Upgrade to an efficient refrigerator
Your refrigerator is keeping your food cold 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so it's important to make sure it is one of your most efficient appliances. If your refrigerator/freezer was made in 2001 or earlier, investing in a new model could start saving you energy and money right away.
What to look for:
- ENERGY STAR® certified refrigerators/freezers. They are today's most efficient units and help you earn the biggest savings. They come in several styles and with all of the features of conventional refrigerators on the market. Look up efficient models here. Not all refrigerators qualify for the ENERGY STAR certification, so be sure to look for the label. Also look for the EnerGuide label and make sure your model is in the lowest range.
- Top-mounted freezer models. They are 10-25% more efficient than bottom mount or side-by-side models. They also are likely to have more usable space.
- Avoid ice makers and through-the-door dispensers. They require 14-20% more electricity and raise the refrigerator's initial price tag.
- Automatic moisture control. Look for an appliance with automatic moisture control rather than an "anti-sweat heater." Both of these technologies prevent moisture build-up on the outside of the refrigerator, but an "anti-sweat heater" can add 5-10% to the refrigerator's total energy consumption.
- Separate temperature controls that regulate the inside temperature of the refrigerator and freezer compartments.
- Easy-rolling wheels, which make cleaning easier, especially for vacuuming the condenser coils regularly in order to maximize efficiency and compressor life.
- A smaller model. Generally speaking, the smaller the appliance, the less electricity it will use.