One way to lower your monthly energy bill? Evaluate the efficiency of your large appliances. When it comes to your refrigerator, there are many ways you can save electricity.
What should I know about refrigerators and energy prices?
Newer refrigerator models are usually much more energy efficient than older units. Energy efficiency can make a big impact on your electricity bill. So, if you have an older model, it could make financial sense to trade up.
Making an energy comparison between models
Modern refrigerators (and many other appliances) now come with an EnergyGuide label. This label helps consumers make apples-to-apples comparisons between models. The label tells you how many kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity a model uses in a year. The smaller the number, the less electricity the unit uses. And when your fridge uses less energy, it can help lower your monthly energy usage.
Very efficient units get a special rating. These models have the ENERGY STAR® logo on the EnergyGuide label. For refrigerators, it means the model uses at least 15% less energy than the federal standard for efficiency.
The average electricity cost to run a refrigerator for a year
Refrigerator models, energy prices and user behavior can vary greatly. For this reason, it’s difficult to state the average cost to run a unit annually.
However, the ENERGY STAR® website has a useful Flip Your Fridge calculator. By adding some information about your current refrigerator and electricity prices, you can find out how much your unit costs to run. You can also see how much you could save by replacing your unit with an ENERGY STAR®-rated model.
What refrigerator features will help lower my energy prices?
Some features can help make a refrigerator more energy efficient and less expensive to operate. These include:
- Refrigerators with the freezer on the top — they tend to use less energy than bottom or side-by-side models
- A refrigerator sized to meet your needs — most manufacturers suggest 19 to 22 cubic feet for a family of four
- Door-in-door storage — for easy access to often-used items so you open the main fridge door less frequently
- ENERGY STAR® units — an old refrigerator can use about 35% more electricity than one that is ENERGY STAR®-rated
How else can I reduce the electricity cost of using a refrigerator?
The size, type and age of your refrigerator can impact your refrigeration costs. But you can also do a few things to make it more efficient and help lower your monthly energy usage.
Here are 5 easy ways to help your fridge run more efficiently:
- Keep the refrigerator (and freezer) stocked. A bare or semi-empty unit uses more electricity to maintain a cool temperature.
- Maintain a tight door seal. If the rubber gasket around the door becomes loose or worn, it can let warm air in and cool air out. A seal with wear or tear should be replaced.
- Clean the condenser coils. The coils under or on the back of the fridge remove heat from the unit. Clogged or dusty coils will slow it down and require more electricity to do their job.
- Let leftovers cool down. When you add heat into the fridge, it takes more energy to cool the unit and its contents down.
- Keep the doors closed. It’s safe to say many of us have stood in front of an open refrigerator deciding what to eat. Try to only open the door to retrieve or return items.
Where can I compare electricity rates?
Everything Energy has everything you need to research, shop and compare energy prices and providers. Check out what people are saying about some of the top electricity companies in Texas. Then, start your energy price comparison. Simply entering your ZIP code HERE.