Refrigerators

Your refrigerator can make a big difference in your energy bills.

Refrigerators - Cost of Operation
Type/Year kWh/Month Estimated Monthly Cost
at $0.130/kWh
Top Freezer (Bottom freezer models use about the same amount.)
18.5 to 20.4 cubic foot
July 2001 or newer -
ENERGY STAR® models
37 $4.81
1993 to June 2001 58 $7.54
1990 to 1993 82 $10.66
Older than 1990 100 $13.00
Side-by-Side
21.5 to 22.4 cubic foot
July 2001 or newer -
ENERGY STAR models
51 $6.63
1993 to June 2001 71 $9.23
1990 to 1993 110 $14.30
Older than 1990 135 $17.55
Ice Makers will increase operating cost by 15% to 20%.
Through-the-door ice and water dispensers will add another 10% to 15% to operating costs. Each cubic foot larger adds about 25 kWh per year.

Use these wise tips:

  • Locate away from heat sources such as the oven or a heat register. Avoid direct sunlight.
  • Don't place in unheated garage. Poor temperature and humidity control can spoil food.
  • Allow at least two inches of clearance around the refrigerator for air circulation and heat dispersal.
  • Keep temperature of fresh food section between 35 and 40 degrees; freezer at 0 to 5 degrees.

Buying tips:

  • One larger refrigerator uses less energy than two smaller units.
  • Look for ENERGY STAR® label.
  • Use yellow EnergyGuide labels to compare.
    • Side-by-sides generally use more electricity.
    • Through-the-door dispensers and automatic ice makers increase electric use.

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