Replace old appliances to improve energy efficiency. The refrigerator and freezer are the most energy-consuming appliances in the home. You can use the Energy Star Flip Your Fridge Calculator if you’re not sure if replacing your refrigerator is necessary. It will tell you how much it costs to run an old fridge or freezer and how much money you could save by switching to a new ENERGY STAR-certified refrigerator.
Why ENERGY STAR Certified Refrigerators
ENERGY STAR-certified refrigerators and coolers maximize energy savings while maintaining the same features. ENERGY STAR-certified refrigerators are 9 percent more efficient than models meeting the federal minimum standard. New ENERGY STAR-certified refrigerators can save more than $220 over a 12-year lifetime. ENERGY STAR-certified coolers, also called wine coolers or beverage centers, are 10-30% better than models that meet federal minimum energy standards.
ENERGY STAR-certified refrigerators have high-performance features, such as compressors with high efficiency that use less heat and energy, better insulation to keep food cold, and temperature and defrost controls that make the refrigerator run more efficiently.
The latest technology and energy-efficient design are combined in refrigerators that have been awarded ENERGY START Most Efficient. These refrigerators are the best in terms of energy efficiency and environmental protection.
Here are some tips to maximize performance and save money when purchasing an ENERGY STAR fridge:
Select the correct size refrigerator for your household. An over-sized refrigerator wastes energy. Most energy-efficient refrigerators are 16-20 cubic feet. The larger the fridge, the more power it consumes.
The models with the freezers at the top use less energy than the ones with freezers at the bottom or side-by-side.
Reduced number of doors on refrigerators reduces air leakage. Reduce the number of refrigerator doors to maximize savings. Also, pay attention to the cool air that you feel when you close the doors. Check that the seals on the doors are airtight. Replace them if they aren’t.
Choose an ENERGY STAR-certified refrigerator that uses a refrigerant with a low Global Warming Potential (GWP). Refrigerators that use refrigerants like R600a or R-441A have lower global warming potential.
Keep the old fridge as a secondary refrigerator. An old refrigerator will use about 35% more electricity than a newer model with the ENERGY STAR. A larger refrigerator will be more energy efficient and save you money if a second refrigerator is really needed.
Recycling the old fridge properly is important. Many appliance retailers will recycle the old refrigerator when delivering a brand new one.
Refrigerators are now equipped with ice and drinking water dispensers in the door. It’s hard to find models that don’t have this feature. The dispenser is a great convenience because it can provide better-tasting water and ice thanks to the built-in filters. It can also save money on bottled water and reduce the amount of plastic waste in your home. The cost of refrigerators and freezers that have in-door water and ice dispensers is usually higher than models without this feature. Annual operating costs are also typically higher due to the additional electricity required to power the unit, as well as the cost of replacing filters. The icemaker/water filter can reduce the storage space available in some models.
How To Maintain An Energy-Efficient Refrigerator
Refrigerators require regular maintenance. Every six months or a year, the coils of the fridge should be cleaned. This is more frequent if you have pets that shed. If the waves become dirty from lint or dust, it can cause the refrigerator to work harder and less efficiently. The refrigerator’s energy costs can rise by up to 35%, and its lifespan is also reduced.
Keep the fridge or freezer out of direct sunlight and other heat sources such as ovens or ranges. Keep the freezer or refrigerator away from heat sources like ovens and cookers. The unit will use more energy if it is heated.
Don’t forget to change the air filter and water filter regularly if your refrigerator has an ice-and-water dispenser in the door.