I had a idea that might save some energy. I've had ideas like this
in the past, but they're usually not practical - like heating my
backyard pool water with the condenser coil from my central air. The
pool gets heated, while the AC, presumably, cools the house more
I recently thought of running the compressor and coil from my
refrigerator and freezer outside. This wouldn't be such a huge
effort - a few feet of copper tubing and suitable insulation is all
that would be needed. This way, AC wouldn't have to pump the heat
out of the house after the fridge pumped it out of the box (kind of
like cutting out the middleman). Theoretically, the AC uses just as
much energy removing that heat from the house as the fridge used to
remove that same heat from the box. So, theoretically, the savings
should be about equal to the amount of energy that the fridge
normally uses (of course, these savings would only be realized during
the cooling season). The kitchen would be quieter, too.
What's wrong with this idea? How much energy might this be expected
to save? And could I heat my pool with it? :)
I think everybody has had that same idea about the refrigerator.
A refrigerator just doesn't use all that much energy. Mine is 1.5a (200w)
and only runs part of the time.
When your AC was on it would certainly save a little energy, but it would
cost energy when the heat was on; so you would have to make it covertible.
Your payback would be in decades.
look at: operating temperature high and low limits in the manual of
specifications of device. the refrigerator does not work properly
outside its limits.
look at operating clearance of fridge for airflow.
your tools or coolant cost may outweigh savings.
search outdoor refrigerator:
you might browse for similar ideas at:
you may find ideas with groups search for living off the grid:
Both fine ideas.
However: ". . . .This wouldn't be such a huge effort- . . ." is
hardly the case. The job requires some significant expense for
refrigerant and copper and a need for some fairly skilled labor. I
can't see any hope for recovering your costs unless it's totally
DIY. Are you good enough at HVAC to do the work?
The IGA in Soldier's Grove, WI has a separate room with lots of
compressors. They open a door to the outside and close a door
to the market building in summertime, vice-versa in wintertime.
But a fridge and freezer seem unlikely to make enough heat for
a pool, even if you leave their doors open. Preheating domestic
hot water might be interesting.
My first job out of college almost 50 years ago was with an indepemdent
R&D company. The founders, around the time of WWII, had came up with the
idea for a combination refrigerator and domestic hot water heater, where
the heat removed from the cooled box was used to raise the water's
temperature. They had built a bunch of prototypes. Several of them were
sitting around the place, one of them still running. They were natural
gas powered like Servel refrigerators, and the trade name they'd chosen
for them was "Stator".
They looked like a conventional refrigerator with a section about three
feet high added above the door, which contained a well insulated hot
water storage tank.
I can't remember any other details about them, like whether they also
had air cooled condensing coils which got switched in when the water in
the storage tank reached at maximum temperature.
AFAIK, none were ever sold to the public, and in the fat, dumb and happy
days following WWII, not to many folks worried about saving energy
anyway, so they probably wouldn't have found much of a market.
Another energy saving idea the bosses came up with back then was the
concept of using lower cost "off peak" electric power for domestic
forced air heating by using resistance heaters to store heat in flat
finned containers filled with a kind of salt which had a high heat of
fusion and an appropriate melting temperature. The idea was to melt the
salt at night when electricity rates were low and and then recover heat
when needed by warming air flowed past past the containers.
I seem to recall that they had a couple of dozen systems of that type
installed in homes in Pennsylvania as part of a pilot study financed by
an association of electric utility companies. AFAIK that system never
made it to market either, but it wouldn't suprise me to find that some
of the greenies have already brought it back to life.
Thanks for the mammaries,
I did something like this for a kitchen at a commercial facility.
Put the compressor and condensor into the cellar. Works fine. The
problem happens when you want to replace your refrigerator. And
then you need your HVAC guy to unhook it all. Also, you may have
problems when it's very cold outside, the compressor lube oil
I suspect the savings won't be very much, compared to the work
needed to do the hookup.
Using the heat from the AC to warm the pool does make sense. A
commercial coaxial condensor would help. You'd need a pump to
circulate water, but you've already got this for the pool pump.
Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
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