Why aren't refrigerators & freezers designed to benefit from outside cold air?

Page 2 of 3  


It would be real complex and an expensive instal, it would almost have to be a frige and exterior wall section sold as a unit, so when its a certain point above inside room temp outside it wont be as efficent as the cooler inside air cooling the coil and it would have to know if AC is on to decide for it self what to do.It would have to computinside, outside temps, AC on or off, heat on or of, so how does it switch back and forth to use inside or outside air, and insulate and seal the opening to withstand winters cold and wind to high R values. It could be done but a frige would cost thousands and would you ever get a payback. I could see some custom room frige using outside air in winter with vents that operate by thermostat, that would cost little. In alaska the have real efficent friges, the outdoors.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The electrical operating expense of a domestic refrigerator isnt high enough to justify modding it as you described. If you could find a suitable way to bring in cold outdoor air into the fridge while exhausting the fridge interior during winter months, it would save some money . Im sure someone has tried it at some time in the past.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
That is a *very* good question!
I would say the answer is that in the past, it has not mattered. Electric rates have been low in the past and it would have been silly to bother.
But now the electric and energy rates are quite high, so time to think about these things...
This is something I have thought about and would like to incorporate into my kitchen design when I remodel it.
Basically it would be with the design of the house, not the refrigerator. I would place the refrigerator on an outside wall. Perhaps build a "compartment" for it sort of like a closet. Just the front doors showing through. Then upper and lower vents on the outside wall so the cold outside air could circulate around the refrigerator in the winter. And fine mesh screen over these vents so bugs can't crawl in. Maybe be able to close these vents if it gets too cold outside so the refrigerator portion will not go below freezing.
I do have my freezer in the garage and it is quite cold out there in the winter. It runs very little.
Note that if you have electric heating, it would be pointless to do this. The heat from the refrigerator would help to heat the house. So in that case no point in venting it to the outside.
And in the summer it would get tricky. I have not thought about this. But you could be paying to cool the house. And there might be times when it is very hot outside. Other times it would be cooler outside. Perhaps use the cool inside air as an intake for the coils of the refrigerator, but vent the warm output air to the outside? But if cooler outside at night than in the house, switch to using outside air.
And use the cool inside air to surround the refrigerator if that is cooler than outside.
"blueman" wrote in message

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

And I'd say it still matter not a wit. As I previously posted, the TOTAL annual electric usage of a new 23 cft refrigerator, with ice and water at the door is around $95. And that's here in NJ, with electricity around 17c KWH. So, where is the big savings to be had?

And I'll bet that by the time it's all done. you'll LOSE money because:
A - There will be enough leakage of air and energy that more than offset the gain
B - The incremental cost of installing and maintaining all this nonsense is more than you gain.
Then whe have little issues like people don't want to design their kitchen around your idea of where the refrigerator has to go instead of just putting the fridge where it makes the most sense ergonomically, just to save $5 a year.

More illogical conclusions. It doesn't matter whether the house is heated with electric, heat pump, gas or a wood stove. The only issue is in the grand scheme of things is $5 or $10 a year worth it?

Obviously
And how much is that whole system going to cost compared to the small savings? My fridge uses a whopping $95 a year in electricity.
Geez, now I know why Best Buy sells so many extended warranty contracts.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

My last electric bill for one month was $26!
10 years ago my electric bill was $150 a month.
How did I reduce my electric bill? I know how to add!
There was not any one thing which greatly reduced my electric bill. Rather *many* things combined which ADD up to that savings.
And this is something people don't understand these days. That small things add up. Same with spending. Buy a soda pop at a store once a day for $1 and they say that is just a dollar. (It is actually $365 a year!)
But I assure you large billion dollar corporations know how to add. The guys who get the big bucks there know how to search for a penny to be saved per transaction. If the corporation has 300 retail outlets and each retail outlet has 5,000 transactions per day, and they are saving a penny per transaction, that is $50 per store per day!
$15,000 for all 300 stores per day! $5,475,000 per year! (All from saving a penny!)
It adds up... Learn how to add, you will save quite a bit!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 31 Jan 2010 10:44:45 -0800, "Bill"

