subject says all...
in an effort to see how much a new fridge would really be worth in terms
of energy savings I got a Kill-A-Watt (found one online under $30)
hooked it up to fridge. In 24 hours of use it's apparently used almost
2.5 kWh - that's over 900 kWh/year!
I see most of the fridges that I'm considering are rated at about 500
kWh/year give or take.
do both of these numbers seem reasonable? A new 25 ft^3 "energy star"
fridge would use a little more than half as much juice as my 20 year old
18 ft^3 clunker?
If this is true, I won't feel nearly so badly about spending the $$$...
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
Probably not half, but certainly better. The ratings are only really
comparable between rated units for comparison purposes, not in
comparison to any specific operating unit, primarily because the testing
can't (and doesn't attempt to) mimic the operating cycle of the specific
But, since it is the same test, it does have value in comparing units
You need to sample over a good week period to get an accurate figure
since the defrost heater is one of the largest consumers, but only runs
intermittently. Yes, a new unit will use quite a bit less power overall,
and I expect the energy guide numbers are pretty accurate.
I replaced my 24 year old side by side with a new Kitchenaid energy
star model last year. According to the energy guide it was supposed
to use about $90 a year in electricity. I measured it with a
kilowatt meter and it was spot on. I also measured the old one and
it was using $185 a year. I performed the test over 3 days with both
units. So, in this case, the energy guide is right and I'm saving
$95/year, which helps pay for the new unit.
One thing that isn't accurate is the calculator they have at the DOE
energy star website. You can put in your old make/model fridge and it
will show you how much it's supposed to be using vs what a new one
would use. In my case, it said the old one was using like $325 a
year, which is way off. I think they may have some calculation
factor that assumes a 24 year old has badly leaking door seals and God
knows what else to come up with a better scenario.
How much did the new unit cost? If, say, $1000, you lose $40/year in
opportunity costs (interest on your money). If you had to borrow to buy the
unit at, say, 8%, that's $80/year in interest.
To take this concept to a ridiculous extreme, one could spend $50,000 for
solar heating, wind turbines, etc., to save an ENTIRE electric bill of
Saving money on power usage is good, but, in the view of some, saving money
might be way down on the list of reasons.
$1300. Which is why I said the energy savings of $95/year HELP pay
for the cost of the new unit. I actually started looking at a fridge
because at 24 years old, it was time for a new one for other reasons.
I knew that a new one would save some energy costs, but I was
surprised that it cut the electric usage by about 50%. I agree that
if you're otherwise happy with what you have, it;s very possible, even
likely that you won;t come out ahead by buying a new one. Your best
shot at having the energy costs pay for it is probably with an old
very basic unit compared to a new similar energy star unit. That way
you;re only paying for the essential refrigeration, not ice makers/
water in the door, stainless doors, etc. Even then, it would take a
Also, my energy savings is based on electric cost in NJ, which at
around 16cents is among the highest. If you live somewhere that has
electric at 11cents, the cost savings/justification are less.
You will save, I did the same test with a new sears 19.5 frige and
KAW meter and I was somewhere near 4.50 a month, a bit better than the
yellow tag rating, but I didnt keep doors open long. If its family use
and people keep the doors open while shopping for food your rating
wont be as good as rated, and your regular use might make it less, but
you will still save. When I shopped my decision was only the most
efficient unit I could get. www.energystar.gov has all ratings, but
still check with the Yellow Tag since models vary and there is old
I know my pretty new Maytag pretty well as I was inside replacing some
parts. I know it defrosts once in 8 hours or running. There is a timer
that runs only when the compressor runs and after it's run for 8 hours
it goes into defrost. If there is not much frost the heater will come
on, in most cases, only one time as there is a thermostat that kicks
it out when the coil area reaches about 45 degrees. I have had a
killawatt hooked up and the amp draw during defrost is about 3 or so
amps for a short time, the running amp draw is way down, sometimes
around 1 amp.
We replaced an old old unit with this and - true, I sware, light bill
went down close to 25 $. The old unit was pre 1969, so there has been
lots of progress.
On a side note - one issue with the new units is the running time,
they run for a long time, the compressor is SMALL. So, if you were
using a generator like during a power outtage to run the thing, it
takes a long time to cycle the unit..But - that's not an issue most
We replaced a similar age old fridge with a new one and there was a
significant drop in power use. Also the new fridge has much more uniform
temperature throughout the box so you can keep the temp low without
freezing stuff. So as a side benefit stuff lasts longer and it is now
very unusual to have to discard food.
For the most part I trust the accuracy of a kill-o-watt meter. I
trust government claims (or anything else for that matter) much less
than years ago. Check the refrigerator wall thicknesses when you
compare. Refrigerators use a lot of energy.
Consumer Reports had an article recently saying that the Energy Guide (and
thus Energy Star) ratings for refrigerators were way off, especially on the
side by side ones, because they did not mimic the way most people use the
refrigerator. Think the inaccuracy of the old EPA mileage rating system.
You will need to use your Kill-A-Watt on your new box to tell your real
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