Can a Refrigerator Help Climate Change?
Ideas and Advice

Can a Refrigerator Help Climate Change?

Earth Day is fast approaching, and you may be wondering about what eco-friendly appliances are available on the market, with climate-friendly refrigerators being a top concern. Because refrigerators run constantly, it's crucial for manufacturers to make as many eco-friendly refrigerators as possible. Thankfully, they're stepping up to the call: with smart kitchen appliances and ENERGY STAR®-rated appliances on the market, it's easier than ever to reduce your environmental footprint while also keeping your food safely chilled. We've gone beyond simply avoiding CFC refrigerants, and have opened up a new world of energy efficient appliances. Here are just a few ways you can reduce your impact on the environment with your refrigerator.

ENERGY STAR® Certification: A Must-Have for Climate-Friendly Refrigerators

ENERGY STAR Certification A MustHave for ClimateFriendly Refrigerators

The first thing you should look for in a new refrigerator is ENERGY STAR® certification. ENERGY STAR®-rated refrigerators are at least 20% more efficient than traditional refrigerators of the same size, which can represent massive savings on your energy bill. This is why so many manufacturers of refrigerators and freezers have made so many ENERGY STAR®-rated appliances in recent years. Bosch even won ENERGY STAR® partner of the year in 2021. The compressors in these refrigerators generate less heat, which means the motors use less power, which increases your energy savings even further.

Refrigerator Configurations Affect Efficiency

Refrigerator Configurations Affect Efficiency

The configuration of your refrigerator and freezer can have a major impact on your energy usage, as well. The United States Department of Energy reports that top-freezer refrigerators are the most efficient configuration, followed by bottom-freezer. Side-by-side and French door refrigerators are next on the list, mostly because they have larger openings and thus lose more cool air every time the door opens.

Maintenance Can Minimize Electricity Usage

Maintenance Can Minimize Electricity Usage

One of the best ways to reduce your refrigerator's energy usage is to keep it clean and well-maintained. This means dusting off the compressor and coils regularly (at least twice per year) so you can optimize the cooling power of your fridge. Also, make sure to check the gaskets on the doors to make sure that no cool air is escaping that way. Changing the filters in your refrigerator is another great way to reduce its energy footprint: your model will have replacement schedules in its user's manual, but in general you should replace your fridge's air and water filters every three months.

Smart Refrigerators Waste Less

Smart Refrigerators Waste Less

With the advent of smart refrigerators comes a reduction in both energy usage and food waste. There are a lot of smart features in modern refrigerators that you can take advantage of even if you don't choose a model with Wi-Fi connectivity: open door alarms can prevent you from losing an entire fridge full of food, for instance. Some smart refrigerators come with internal cameras that let you examine their contents even while you're at the grocery store, preventing you from buying unneeded items. On some refrigerators, you can even perform basic diagnostics on your smartphone, so you can keep on top of necessary maintenance and keep your refrigerator running as efficiently as possible.

Related Questions

Which is better: top or bottom freezer refrigerators?

The best type of refrigerator is the one that suits your needs. Bottom freezers tend to have more internal space than top freezers, but they're less energy-efficient.

What is the normal lifespan of a refrigerator?

In general, standard refrigerators can last between 10 and 18 years before you need to replace them. Compact refrigerators have a shorter life span, ranging between 4 and 8 years.

When should you replace a refrigerator?

If your refrigerator is more than 10 years old, if it isn't ENERGY STAR® certified, or if repair costs are extreme, consider replacing your old refrigerator with a newer, more energy-efficient model.