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Older refrigerators can use more electricity than any other home appliance, so upgrading to a new energy efficient refrigerator can mean real savings.
Unlike other appliances, refrigerators and freezers run all day and every day. That makes them a major consumer of energy, and also an area of opportunity. ENERGY STAR® certified refrigerators can save you $170 or more in electricity over their lifetime. They are on average 10% more efficient than standard models, and over 45% more efficient than those built 15 years ago.
What to Look for in a Refrigerator
First, determine the smallest size that works for your household—under 25 cu. ft. is sufficient for most. Then, choose a style, keeping in mind that this impacts efficiency. Fridges with top-mounted freezers are 10-25% more efficient than side-by-sides, and those with bottom-mounted freezers fall in the middle.
ENERGY STAR certified chest freezers are a good choice if you’re looking for a stand-alone freezer.
- A yellow EnergyGuide label helps you compare efficiency levels of ENERGY STAR refrigerators and freezers
- Choose a top-mounted freezer model for the highest efficiency
- Automatic icemakers and dispensers, though convenient, increase energy use by 10-15%
Tips to Save MoreIf you’re not yet in the market for a new energy efficient refrigerator, there are some low- and no-cost ways to save. Check and replace worn door gaskets, vacuum under your fridge and front vents, and clean the coils regularly. Don’t set your freezer to maximum cold, and keep it full (that way, there’s less room for warm air to get in when the door’s open). If you have a second fridge, consider recycling it—that alone can save up to $150 per year on electricity.
Where can I dispose of my old fridge or freezer?
These items are banned from landfill disposal. Each solid waste district, alliance, group or independent town is required to provide information on disposal options for these materials within their town or region. Check with your solid waste management entity for more information.