Modern day refrigerators are far superior to older models in several ways including design, compressor efficiency, improved insulation, doors seals, temperature control, defrost mechanisms and more. All of this leads to improved energy efficiency and cost savings.
The most efficient models of today use 60% less electricity than models from 20 years ago. The average lifespan of a fridge is about 17 years, meaning if your fridge was purchased in the early 90s, it may be time to replace it. Replacing a fridge from 1990 with a current ENERGY STAR rated model would save enough energy to light the average home for 4 months.
Even with all the advancement in the past 20 years, there is still room for improvement. When combined with a freezer, the two consume about 1/6th of all electricity consumed in a home, which is more than any other single appliance in the rest of the home.
If you live in an area with high electricity rates, older models of refrigerators could cost you nearly $300 a year in electricity. The energy savings alone would pay for a new refrigerator in a short period of time.
Refrigerators vary greatly in the amount of energy they use based on their size and their feature sets. Standard-sized fridges are those that have refrigerated volumes more than 219.5 L (7.75 cu. Ft.) and are taller than 91.4 cm (36”). Any refrigerated volume or height less than that is considered a compact refrigerator. Fridges can further be categorized as refrigerators with automatic defrost and refrigerators without automatic defrost.
It is no surprise that ENERGY STAR refrigerators are the most efficient models on the market, using 50% less energy than those manufactured in 1993 and 40% less than those in 2001, all without sacrificing features. ENERGY STAR models are available in every category and size of refrigerator including compact and standard models, as well as those with manual or partial automatic defrost and no freezer at all.
In order for a standard-sized refrigerator to qualify for the ENERGY STAR badge, it must exceed the minimum regulated energy efficiency level for its class by 15%. Compact refrigerators must exceed the minimum regulated energy efficiency level by 20%.
Find out how energy efficient your refrigerator is by viewing our product listings of fridges, or using the ENERGY STAR calculator below.