Refrigerator efficiency test conditions?

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I've never found a serious test of this myth on the web. Some serious energy conservation sites (eg Oregon's) don't mention it.
With more exposed cold surface inside, room air will flow faster through the fridge when the door is open, with more sensible heat gain and condensation, which raises energy consumption.
Nick
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vinny had written this in response to http://www.thestuccocompany.com/maintenance/Refrigerator-efficiency-test-conditions-334852-.htm :
------------------------------------- mike wrote:

I agree that they should put some sort of information on how they came up with $43 cost to run a fridge for the whole year. How many times it was open and at what temp setting the fridge is in..etc..
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On Oct 8, 1:46 am, jeremyvinzon_at_yahoo_dot snipped-for-privacy@foo.com (vinny) wrote:

I can tell you that the new Kitchenaid side by side that I bought a few months ago is spot on to the Energy Star numbers on the label. It was supposed to use $95 a year to run and I measured it for several days with a Kilowatt meter and that indeed is what it was using. And that was with normal usage, opening closing doors, etc.
On the other hand, the DOE Energy Star website has a calculator that supposed to show you how much your current fridge uses vs a new one. You can put in your current fridge make/model and energy cost and it generates numbers. That was way off. It indicated my 24 year old fridge should be using over $300 a year. With the kilowatt meter, it was actually around $190. I suspect this calculator may have built- in assumptions about the old fridge, ie that it has badly leaking door seals, dirtied up coils, etc.
My bottom line conclusion was that I'm saving about $100 a year with the new fridge vs the old one. Which means the cost savings to run a new one can be a factor in making a replacement decision. But clearly in my case, even at the current energy costs, replacing it is not justified based just on economics.
I think as others have pointed out, it doesn't make sense to try to take additional measures like putting curtains inside, filling up the fridge with thermal ballast, etc. in the hopes of saving anything. When you get down to $95 a year to run a 25 cb ft side by side, I don't see that you're going to do much other than inconvenience yourself.
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