Tools to Estimate Refrigerator or Freezer Energy Usage

 

Kouba-Cavallo Associates' Homepage

Here is a database of refrigerators and freezers that can be search by model numbers and brands. The brand name will usually be on the front door. You can find the model number on the nameplate of the appliance, which is usually on the inside of the food compartment or on the frame near the bottom. If you can't read a number or letter on the nameplate, use an asterick (*) as a wildcard when searching the database. The energy rating is a conservative estimate of the energy usage of the refrigerator or freezer. The energy rating will be listed in the far right column of the table that comes up from searching the database. (For instance, you might have a Kenmore 50091 and learn that its energy rating is 1149 kilowatt-hours per year.)

Here is a calculator to find out if it is cost-effective to replace your current refrigerator or freezer. The calculator web site needs a few pieces of information, including the cost of the replacement model that you may purchase and its energy rating. If you look in appliance stores you will find that things have changed over the past few years. Starting in July 2001, new energy standards went into effect. Since that time all 15 cubic foot top-freezer refrigerator (with no through-the-door ice or water features) are required to have an energy rating of no more than 450 kilowatt-hours per year, a similarly featured 18 cubic foot model needed to have a rating of under 485 kilowatt-hours per year, and a 22 cubic foot unit needed to have a rating of less than 535 kilowatt-hours per year. So if your current refrigerator is 18 cubic feet and is rated at 1200, you could save 715 kilowatt-hours per year in electricity.

Here is a refrigerator dating tool that can help you determine the year of manufacture of your refrigerator. Unfortunately it only covers 21 brands, and only some years or models of some brands. But it may help in identifying whether you have a refrigerator manufactured in the 1970s or 1980s. To use this tool, you will need to know the brand name, model number, and serial number of your refrigerator. The brand name will usually be on the front door. You can find the model and serial numbers on the nameplate of the appliance, which is usually on the inside of the food compartment or on the frame near the bottom.

Each year the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy lists the most efficient appliances, including refrigerators and freezers. Here is a link to the ACEEE web site where you can find their current list.

Finally, here are seven rules, or tips, on purchasing a new refrigerator. Most of the tips apply to freezers as well.

This page was last updated on October 13, 2006