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Choosing an Energy Saving Fridge or Freezer

By: Anna Hinds BA (hons) - Updated: 21 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
Fridge Freezers Energy Environmentally

There are dozens of fridge freezers on the market – and investing in an energy-efficient model isn’t just more environmentally friendly, it could also save you a packet. Here is our guide to choosing a new freezer or fridge.

Why do You Need an Energy-saving Fridge Freezer?

Your fridge/ freezer is one of the home’s hungriest consumers of energy. But if your fridge or freezer is more than 5 years old, chances are that it’s not running completely efficiently. Replace it with an energy-efficient model, and you’ll recover the cost within the next few years – because the new model will cut your electricity bills.

New fridge freezers are designed with energy efficiency in mind, so they are far more environmentally friendly than the 10-year-old hummer in your kitchen! While an old fridge-freezer could be costing you up to £150 per year in electricity, a new one could be as little as £13 per year. The potential savings are huge! To calculate the cost of a new fridge or freezer, check the label (see below) and multiply the annual kW usage by the cost of a kW (obtainable from your electricity supplier).

Understanding the Labels

A modern fridge-freezer with around 10 cubic litres of storage consumes around 300kW per year, and new legislation means that manufacturers have to declare its power usage on a label on the front of the model.

Ratings for the fridge or freezer (A++ - G) are determined according to power usage. A++ is the most environmentally friendly rating, because it means the model consumes the least power. Look at the label to see the exact power consumption for one year’s use (e.g. 349kW). On the label you’ll also see the cubic space inside the fridge. A larger fridge/freezer will cost more to run, so don’t buy one that’s bigger than you’ll need.

Using Your Fridge Freezer to Save Energy

It's a good idea to choose a model with a thermostat for fridge and freezer. Though these cost a little more money, the thermostat will enable you to keep a very close eye on the temperature. Instead of fluctuating within a range, the fridge or freezer will remain at the temperature that you've specified. You can control it during hot or cold weather to keep the food inside at the perfect temperature.

Because your fridge or freezer operates on a thermostat, it uses varying amounts of power during the day. If the outside temperature rises, the thermostat will detect this, and the cooling motor will ensure that your fridge or freezer maintains the correct temperature. (Fluctuations in outside temperature are a good reason to choose a fridge-freezer that allows you to select and monitor the internal temperature.) To reduce the power used by your fridge, you can fit a Savaplug, which was developed in conjunction with the government. This reduces power levels during times when your fridge is not actively cooling, and could also save you money on your electricity bills.

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