Refrigerator Energy Savings Tips

Your refrigerator can be one of the highest energy consumers in the kitchen. Making sure that you do everything possible to reduce that energy use can really lower your energy costs every month.

Buying a New Refrigerator

If you current refrigerator is either old or a major energy hog, there is no better time than now to upgrade to a more modern and energy efficient model.  Here are a few tips in determining if you should purchase a new refrigerator and what type of refrigerator you should purchase.

Ditch Older Models

Usually when it comes to most electrical devices, the older it is, the more energy it requires to run.  This is not always the case, but the majority of older refrigerators use far more energy than their modern counterparts.  There are many factors including lesser technology, lower standards and just being old.  Let me elaborate on that last one a little further.  The more a refrigerator is used and the older it gets, parts on it begin to ware and require more energy to operate the same way they did when it was first purchased.  If you refrigerator is older than 30 years and may not be in the best of shape, it’s time to replace that refrigerator.  Actually anything prior to 1997 when the federal government enacted energy standards with refrigerators would be a candidate to replace.

Break Even Point

There is a certain period of time in which the cost of purchasing a new energy efficient refrigerator is covered by its energy savings.  This may be many years, but there is a specific amount of time to reach that point.  I did a little calculations with my energy calculator to determine the break even point at which an old refrigerator with an energy use of 1800 kwh/year as compared to a more energy efficient refrigerator that uses 500 kwh/year.  Let’s say that the new refrigerator costs $500 and energy cost of 11¢  per kwh to make calculations simple.

Refrigerator Comparison

Week Month Year
Old Refrig. $3.79 $16.24 $197.54
New Refig. $1.05 $4.51 $54.93
Difference $2.74 $11.73 $142.61

This means that each year, there is potentially $142 in savings and a break even point of 3 ½ years.  That a pretty short period of time to cover the entire cost of a new energy efficient refrigerator.  In order to figure out the kwh energy use of your current refrigerator, refer to its manual or try using the P3 Kill-A-Watt.

Energy Star

Energy Star appliances can use up to 20% less energy than models meeting today’s federal standards and 40% less than models prior to 2001. You can also receive local rebates on your new purchase of any Energy star appliance. One word of caution with upgrading your appliance is if you buy a larger model.  If you were to go from a smaller fridge to a massive one, you may not save any energy even though it is Energy Star rated.

Energy Saving Tips

You don’t necessarily mean that you have to buy a new refrigerator, as there are other small ways you can save.  All of the following make sure that your fridge doesn’t have to work harder than it needs to.

  • Keep the Doors Closed: Make sure to not keep the refrigerator doors open for long and close them immediately when finished.
  • Allow Items to Cool: This is one I hear all the time and it does save energy.  Allow items to cool completely before putting them in your fridge.
  • Don’t Overcrowd: Don’t overfill your refrigerator and be sure to empty items out old or spoiled food items.
  • Proper Maintenance: This is common sense, but take care of your fridge and get any need repairs to make sure it’s running efficiently.
  • Door Seals: Ensure that the door seals are tightly fitting against the fridge.
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Comments

  1. Very useful post. Replacing all the old fridges skulking around in people’s kitchen would save a lot of energy worldwide, and you demonstrate very well how quickly a new, efficient fridge would pay for itself.

    For people that already have a reasonably new fridge, I’ve written two posts about cutting the energy use of your fridge. There’s actually quite a bit you can do to improve things:

    http://www.renewablesathome.com/energy-conservation/10-ways-to-make-your-refrigerator-use-less-energy

    and

    http://www.renewablesathome.com/energy-conservation/13-more-ways-fridge-energy-saving-heaven

  2. I like this post because it is very helpful to make me take good care of my refrigerator. Besides reducing the energy consumption, this can become one of my real actions to take part of going green.

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