Unplug this blog!

Refrigerators are coolest when they're efficient

Looking in the fridge

Posted by Tony Mauro

Refrigerators aren't given too much thought, except when they stop working. But the fact is that older units are some of the largest consumers of electrical energy within a home.

So if you're looking for a new refrigerator, why not put some thought into getting one that is energy efficient with the latest technology. Upgrading to an efficient fridge could save you $40 or more each year.

Check the EnerGuide label

When shopping for a new refrigerator, look for the EnerGuide label. It gives you an energy efficiency ranking — the lower the kilowatt hour usage per year shown, the more efficient the refrigerator will normally operate.

Use the Power Smart rebate

Upgrading to an efficient fridge could save you $40 or more each year on energy costs, but the savings don't end there. BC Hydro Power Smart offers  rebates on the most efficient refrigerators out there.

Not all refrigerator models are created equal, so before you start shopping for a refrigerator, check the Appliance Rebate Product Eligibility tool. You can search for a model that qualifies for a BC Hydro rebate.

Considering a new fridge this month? We've worked with various retailers on some great deals this Power Smart Month (October)? And if you're a Team Power Smart member, there are even more deals, including a series of great offers on select Kenmore appliances at Sears.

Check out deals on refrigerators, other appliances, lighting and more at powersmart.ca.

Join Team Power Smart today, then check your Members' Tool Box for exclusive offers.

See below for details about Power Smart's seasonal, limited-time offer to give you $30 when we pick up and recycle your old, inefficient fridge.

It really is cool technology

Now we come to the exciting part, the technology of more efficient refrigerators. While much of the technology is fairly standard — better insulation and sealing of the doors, etc. — there are some products with unique solutions.

French door refrigerators are very popular but in the past required extra space in your kitchen. Samsung has a new 30-inch unit that not only fits in existing spaces, but is also 25% more energy efficient than the minimum standard for fridges in its class.

The Samsung inverter compressor is powered by an inverter motor that has variable RPMs. What this means is that the compressor works harder during the day, when refrigerators are opened frequently, than it does at night.

Samsung also uses LED lighting inside the refrigerator, reducing the amount of energy used when the door is open.

Compared to conventional appliance light bulbs, LED lights last much longer and burn more efficiently than traditional bulbs. This translates to savings through an extended period of time, as you save money on bulb replacement and electricity use.

Replacing a fridge? Recycle the old one

When it's time to replace your older refrigerator, make sure to use that EnerGuide label to help you choose an energy-efficient replacement. And don't forget to recycle your old refrigerator through the BC Hydro Fridge Buy Back program, which offers pickup of the old fridge and pays you $30 for it.

If you have an old refrigerator in the garage or in the basement, consider getting rid of it through the Fridge Buy Back program. Unplug and remove an old, second fridge or freezer and you could save up to $85 a year.

Tony Mauro is a Power Smart engineer and regular contributor to Unplug This Blog! and bchydro.com's Connected eNewsletter.