Fact: Refrigerators are the single biggest power drains in most households--accounting for 9-25% of a household's total energy consumption! A typical refrigerator made around 1990 uses about 900 kilowatt-hours per year. You can:

  • Use 20-50% less energy.

  • Reduce indoor noise.

  • Help the environment.

Best Features: Look for the Energy Guide label to see how much electricity, in kilowatt-hours (kWh), the refrigerator or freezer will use in one year. The smaller the number, the less energy it will use. In addition to the Energy Guide label, don't forget to look for the ENERGY STAR® label. A new refrigerator with an ENERGY STAR® label will save you money. This adds up during the average 15-year life of the unit. When purchasing your appliance, look for the following:

  • Energy Star®-labeled units because they exceed Federal standards by at least 20%.

  • Top freezer models because they use 7-13% less energy than side-by-side models.

  • 16-20 cubic foot size (maximum energy efficient models).

  • Models without automatic icemakers and through-the-door dispensers because these features increase energy use by 14-20% and add $750-250 to the purchase price.

  • Models that do not have an antisweat heater unless you want to consume 5-10% more energy.

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Figure 11

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