I'll bite. Give us the figures you added-- or subtracted. What were your electrical appliances then and how much did they use, and what are they now & how much do they use?
My bill runs between $200-300 a month, but I'm not complaining. The convenience it supplies is worth every penny to me.
But tell us what you've done to save so much.
Jim [BTW- I don't think that $26 would keep you connected to the grid in my part of the world.]
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Oh geeze... What haven't I done! This has been an ongoing project over 10 years.
Let's see... Redesigned a "room full of single pane windows" to fewer windows and replaced with double pane energy star windows. Installed insulation. Replaced all bulbs with CFL's Replaced all appliances with new energy star appliances. Installed woodstove. Rewired doorbell to only use electricity when the button is pressed.
Replaced 3 old window air conditioners with 1 new energy star window air conditioner (with new windows and insulation - just one keeps house cool now!)
Installed two 50 gallon water tanks next to woodstove. The heat from the woodstove gives me hot water in winter! (My electric hot water tank has been turned off since October.)
Power strips or switches on everything electronic. Turn off when not in use. And this means almost everything these days. Every single gadget with an electronic control always uses a small amount of electricity. Blender, HEPA air filter, coffee maker, phone, fan, you name it!
And of course turn off TV/stereo/playstation/VCR/DVD, etc. Also I have individual switches on each of these. I only turn on what is needed. Like just TV and VCR - then playstation, DVD, stereo off. I don't have paid TV as I like to read books, so no problem turning off the whole works when not in use. (If you have paid TV, leave the cable box ON!)
Switch to turn off garage door opener when not in use. Switch off TV antenna amplifier when not in use.
All phones are unplugged from power except answering machine phone. Wired phones will still work without power.
Switches on rechargers like for cell phone, cordless rechargers, etc. These are switched off or unplugged when not in use.
Switch for microwave. Off when not in use. (These use more electricity when off than on. The clock is always on and this uses more electricity than you use to periodically heat something up. It adds up to leave something on 24/7!)
Disconnected the clock on the electric range.
For cooking I place pots of water on the woodstove to heat them up. Then bring to boiling on the electric range. Only a few seconds more of heat to get to boiling. Then back to woodstove to cook.
If I have a big pot of stew or whatever, I place it outside to cool down first before I place it in the refrigerator.
Then I bought GFCI receptacles which have one outlet and a switch. I wired the switch to turn off the GFCI outlet when not being used. Even the GFCI outlets always use a small amount of electricity.
I have a separate power strip for my computer printer. I turn this off when not using the printer, but using the computer. (Always uses electricity when plugged in.)
Everything I do lately is paid for with the money I am saving from my previous energy saving projects, so it costs me nothing basically to buy switches, power strips, etc.
And this all started out as a fun challenging project. The electric company kept raising my rates. So each time I would find a way to lower my bill back down.
My future projects will be to get hot water in the summer (from the sun) and solar electricity. My electric use is so small now, the solar electric will not require very much power.
On parasitic loads... http://enduse.lbl.gov/info/ACEEE-Leaking.pdf
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
<A large number of ways to reduce electricity consumption, including but not limited to disconnecting from power when-not-in-use the many things that draw half a watt to a dozen watts when not doing anything,
including:>

My microwave clock, including the power supply stuff for the microwave's control electronics, draws 1 to 2 watts (reads 1 watt on my Kill-A-Watt meter).
If 2 watts is the case, then it draws 48 watt-hours in a day. That is 20 cents a month or a bit more, almost $2.50 per year, with my electric rate in suburban Philadelphia. I would switch it off with a power strip when not in use, except that I like to have that clock on.
Although your other posted material makes sense and I agree with it including disconnecting those low-power continuously-running loads, I take issue with the microwave consuming more energy when not being used than it does when it is being used.
My microwave consumes maybe 48 watt-hours per day when it is not being used. It consumes a good 1300 watts when it is heating something up at full power. That amounts to 48 watt-hours in 2 minutes 13 seconds.
On the other hand, if I did not powerstrip-switch my printer, it probably would consume more energy when it is not being used than it does when it is.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Jan 31, 10:39pm, snipped-for-privacy@manx.misty.com (Don Klipstein) wrote:

re: "On the other hand, if I did not powerstrip-switch my printer, it probably would consume more energy when it is not being used than it does when it is."
I question this in 2 ways:
1 - From a power saving perspective, I wonder how much power the printer uses when it runs through it's POST vs. it's total usage when idle. When my printer powers on, it calibrates the printhead, using it's blue-light sighting device and moving the printhead around within the unit for a few seconds.It also runs through other tests which must consume power - unless the LCD screen is lying to me. Granted, extra long idle times might use more power than the POST, but the power used during the POST has to factored into the equation. In additon, my printer also goes into a PowerSave mode after an idle period. It does not run through the full POST when woken up with a print job.
2 - From a strictly convenience perspective, this would be a pain in my as...errr....house. We have a single All-In-One printer/scanner/ copier networked for the 3 computers in my house. To power it down when not in use would mean a trip to the printer from the far end of the house when any of the users wanted to print. First the error message that the printer wasn't available, then a trip to the printer to turn it on, back to the computer to click OK and back to the printer to collect the printout and turn the printer off, assuming it's not going to be used again soon. If there's any thought that it might be used again, then it would be left on and the user would have to remember to make another trip to the printer to turn it off eventually.
Wait, maybe that's not a bad idea. The extra walking would be healthy for us plus keep us warm so we could turn the heat down. ;-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Very interesting list... - Some are useful and significant to all (like turning off printers or using Energy Star appliances) - Others are more about general energy saving than just electricity for those of us who heat our house or water with gas or oil (such as insulation) - Some may save power but there is a big trade-off in convenience like switching pot from wood stove to electric stove -- or even the whole bother of maintaining a wood stove vs. running a clean, efficient gas furnace. Also, I think many of us just value our time more than turning off every single last wall-wart. - And some I think save such trivial amounts of electricity that you will never payback the cost of the switch let alone the cost of your time and the hassle factor -- shutting off a GFCI comes to mind as an example.
Not criticizing what you have done -- and it sounds like you enjoy the challenge. Just saying that some of the things you have done are either not relevant, not practical, not significant, or not worth the hassle to the average Joe...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 31 Jan 2010 10:44:45 -0800, "Bill"

