will last and that doesn’t require extensive repairs.

Here are some questions to ask when you’re choosing a used appliance:

  • Is it a reliable brand? Sources like Consumer Reports and the Yale Reliability Report4 can give you an idea of what brands are least likely to have service issues and have a good track record of performance
  • What is the model? You can look up the model online on sites like Home Depot and Best Buy to read customer reviews and get answers to common questions
  • Is it ENERGY STAR-rated? The federal government gives this rating to products that are energy efficient (which saves you money on your electric bill), eco-friendly, and of good quality5
  • Does it come with a warranty? I inherited an old yellow refrigerator when I moved into my old apartment, which I affectionately called fridge-osaur. When it broke, I found out it was still under warranty from a local mom-and-pop appliance shop. One $25 co-pay later, the tech had it working. Ask the person or organization giving away the appliance about any existing warranties and whether the free refrigerator, stove, or dishwasher has had problems working in the past.
  • Does your local repair shop service the brand? Not all appliance repair shops service all appliance brands, so find out if yours can be fixed if it stops working
  • How old is the appliance? While older appliances don’t have modern features, they are often built to last because they don’t have a lot of fancy parts or built-in electronics that can fail
  • Have you seen the appliance? Don’t agree to take an item sight unseen — it is important to inspect the appliance in person (and bring someone with you who knows about appliances if you are able)
  • Do you know the source? If you know and trust the person or organization offering the appliance, you’re more likely to get a reliable item and can ask questions to get straight answers

Yale Appliance, founded in 1923, has an appliance showroom in Boston, Mass., and services the brands it sells. Every year, the business publishes an appliance reliability report based on its appliance sales and service calls.

In the following video, CEO Steve Sheinkopf shares the results about 10 appliance brands, like GE and Maytag, based on Yale’s sales data and 39,151 service calls:

Check out these other resources for free items:

Free foodFree bus passes
Free housingFree gift cards
Free carsFree car repairs
Free car inspectionsFree tires
Free gasFree smartphone
Free wifiFree baby stuff
Free help with tax preparation

Sources

  1. “How much does a refrigerator cost?” April 17, 2023. HomeGuide https://homeguide.com/costs/refrigerator-cost
  2. “Home Electrification and Appliance Rebates.” Office of State and Community Energy Programs. https://www.energy.gov/scep/home-electrification-and-appliance-rebates
  3. “Income-eligible Vermonters can get a free home appliance to save money and energy.” May 24, 2023. Efficiency Vermont https://www.efficiencyvermont.com/news-blog/news/income-eligible-vermonters-can-get-a-free-home-appliance-to-save-money-and-energy
  4. “The Most Reliable Appliance Brands (2023 Update)” January 25, 2023. Yale Appliance https://blog.yaleappliance.com/the-least-serviced-most-reliable-appliance-brands
  5. “What Makes a Product ENERGY STAR?” ENERGY STAR https://www.energystar.gov/products/what_makes_product_energy_star

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