How to Actually Save Energy With an Eco-Friendly Refrigerator

How to Actually Save Energy With an Eco-Friendly Refrigerator

How to Actually Save Energy With an Eco-Friendly Refrigerator

I recently decided to replace my old, inefficient refrigerator with a new eco-friendly model to save energy and reduce my environmental impact. After doing some research, I learned there are several ways a refrigerator can help save energy if chosen and used properly. Here’s what I discovered about how to maximize energy savings with an eco-friendly refrigerator.

Choose an Energy Efficient Model

The first step is selecting a refrigerator that is certified as energy efficient. There are two main energy certification programs to look for:

  • Energy Star – This program sets standards for energy efficiency for all appliance types. Energy Star certified refrigerators are about 9% more efficient on average than minimum government requirements.

  • Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) Tier 2 – CEE Tier 2 is a higher bar than Energy Star. CEE Tier 2 refrigerators are 25-30% more efficient than the minimum government standard.

When comparing refrigerators, look at the EnergyGuide label to understand estimated energy use and operating costs. Models with lower kWh/year usage will save the most energy over time.

Choose an Appropriate Size

The size of the refrigerator significantly affects energy use. Larger refrigerators require more energy to run the compressor and cool the larger interior space.

When selecting a refrigerator size, consider:

  • Household size – A smaller refrigerator for 1-2 people can save energy.

  • Food storage needs – Do you need a lot of freezer space? Avoidoversized units.

  • Kitchen size – Measure the space to find the largest size refrigerator that will fit.

Avoid going too small either. Multiple refrigerators use more total energy than one adequately sized unit.

Use Strategic Temperature Settings

Adjusting the temperature settings on your refrigerator and freezer is an easy way to optimize energy efficiency:

  • Refrigerator section – Between 35°F to 38°F is ideal. Lower settings use more electricity.

  • Freezer section – 0°F to 5°F maintains frozen foods safely. Higher settings waste energy.

  • Independent temperature controls allow custom settings for dual evaporator models.

Use a refrigerator thermometer to check the interior temperature. Adjust as needed to maintain the most efficient temperature range.

Take Advantage of Smart Eco Features

Many new refrigerators come with smart features and settings to conserve energy:

  • Sabbath mode – Disables lights and other functions temporarily. Useful for holidays.

  • Door alarm – Beeps when the door is open too long to reduce cold air loss.

  • Quick cool setting – Cools the refrigerator quickly after frequent open/close.

  • Auto defrost – Regularly defrosts freezer to maintain efficiency.

  • Multi-airflow vents – Strategically directs cold air circulation.

Use these settings to maximize efficiency and minimize energy waste.

Practice Proper Usage and Maintenance

How you use and care for your refrigerator also impacts its energy efficiency:

  • Keep it full – Filling the refrigerator helps retain cold air when opening the door.

  • Avoid overstuffing – Ensures efficient air circulation to maintain cooling.

  • Clean condenser coils – Dirty coils reduce cooling performance.

  • Replace door seals – Worn seals allow cold air leaks.

  • Allow breathing room – Leave space behind and above for ventilation.

With proper usage habits and regular maintenance, your refrigerator can maintain optimal efficiency.

Choosing an energy efficient, right-sized refrigerator and using energy-smart settings and practices can lead to significant energy savings in your home. An eco-friendly refrigerator combined with environmentally conscious usage lets you save money while reducing your carbon footprint.