Refrigeration typically accounts for 5-10% of your annual electricity consumption.
A refrigerator’s expected lifetime is 15–20 years, so when you buy a new model you are committing to many years of energy costs.
Modern high-efficiency refrigerators can save you hundreds of dollars on your annual electricity bill and thousands of dollars over the lifetime of the refrigerator.
When purchasing a new refrigerator, ensure you select a model that uses less than 400kWh a year.
ENERGY STAR® qualified refrigerators are required by the U.S. Department of Energy to use at least 20% less energy than models not labeled with the ENERGY STAR® logo. Remember that you can buy refrigerators that are many times more efficient than the basic ENERGY STAR® requirement.
Using Your Refrigerator/Freezer
Take the following steps to reduce the amount of energy used by your refrigerator/freezer:
- Avoid using more fridges/freezers than necessary by unplugging appliances when not required
- Adjust your refrigerator so that it is no cooler than 35-38 °F and your freezer no cooler than 0°F.
- Ensure your refrigerator doors’ seals are airtight. Test them by closing the door over a piece of paper or a dollar bill so it is half in and half out of the refrigerator. If you can pull the paper or bill out easily, the latch may need adjustment, the seal may need replacing, or you may consider buying a new unit.
- Regularly defrost manual-defrost freezers and refrigerators; frost buildup decreases the energy efficiency of the unit. Don't allow frost to build up more than one-quarter of an inch.
- Clean the condenser coils twice a year — dusty condenser coils translates into higher energy use and shorter life expectancy for the fridge.