How Energy Efficient is Your Refrigerator?

This site explains how to increase the efficiency of your current fridge, or, select a new, energy efficient refrigerator. You can jump to a page from the menu on top or the list on the left hand side.

A refrigerator is usually the single largest electrical load within a house; a refrigerator uses more energy than the stove and oven, microwave, dishwasher, dryer, and often the total installment of incandescent lights. This is because a refrigerator runs all day and all night.

But, the damage can be minimized with refrigerator maintenance. Anyone who spends a few minutes a year can increase their refrigerator’s efficiency by at least 30%. That would save about $40 a year for a typical 1990 refrigerator, according to the Department of Energy’s calculations. In fact, the DOE claims that cleaning coils alone can save up to 30%, while other measures, such as replacing the gasket and using the “energy saver” switch, can yield additional savings.

This will save a good amount of money and energy. But it is often also wise to upgrade to a new, energy efficient refrigerator. You can enter the model number into the Energy Star savings calculator to see your potential savings. If you upgrade now, over five years, you can expect to save:

  • $230 for replacing models older than 2,000
  • $450 for replacing models older than 1992
  • $665 for replacing models older than 1989
  • $910 for replacing models older than 1980

This is for upgrading to a typical Energy Star refrigerator. See the Buying Guide for guidelines on how to maximize these savings. Or, if you desire to move towards a sustainable household, you may want to see the list of the Most Energy Efficient Refrigerators. These are especially well suited for powering with renewable energy.

Can’t afford to buy a new refrigerator? Maybe you can’t afford not to: see Low Cost Refrigerators and Refurbished Refrigerators.