ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Reduce Electricity Use for Fridges and Freezers

Updated on October 10, 2012

Household fridges and freezers run nonstop and account for around a sixth of the typical home's electricity bill. So if you have an inefficient model, it's well worth considering an upgrade. Compared to a typical ten-year-old fridge, an efficient new one could pay for itself in just a few years as well as making CO2 savings from the moment you plug it in. When shopping for a fridge or freezer, always look out for one marked A+ or preferably A++ for energy efficiency, and opt for the smallest model that will comfortably meet your needs. The efficiency ratings are based on the energy consumption per unit of storage capacity, so a large fridge may have the same rating as a smaller one but actually consume far more energy.

If you don't want to invest in a new fridge you could still make energy savings with a SavaPlug, available from various websites and shops. It replaces the fridge's normal plug and has a sensor that reduces the amount of energy needed to pump the refrigerant around the fridge. Savings of more than 20% can be achieved, but before buying be sure to check that your model is compatible.

Whatever type of fridge or freezer you have, its energy consumption is influenced by the amount of time the door is left open and - less obviously - by how clean and ice-free it is. So defrost regularly and once in a while check the grille at the back for dust and dirt. This will reduce power use and lengthen the fridge's working life.

One important but often overlooked consideration is the placement of your fridge and freezer. Cooling appliances have to work much harder if the temperature surrounding them is high, so it's important to always place them away from sources of heat, such as cookers, boilers, hot water pipes or sunny windows.

When's the right time to upgrade appliances?

The standard green advice of opting for the most energy-efficient appliances available is fine when your old model dies and needs to be replaced. But what about old appliances that still function? How bad do they have to be before it's worth binning them and replacing them with new models? In other words, how do you compare the emissions saved by an efficient machine with the emissions caused by disposing of your existing appliance and manufacturing and delivering a replacement?

Comparing the energy consumption of an old and new machine is perfectly possible with an energy monitor. If you don't have one, as a rough rule of thumb, upgrading from a fairly typical machine, five to ten years old, to a new one rated best-in-class for efficiency will typically reduce energy consumption by around 65% for fridges and freezers, 40% for dishwashers and 33% for washing machines. Unfortunately, however, there are few comparable figures to help you work out the energy and emissions used in the production and transportation of the new appliances. Even if this data was available, there would be no way to tell how long your new, greener appliances were going to last, which would make a meaningful calculation difficult.

As ever, then, it comes down to common sense and broad-brush calculations. If you have an old or leaky fridge or freezer, then it would almost certainly be sensible to upgrade to a model rated A+ for efficiency. But if you have a mid­dle-aged dishwasher that you only use once a week, then you might be better sticking with the old model.

When it comes to old-fashioned light bulbs, it's always a good idea to replace them straight away. The energy used in producing low-energy bulbs is only a tiny fraction of the energy they save, so every extra hour you use the old bulb will cause a needless waste of electricity.


Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)