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TimJFowler 06-16-10 04:27 PM

Kill your (old) Fridge
Thanks to a $200 state appliance rebate program (and $30 utility rebate) I've upgraded our refrigerator to a 2010 Energy Star model. Thanks to my Kill-A-Watt, I've measured how much electricity we are no longer wasting.

I was able to recycle a 1990's vintage refrigerator we have in a rental property. We swapped a 2002 fridge to the rental and put the new Energy Star fridge in our home. Other than age, each of the three refrigerators was comparable with a top-mounted freezer, 16 to 18 cubic feet and no ice-maker. I tried to keep operating conditions similar for the comparison, although my test favored the oldest fridge as I never opened the door during the test.

Refrigerator Energy Use Comparison

1990 Fridge: 4.62 kWh / 26.7166 hours = 0.1729 kWh/hour = 4.15 kWh/day
= 1514.83 kWh/year

2002 Fridge: 1.54 kWh / 40 hours = 0.0385 kWh/hour = 0.924 kWh/day
= 337.26 kWh/year (77.7% less energy use than 1990 fridge)

2010 Energy Star(+) Fridge: 1.36 kWh / 48 hours = 0.02833 kWh/hour = 0.68 kWh/day
= 248.2 kWh/year (26.4% less energy use than 2002 fridge)

  • Energy Star(+). We chose a fridge that was 30% more efficient than the federal standard (the Energy Star requirement is 20% more efficient than the standard).
  • Turn the 'Cool' knob down. At the default thermostat setting the 2010 Energy Star Fridge used slightly more electricity than the 2002 fridge. I noticed that lettuce on the bottom shelf was freezing, so I adjusted the thermostat a few notches warmer and the energy use went down measurably.

I've written a longer article here: Kill Your (old) Refrigerator |


Daox 06-16-10 09:37 PM

Wow, thats quite the step forward. I've been meaning to measure my fridge lately. I just keep forgetting.

Piwoslaw 06-18-10 03:50 PM

Wow, that '90's fridge was a hog. It's hard to believe how much refrigerators have changed in only a few years. If only car companies could increase fuel efficiency fourfold in a decade...

EDIT: I've had my fridge on the Kill-a-Watt for the last 2.5 weeks and I just had a look: 11.65 kWh in 400.1 hours.
11.65kWh/400.1h=0.029 kWh per hour = 0.70 kWh/day = 255 kWh/year.
You beat me, Tim:thumbup:
It's been hot recently, so the temperature in the kitchen is around 21-22C. The kitchen temperature in the winter (exept when cooking/baking) is 18-19C, so maybe then I'll use slightly less.
The brand is ARDO, model CO 2210 SHX, rated at 256 kWh/year = 0.70 kWh/day.

EDIT: Added more data (model, etc.).

EDIT (04-04-2011): A recent test showed that lower kitchen temperatures (16C-19C) reduce the fridge's power consumption to 0.54-0.59 kWh/day.

TimJFowler 06-22-10 03:11 PM


Originally Posted by Piwoslaw (Post 7117)
Wow, that '90's fridge was a hog. It's hard to believe how much refrigerators have changed in only a few years. If only car companies could increase fuel efficiency fourfold in a decade...

No joke there. I was stunned / disgusted at how much power the '90's fridge used. The problem is that fridges tend to last a long time and there is no obvious sign that they waste a lot of power.


Originally Posted by Piwoslaw (Post 7117)
You beat me, Tim:thumbup:

Well, a new fridge beat an older fridge. I should check back in a year to see if the 2010 fridge maintains this level of efficiency.

I've now got a mid '90's vintage 27" CRT Television plugged into the Kill-A-Watt. I'm curious to see how much power the old TV is eating.


victoria19 08-31-10 04:25 AM

We have refrigerator in our house and we are really shock every time they will give us a monthly electric bill. We wonder why it was too high. Then we realize that refrigerator is the reason. So now, we don't use our refrigerator and other appliances.

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