My city sells electricity. The problem with it is the kilowatt hours costs $80 but the total bill is over $150. Over time, the city decided to include water usage in the bill. Then based on the water usage you got a sewer charge added, about double that of the water bill (I know you can water the lawn and not use the sewer, but that doesn't count). Last year they decided in lew of higher property taxes they added the garbage collection to the bill, whether you put out garbage or not. Having one bill is convenient, but these local politicians are thinking all day long how to add another charge. Now can anyone explain my land-line phone bill?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

We have not seen this because a practical design has not yet been considered. I'd like to use the 55-degree water from my spring-fed pond to cool my house during hot summer days, but it is easier just to get into the pond. If you want an efficent refrigerator, the one with the thickest insulation is the one to get.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
There are water cooled condensors on the market. It might not be cost effective to build a system using such. A commercial refrigeratiron company can build something.
Or, you can run the cold water through automtove radiator, and use a fan to blow air through the fins. Return the warmer water to the pond.
--
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If you want to take full advantage of freezing temperatures: move frozen items to outside and use a thermoelectric cooler for the rest.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

IIUC they tried this with air conditioning and it didnt' work.

All kidding aside, I think you have a very good idea, actually. The one problem I see is that if the condenser were only outside, in the hot summer it would be hard and/or electrically-expensive to get it cold in the fridge. And I don't know an easy way to switch condensers with the season**. I wonder what they do in areas very north or very south when it is always or almost always less than 70 degrees outside. Surely, at polar locations, where fuel must be hard to import, they don't waste fuel the way fridges do (or do they?) in the USA in the winter.
The fuel isn't really wasted in that the fridge heats the home. It does so electrically which is expensive, but in polar outposts, maybe all heat is electric? I don't know what they use.
**The way around this for home heating cooling is to have the condensor outside and the furnace inside, but people use heat pumps in Maryland and areas south of here.
I turn the vent from my clothes dryer to vent outside in the summer and inside in the winter, but that's a lot simpler than redoing a condenser connection. (Yes, I know some people here think that causes humidity problems in the house but it doesnt' for me. Most houses are dry in the winter and that's why they put humidifiers on furnaces.)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The "beer fridge" at my parents' house is "designed" to do just that... It's out in the unheated wood shed. It barely, if ever runs, from November to April, and during the warm months it contributes nothing to the cooling load of the house.
It's not real convenient to keep food in there, though. Need an egg? You gotta walk clear across the house and out the back door to get from the kitchen to the fridge.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu 28 Jan 2010 08:39:00a, blueman told us...

High end designer line units often have remote mechanical systems that are usually mounted in the basement. However, IMO, the goal is for completely silent operation in the kitchen rather than energy conservation.
It's not financially feasible to produce lower end units with such a feature.
--

~~ If there's a nit to pick, some nitwit will pick it. ~~

~~ A mind is a terrible thing to lose. ~~
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 7:39:00 AM UTC-8, blueman wrote:

all of the responses I've read make the assumption we have A/C. my house d oesn't. I live in Oregon. the few weeks when it gets very hot the refrige rator feels like the range has been left on. simply venting this hot air o ut thru the roof or exterior wall doesn't seem too difficult. I could add a bathroom vent fan if needed and have it turn on when the refr runs. all of this is a comfort issue, not $ savings.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 7/6/15 12:12 AM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

If your house it too hot because it's hot outside, turning on a vent fan will bring in hot air, any way it can get in.
You can probably get a Kill-o-watt digital meter for under $20. It will tell you how much electricity your refrigerator uses. Mine averages 50 watts or 36kwh a month. If yours uses much more, you could be a little cooler by replacing it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Move ur fridge to the garage during the hot weather. I can see how that might benefit most of us in more ways than just keeping the kitchen a bit cooler.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.