Why ENERGY STAR Is More Efficient

Several advanced features contribute to the overall efficiency of ENERGY STAR refrigerators and freezers. Their compressors run cooler, quieter, and use less energy than standard compressors. Improved insulation of sidewalls and doors keeps temperatures consistently cold. And more precise temperature controls and defrost mechanisms allow them to run more efficiently while delivering optimal performance. For the best long-term value research ENERGY STAR’s Most Efficient refrigerator models before you shop, and look for our Smart Choice label at retail.

  • Reduce refrigeration costs by up to 45% by replacing an older model
  • An efficient compressor expels less heat into your living space, optimizing use of AC in the summer
  • Improved temperature controls keep food fresher longer

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 More

If 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.