Almost every American household has a refrigerator. Many have two, with the second used to store extra food, drinks and so on.
When refrigerators first came about, they were much smaller than the jumbo appliances we see today. Most American women stayed home to take care of the house and children and did small food shopping at local stores almost every day. There were no Sam’s Club and Costco’s where we went for ten pounds of beef at a time, to store for the month in our gigantic freezers or three dozen eggs for the family saved in the refrigerator.
The modern family takes their refrigerator for granted and thinks little of its roots. In the 1960s and 1970s, families wanted bigger refrigerators that could store food from weekly shopping trips and this was accomplished with a design where the interior insulation was moved to make room inside the fridge. The exterior of the fridge would then become so cold it would start to “sweat” and the next step was mini heaters installed outside the fridge to evaporate the dew. This is very genius of course but these solutions had negative impacts on the environment and the refrigerator of the 1970s used four times as much energy as it’s 1950s counterpart. Contrary to American design’s changing, Europe and Japan kept their designs small and similar to what they started out with, and their environmental standards high and so today use nowhere near the amount of energy as Americans.
But the environmental problem is being recognized on a broad scale basis now and things are changing, albeit slowly. Thanks to scientists pushing for higher efficiency standards, there are now energy star ratings. Freon, has now been phased out, when it was once a common chemical in every household fridge.
Modern refrigerators are significantly more energy efficient than those built thirty years ago. Millions of Americans are getting rid of old refrigerators every year and purchasing newer models. There are programs which help you get rid of your older models responsibly to make sure that we don’t put more toxins into our environment in our efforts to clean it up.
Obviously the most important thing is to make sure to find an Energy Star rated refrigerator which will be at least 15% higher efficiency standards than the federal minimum standards, if not better. There are many models you can shop for to make sure you get the best and most efficient model, and these options are not generally more expensive than others. Consumer demand and competition has kept prices reasonable and finding acceptable options should be relatively easy.
Also when installing your refrigerator, it is important that it is placed in a well ventilated area that will help disperse the heat being generated. Remember that it is a high-powered appliance and these produce heat.
Having it properly installed will help keep your environment temperature regulated and will minimize the excess heat that gets trapped and will cause you to use additional air conditioning and other solutions.
Getting an Energy Star rated refrigerator will not cause you to sacrifice on the sleekness of design or the style you want. High end models as well as mid range and economy models all come with Energy Star rated options.
For example, Maytag makes a range of options for mid range to economy range consumers in many styles including French door, top freezer, bottom freezer, side by side and more. Electrolux caters generally to the higher end market for most of their products and most of the brands you know and are comfortable with such as Frigidaire, GE and Whirlpool to name a few, have a variety of options and styles, all with excellent energy efficiency.
The price range is drastic, from about five hundred dollars on the low side up to over three thousand dollars for the ultimate in high end luxury refrigerator appliances. Of course, this is for residential refrigerators, as walk in commercial fridges and freezers are another story entirely!
If you have an ancient fridge or freezer in your garage or laundry room for example, you may want to consider trading it out. The “savings” in not buying a new appliance could be being spent in your monthly energy bill without you fully being aware of it. Once you replace it for a more eco friendly and efficient model, you will surely see the savings.
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Written By: Bob Jenkins
Budget My Build
P.O. Box 72987
Phoenix, AZ 85050
Office: (602) 579-9660
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