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Old 08-26-16, 04:45 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by pete c View Post
In the winter it helps warm the house, so no worries there, but in the summer it heats an already hot house. Has anyone every tried putting together something that would use this heat, possibly to preheat water for a water heater.
I think your concern is valid, and I think that your interest is a good one, despite the analysis (?) that appeared below your original post.

I think that every BTU should be used if possible. But even more importantly, I think that every BTU of 'wasted' energy should be scrutinized and eliminated if possible.

The best approach is to start drastically reducing the waste energy.

If you have a refrigerator that is putting out enough waste BTUs to appreciably heat a house in the winter, and to be a significant cooling problem in the summer, it indicates to me that you are dealing with a very inefficient refrigerator, probably an older one.

Many of the newer refrigerators, 'Energy Star' refrigerators, use far less energy and produce far less wasted heat than conventional units... maybe half of the energy use compared to older units, half of the energy wasted compared to older units.

The next step in the Refrigerator Warrior's attack would be to re-purpose a modest-sized freezer, either chest type or cabinet type, to become a refrigerator. The chest type will ultimately be the most efficient. Some argue that the chest type is less convinent.

I have re-purposed a cabinet type and it is extremely efficient., and convenient to use.

With both types, there will be condensation issues. Chest types have a drain hole in the bottom which is perfect for eliminating condensation. A carefully chosen chest type should have a drain hole, too. I've been using mine for a few years now, and I don't think that condensation is a deal-breaker.

My project is fully explained in the link below. (Please note that I purposely chose an inefficient freezer, to see if even a bad freezer could make a good refrigerator)

MEMPHIS91 did a chest type conversion. He has been super good about including photographs and detailed explanations.

So, my advice is NOT to abandon your project, but to attack the problem at the root, which would be the drastic reduction of wasted energy.

I wish you great success.


I'm not an HVAC technician. In fact, I'm barely even a hacker...
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