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Old 06-16-10, 03:27 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Santa Fe, NM
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Lightbulb 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 |


- DIY Adventures in Applied Sustainability -

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Last edited by TimJFowler; 12-01-10 at 01:22 PM.. Reason: update link
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