How Much Energy Does a Refrigerator Use?
According to the Department of Energy, refrigerators, coming in at 13.7%, are the largest energy-user in a home second only to the air conditioner, which uses 16%.
More Info: The amount of energy used varies from refrigerator to refrigerator. The energy that is used is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh). Older, less efficient refrigerator models, dating back to the mid-eighties, can use up to 1400 kWh while newer models made in the early 2000s use around 500 kWh. An energy star fridge, rated for its energy efficiency can use as little as 200 kWh.
Purchasing a newer, more energy efficient model can add up to quite a bit of savings over the long run. Look for one that is marked with the energy star label. Find one that uses the least amount of kWh and that is within your budget.
Keep the temperatures in your refrigerator and freezer only as cold as necessary to keep food safe. Avoid frequently opening and closing the door or leaving the door open for longs periods of time, as this allows cool air to escape, causing the refrigerator to work twice as hard to keep food cold. Avoid putting hot foods in the refrigerator. This too requires more energy to keep the whole appliance cool. Thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator. This will naturally help to lower the temperature.
Perform regular maintenance checks, such as cleaning the coils and checking the outer seals, to ensure that your refrigerator is running as efficiently as possible.