All electrical appliances have metals such as iron, steel, copper, aluminium and others. There’s plastic in them too, and most modern ones are reliable enough to last more than a decade. Refrigerators and fans are one of the highest selling used appliances in India.
Fans can last decades and are also easy to repair. There is not much of a difference in power consumption between new and slightly old fans. A new 5 star rated fan consumes 50 watts to deliver the same air as an old 80 watts one. So, if a fan is more than 25 years old, it is most likely not very energy efficient. Unless you need it for a place where the usage will be minimal, it is better to recycle them.
Refrigerators and air conditioners have gas that contributes to global warming if not disposed properly. Hence giving them a second home is greener than buying a new one or not being safely recycled. Refrigerators also contain foam and other insulating material that are not easy to recycle. While old refrigerators consume slightly more power than new ones, an older air conditioner is a huge energy hog. Buy an old air conditioner only if you need to use it occasionally. Older ACs are better recycled. ACs and refrigerators have expensive copper in them which fetches a good value in the recycling market. Also look for power consumption ratings when you are buying an old air conditioner. Some relatively newer ones may have BEE star labels. For others, you can refer to the ratings written on the body.
Older washing machines could be inefficient in terms of water usage. If you come across a relatively new one, check the energy and water ratings and go for it.
You can find good deals on old TVs on most online classifieds. LED TVs are most efficient followed by older LCD ones. Avoid bulky CRT TVs as they consume a lot of energy. Plasma displays also have high power consumption.
Water heaters too can be brought from the second-hand market. Look for leaks and power consumption numbers when you buy these. You don’t have to bother about efficiency if you are buying a solar water heater. They are also fairly robust but do check for corrosion.
Water pumps can also be bought used. It is important to test it before buying and check how long it takes to lift the water and if it gets hot or not. If it takes too long, then it is better to recycle it and buy a new one as it will consume a lot of energy.