Refrigerator Overview 
 For Electric Customers

Every home has a refrigerator to keep your food cold, but there are different types to choose from. When purchasing a new refrigerator, select one that is the right size for your household. The EnergyGuide label on new refrigerators tells you how much electricity in kilowatthours (kWh) a particular model uses in one year. The smaller the number, the less energy the refrigerator uses and the less it will cost you to operate. 

Don't keep your refrigerator too cold. The Department of Energy (DOE) recommends temperatures of 37° to 40°F for the fresh food compartment of the refrigerator and 5°F for the freezer section. If you have a separate freezer for long-term storage, it should be kept at 0°F.

A new refrigerator with an ENERGY STAR® label uses at least 20% less energy than required by current federal standards and 40% less energy than the conventional models sold before 2002.

Refrigerator run time
According to the DOE, the average run time of a refrigerator depends on a number of different variables. Factors include the location of the refrigerator in a residence or building and the conditions around the refrigerator, such as temperature and humidity.

Run time is even more dependent upon how the consumer uses the refrigerator. Consumers use differs in the frequency of opening the door and the temperature setting selected. Since the DOE focuses on the overall energy consumption of refrigerators, there has not been a great deal of information on the actual run time, especially since it varies among models.

However the DOE test procedure does make certain assumptions about settings and environmental factors in order to provide a representation of consumer use. They use an adjustment to estimate actual expected run time by assuming a compressor run time of 50% or 12 hours per day. This will vary by product, other aspects of environment and consumer use patterns, but could serve as a rough estimate of your refrigerator run time.

Thanks to recent improvements in insulation and compressors, today's refrigerators use less energy than their predecessors. If you still have a fridge from the 1980s, replace it with an ENERGY STAR® certified model and save up to $100 each year on your utility bills. Replace a fridge from the 1970s and save up to $200 each year! With an ENERGY STAR certified refrigerator, you can maximize your energy and dollar savings without sacrificing the features you want. Use the ENERGY STAR Savings Calculator to find out exactly how much money you'll save by replacing your existing refrigerator.
Refrigerator Overview, fridge, ice box
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