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How to Save Electricity: Refrigerator Edition

Your fridge is one of the biggest users of electricity in your home. Your HVAC system will always be the leading culprit. And your hot water heater will be up there too.

With your fridge…how do you save energy with that?

Well, sweat not…we have you covered:

1. Should You Replace Your Fridge?

If you have a fridge older than 2001, you should absolutely replace it. That’s because the amount of electricity you save will easily pay for the cost of your new fridge within its useful life.

However, if your old fridge is newer than 2001, you only stand to save around $20 per year with a newer energy-efficient model. You can get around 14 years (or so) of life out of your new fridge.

So, you have to make the judgment call when you get a new fridge if you already have a model newer than 2001.

2. What Kind of Freezer Should Your Fridge Have?

Refrigerators with the freezer on top use less energy than ones with the freezer on the side. It used to be around 50% more energy.

But with greater energy efficiency efforts in place these days, the savings hover around 10% or so. Every little bit counts though!

3. Don’t Use the Icemaker/Dispenser

It’s not clear how much additional energy your icemaker uses. It could be around 20% more or so…and it could increase your fridge’s energy usage by up to double, according to Consumer Reports.

4. Turn Off Anti-Sweat

Sweating doesn’t cause a lot of additional energy consumption, but it can lead to as much as 5-10% more. Your fridge comes with a small heater to prevent sweating. However, you can easily turn it off with the flip of a switch.

5. Let Your Food Cool Before Putting It in Your Fridge

Put hot food in your fridge, and guess what happens? Yep. Your fridge has to work harder and use more electricity to cool down.

So, let your hot food cool off before you put it in your fridge for a nice little boost in energy savings.

6. These May Be the Most Energy-Efficient Refrigerators

…And no, they’re not a name brand. The problem with name brands approved by Energy Star is that Energy Star has had loose standards over the years.

They’ve let companies hold themselves accountable for being Energy Star compliant without any oversight.

However, Energy Star has been cracking down on that lately.

A San Francisco-based company, Sun Frost, makes highly energy-efficient fridges. They were initially designed for homes operating completely on solar power.

Don’t take this as a 100% guaranteed endorsement because we haven’t used their products. However, the company is worth investigating.

So anyway, you now have a basic guide on keeping your refrigerator as energy-efficient as possible!

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