DIY, Super-Efficient Fridge Uses .1 kWh a Day

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by Tim Fulton on December 1, 2008

You know the cool feeling on your feet every time you open the refrigerator door? If you didn’t know, that’s the feeling of all your cold air falling out on the ground. Cold air is heavy and naturally sinks down, which makes the design of most refrigerators suboptimal for conserving that cold air when opened. Though convenient, this means that your refrigerator will be using a lot more energy than is necessary.

Well, what can you do about it? In Japan there are refrigerators with pull out drawers that help eliminate some of the problem, but importing a massive Japanese appliance isn’t likely to happen for most of us. Luckily, there is a DIY solution that involves converting a deep freeze into an incredibly efficient refrigerator chest.

You can check out the DIY PDF here, but in summary, what the creator, Tom Chalko, did was get a chest freezer and modify the temperature control so that it held foods at the normal temperature a standing refrigerator would. In the end, Tom had a fridge with a slightly non-traditional organization of foods, but one that only used about 100 watt hours of power a day, compared to most refrigerators, which use between 1 and 2 kilowatt hours per day. If you’re interested, be sure to check out the PDF for some more specifics. Tom also put together a web page, and aparts list to make duplicating his efforts quite easy.

Also, check out our article on a DIY Passive Cooled Fridge, and our series on DIY improving your freezer’s efficiency.

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