If your refrigerator is more than 10 years old, you could save $270 over the next five years by replacing it with a new ENERGY STAR® certified refrigerator.

If you have an old, second refrigerator or freezer, recycle it, particularly if you don’t store very much in it or if it is in unconditioned space, such as a garage.

Buying Tips

Look for the following when buying a new refrigerator:

  • The ENERGY STAR and EnergyGuide labels, to compare models and ensure you are buying an efficient product.
  • The appropriate size for your needs. The most energy efficient models are usually 16–20 cubic feet; larger models use more energy.
  • A top-mounted freezer model, which is more efficient than side-by-side or bottom-mounted freezer models. Also consider models without an icemaker or water dispenser, which use more energy.

Usage Tips

Follow these tips to reduce the amount of energy your refrigerator uses:

  • Set the temperature at 35 ̊–38 ̊F for refrigerators and 0 ̊F for stand-alone freezers for long-term storage.
  • Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight. Test them by closing the door over a piece of paper or a dollar bill so it is half in and half out of the refrigerator. If you can pull the paper or bill out easily, the latch may need adjusting, the seal may need replacing, or you may consider buying a new unit.
  • Cover liquids and wrap foods stored in the refrigerator. Uncovered foods release moisture and make the compressor work harder.
  • Keep the door closed as much as possible.
  • Place the refrigerator away from the oven or dishwasher and out of direct sunlight.
  • Leave a few inches between the wall and the refrigerator, and keep the condenser coils clean on older models. Check the user’s manual for instructions.