Buying and maintenance guide for energy-efficient fridges.
Along with ovens, stoves, and freezers, your fridge is an expensive, important kitchen appliance which should last many years. But is that all-important fridge eating too much energy? Although the initial cost may be high, consider replacing your inefficient fridge with an economical one that saves you money and energy.
What is an energy-efficient fridge and why does it matter?
An energy-efficient fridge is one that is designed to consume minimal amounts of energy.
Energy-star ratings help identify how efficient a fridge is. You want to look for a fridge with a higher star rating because each star translates to less energy and greenhouse gas emissions. Typically, fridges display up to six star ratings; however, some have an extra four-star crown over the normal star band.
How much electricity do Australians use on powering fridges?
The electricity price fluctuates over time and differs depending on where you live. That’s why labels state annual kilowatt hours (kWh) – it’s what your fridge will use per year based on Australia’s average consumption. You can calculate the cost of running your fridge by multiplying the kWh by your local electricity price.
For example, the fridge says 600kWh per annum and your electricity price is 28 cents per kWh. By multiplying the two numbers together, you find the fridge costs $168 per year (or $14 per month) to run.
Typically, fridges last for many years, so buying an energy efficient fridge can save more money in the long run.
Buying tips for energy-efficient fridges
Look at how full your fridge is, and if you can, select a smaller fridge. This is because larger fridges use more energy. A smaller fridge will still suit your needs while using less energy and money.
The most efficient fridge and freezer combination is a stacked fridge/freezer with the freezer on top. Open door alarms and easy thermostat controls are an advantage, while ice makers and door dispensers are energy eaters. Look for doors that seal tightly as this prevents cool air from escaping.
Energy Star Ratings
Look at the ratings on similar sized fridges. More stars means more efficiency and lower costs and energy consumption.
How best to operate a fridge to lower energy use
- Buy a fridge that suits your needs. A bigger fridge uses more energy and occupies more space.
- Put your fridge in a cool place in your kitchen. Avoid windows and stoves/ovens.
- Make sure you have space around your fridge for ventilation.
- Clean the coils at the back of your fridge. Dirty coils make your fridge less efficient.
- Check your door seals. A tight seal and no air leaks are important.
- Avoid opening the door unnecessarily.
- Let food cool down before placing it in the fridge.
- If you go on vacation, empty your fridge, switch it off and then leave the door open.
The final word
When you purchase a new fridge, choose an energy-efficient model. This decision can reduce your energy consumption, your electricity bill, and your greenhouse gas emissions. With an energy-efficient fridge, you won’t compromise on quality and features to keep your energy costs low.