Refrigerators and Coolers

Thanks to recent improvements in insulation and compressors, today's refrigerators use much less energy than older models. With an ENERGY STAR certified refrigerator, you can maximize your energy and dollar savings without sacrificing the features you want.

Refrigerators that have earned the ENERGY STAR are available in many popular configurations from brands including Arctic King, Beko, Electrolux, Frigidaire, GE, Haier, Kenmore, LG, Samsung, Whirlpool, Viking, and many more.

image of a refrigeratorSlash your energy bills.

ENERGY STAR certified refrigerators are about 9 percent more energy efficient than models that meet the federal minimum energy efficiency standard.

Replace your old fridge for bigger savings.

An estimated 190 million refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers are currently in use in the United States. More than 69 million refrigerators are over 10 years old, costing consumers $5.5 billion a year in energy costs. By properly recycling your old refrigerator and replacing it with a new ENERGY STAR certified refrigerator, you can save more than $200 over the 12-year lifetime of the product.

Use the ENERGY STAR Savings Calculator to find out exactly how much money you'll save by replacing your existing refrigerator.

Protect the environment.

ENERGY STAR certified refrigerators use less energy and help us reduce our impact on the environment. If all refrigerators sold in the United States were ENERGY STAR certified, the energy cost savings would grow to nearly $700 million each year and 9 billion pounds of annual greenhouse gas emissions would be prevented, equivalent to the emissions from more than 870,000 vehicles.

Be sure to look for the ENERGY STAR when shopping for a refrigerator or cooler

Current Specification Effective Date: September 15, 2014
Refrigerators originally qualified for the ENERGY STAR label in June 1996. ENERGY STAR certified refrigerators are about 9 percent more energy efficient than models that meet the federal minimum standard for energy efficiency.

Consumer Refrigeration Products Key Product Criteria: ENERGY STAR

Learn How a Product Earns the Label

What else should I look for when buying a refrigerator?

Consider buying a refrigerator with a top-mounted freezer.
A top-freezer refrigerator that has earned the ENERGY STAR uses less energy than a 60-watt light bulb.
Purchase an appropriately sized refrigerator.
Generally, the larger the refrigerator, the greater the energy consumption. The most energy-efficient models are typically 16-20 cubic feet.
Consider retiring the old refrigerator in your basement or garage.
Refrigerators over 15 years old could be costing you more than $80 per year to run. If you need a second refrigerator year-round, replace the old one with a new ENERGY STAR certified. On average, an old refrigerator uses about 33% more energy than a model that has earned the ENERGY STAR.
Recycle your old refrigerator.
If you buy a new refrigerator, be sure to recycle your old one. Many appliance retailers will pick up and recycle your old refrigerator when you purchase a new one.

Refrigerator Best Practices

Follow these guidelines to reduce the amount of energy your refrigerator or cooler uses:

  • Set the appropriate temperature.
    Keep your refrigerator at 35 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place your fridge in a cool place. 
    Position your refrigerator away from a heat source such as an oven, a dishwasher, or direct sunlight from a window.
  • Allow air circulation behind the fridge. 
    Leave a few inches between the wall and the refrigerator, and keep the condenser coils clean if you have an older model. Read the user’s manual to learn how to safely clean coils. Coil cleaning brushes can be purchased at most hardware stores.
  • Check the door seals.
    Make sure the refrigerator seals around the door are airtight. If not, replace them.
  • Keep the door closed. 
    Minimize the amount of time the refrigerator door is open.

Consider what type of refrigerant different models use. Some refrigerants are better than others when it comes to Global Warming Potential (i.e. the degree to which they contribute to global warming when released into the air).  R-600a and R-441a are low GWP refrigerants.  While information on refrigerant type is somewhat limited, available information on ENERGY STAR certified residential refrigerator and freezer models is compiled here.

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Start Saving With My ENERGY STAR

Looking for ways to save energy at home?
My ENERGY STAR makes it easy to browse energy saving tips, and to see how your actions can make a difference. Here are a few tips to get you started.