Upgrade to an efficient refrigerator
Your refrigerator uses more electricity every year than any other appliance in your home, since it needs to keep your food cold at all times. Make sure that your refrigerator is one of your most efficient appliances. If your refrigerator/freezer was made in 2000 or earlier, investing in a new model could start saving you energy and money right away.
What to look for:
- ENERGY STAR® certified refrigerators/freezers. They are today's most efficient units and help you earn the biggest savings. They come in several styles and with all of the features of conventional refrigerators on the market. Look up efficient models here. Not all refrigerators qualify for the ENERGY STAR certification, so be sure to look for the label.
- Top-freezer models. They use 10-30% less energy than side-by-side models. They are also likely to have more usable space than a side-by-side model.
- Avoid ice makers and through-the-door dispensers. They require 14-20% more electricity and raise the refrigerator's initial price tag.
- Automatic moisture control. Look for an appliance with automatic moisture control rather than an "anti-sweat heater." Both of these technologies prevent moisture build-up on the outside of the refrigerator, but an "anti-sweat heater" can add 5-10% to the refrigerator's total energy consumption.
- A smaller model. Over 20 cubic feet, refrigerators become significantly less efficient.