Purchasing food in bulk and storing it in a freezer is a great way to save money, but if you’re using an old freezer your savings could just be an illusion. A freezer purchased before 1993 will cost you an extra $35/year to operate compared to a new ENERGY STAR-qualified model according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Replace your old freezer with a new ENERGY STAR-qualified model and use the savings on your utility bills to stock up on food for your family.
Why Should I Replace My Old Freezer With a New ENERGY STAR Qualified Freezer?
Improvements in insulation and compressors mean today’s freezers consume much less energy than older models. Select an ENERGY STAR-qualified freezer for maximum energy savings, the latest features and many other benefits:
Cut your utility bills. An ENERGY STAR-qualified freezer uses 10 percent less energy than a new, non-ENERGY STAR-qualified model. If you purchased your freezer before 1993, it is costing you an extra $35 each year on your utility bills compared to a new ENERGY STAR-qualified model. If you bought it in the 1980s, it's costing you an extra $70/year according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Get the latest features. Many ENERGY STAR® freezers have innovative compartment designs, such as removable lift-out bins, slide-out baskets, and glass shelving to help you organize your frozen items.
Protect the environment. ENERGY STAR-qualified freezers use less energy and help us reduce our impact on the environment.
Buyer’s Guide for Freezers
What you should know before buying a freezer:
Ask for an ENERGY STAR® model. When buying a freezer from a retailer, request an ENERGY STAR-qualified model to ensure that you will receive the greatest energy savings.
Check the yellow Energy Guide Label. Use this label to determine the model’s energy use, compare the energy use of similar models, and estimate annual operating costs. See: How to Use the Yellow Energy Guide label.
Purchase an appropriately sized freezer. The larger the freezer, the greater the energy consumption will be. Also consider whether an upright or chest freezer better meets your needs. An upright freezer has a front-mounted door like a refrigerator and shelves that allow for easy organization. While a chest freezer typically requires more floor space, it’s usually more energy efficient, since the door opens from the top and allows less cold air to escape.
Consider a manual defrost model. Manual defrost freezers use half the energy of automatic defrost models, but must be defrosted periodically to achieve the energy savings. Don’t allow frost to build up more than one-quarter of an inch.
The Importance of Recycling Your Old Freezer
Depending on the year they were manufactured, the refrigerant and insulation in older refrigerators and freezers may contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which are ozone depleting chemicals. CFCs are also potent greenhouse gases (GHGs) that contribute to climate change when emitted to the atmosphere. In 1996, CFCs were officially phased out, and it is now required that these materials be recycled so that CFCs are not released into the atmosphere.
Many appliance retailers will pick up and recycle your old freezer when you purchase a new one. Some local recycling centers and transfer stations will provide recycling services as well.
Follow these guidelines to boost your energy savings to the max:
Set the appropriate temperature. Keep the temperature at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
Avoid extreme temperatures. Unless you live in a mild climate, keep your freezer indoors, such as in the basement. Extreme temperatures are hard on the compressor and can reduce the life of your freezer.
Allow air circulation behind the freezer. Leave a few inches between the wall or cabinets and the freezer.
Check the door seals. Make sure the seals around the door are airtight. If not, replace them.
Keep the door closed. Minimize the amount of time the freezer door is open.
Information in this article is courtesy of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). For more information, visit www.getenergysmart.org.