Energy Star Refrigerators


Mike McGreevy

October 19, 2009

POS 233

Energy Star Refrigerators


            Habitat for Humanity has based all of their appliances on the Energy Star rating system.  A very important appliance that all homes need and takes a lot of energy is a refrigerator.  A lot of old refrigerators made before the year 1993 could cost over $100 each year to operate. Learning about Energy Star qualified refrigerators can cut your related energy costs in half.  These refrigerators have innovative features with such things like temperature controls and advanced food compartments to keep your food fresher for longer.  The reason for these new innovations and energy conservative qualities can be attributed to the insulation and compressors of the new style refrigerators.  Also the styles of the new refrigerators are fancier and sleeker that it also gives a buyer more of an incentive to buy because it looks nicer. 

Illustration of a vintage refrigerator(Old refrigerator)   (Energy Star refrigerator)

A fridge from the 1970s uses four times more energy than a new Energy Star qualified model.  Energy Star qualified refrigerators, required by the U.S. Department of Energy, has to use 20% less energy than models that are different. If to choose the Energy Star rated newer modeled refrigerators, Habitat can cut the energy bills by $165 over the lifetime of the fridge. If you still have a fridge from the 1980s, replacing it with an Energy Star qualified model, assuming the typical Habitat family comes from a home with old refrigerator, the family saves up to $100 each year on the utility bills. Replace a fridge from the 1970s; Habitat has saved up to $200 each year.

Most advanced refrigerators have the Energy Star label, including French-door, side-by-side, bottom-mount freezer, and top-mount freezer. Many Energy Star qualified refrigerators use innovative drawer designs which are nice to the eyes and can keep foods fresher than old refrigerators.  These refrigerators are also helpful to the environment. Nearly 70% of U.S. electricity is generated with coal and natural gas, which release greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere and contribute to global warming. Energy Star qualified refrigerators use less energy and help us reduce our impact on the environment. 

Compared to 2001 modeled refrigerators, Energy Star qualified refrigerator models use 40% less energy.  Many Energy Star qualified refrigerator models have such innovations like automatic ice-maker and through-the-door ice dispensers. Qualified models are also available with top, bottom, and side-by-side freezers.  Energy Star qualified freezer models use at least 10% less energy than required by current federal standards. Qualified freezer models are available in three configurations: upright freezers with automatic defrost, upright freezers with manual defrost, and chest freezers with manual defrost only.  Compacts are models with volumes less than 7.75 cubic feet.

In most households, Habitat learned that the refrigerator is the single biggest energy consuming kitchen appliance. Replacing a refrigerator bought in 1990 with a new Energy Star qualified model saves enough energy to light the average household for nearly four months.   Using Energy Star rated refrigerators; Habitat can save on energy bills and reduces harmful emissions. Refrigerators account for 15% of the typical homeowner's yearly electric bill. Fortunately, new Energy Star models use 40% less electricity than typical units sold in 2001. That means you could easily save over $50 a year by upgrading to an Energy Star fridge.   Energy Star fridges now come in many styles and colors, from big brand names like Maytag, Kenmore, Amana, Bosch and more. These refrigerators cost a little more than the older models but pay for themselves in the electricity bills that you save.  I think this is a great appliance to have in a Habitat house and it helps create a safer environment for the people in the community and also reduces utility prices a good amount.