Freezers that have earned the ENERGY STAR are at least 10 percent more energy efficient than the minimum federal standard. An ENERGY STAR certified chest freezer uses about 215 kWh of electricity and costs about $30 per year to run, while an ENERGY STAR certified upright freezer uses about 395 kWh of electricity and costs about $60 per year to run. ENERGY STAR certified freezers utilize advanced technology and offer high performance features such as high-efficiency compressors and evaporators, improved design and insulation, and temperature and defrost mechanisms that deliver substantial energy savings.

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What else should I look for when buying a freezer?

Freezers that have earned the ENERGY STAR are available from brands including Bosch, Danby, Frigidaire, GE, Jenn-Aire, Kenmore, and many more.

Check the yellow EnergyGuide label

Use this label to determine the model's energy use, compare the energy use of similar models, and estimate annual operating costs. Learn How to Use the Federal Trade Commission’s EnergyGuide Label and the Difference Between the Energy Guide and ENERGY STAR.

Purchase an appropriately sized freezer

Generally, the larger the freezer, the greater the energy consumption. 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.

Consider what type of refrigerant different models use. 

Some refrigerants are better than others when it comes to Global Warming Potential (GWP), 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 for older models, many new models provide the refrigerant type. Find freezers that contain refrigerants with a lower impact on global warming here

Be sure to look for the ENERGY STAR when shopping for freezers

Current Specification Effective Date:  September 15, 2014

ENERGY STAR certified freezers are at least 10 percent more efficient than non-certified models and are more efficient than models that simply meet the federal minimum standard for energy efficiency.

Refrigerators and Freezers Key Product Criteria: ENERGY STAR

Learn How a Product Earns the Label


Freezer Usage Best Practices

Follow these guidelines to reduce the amount of energy your freezer uses:

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.

Replace and Recycle

If you buy a new freezer, be sure to recycle your old one. Save about $410 and reduce your carbon footprint by 4,800 lbs. of greenhouse gas emissions over the 12-year lifetime of the freezer by replacing your old freezer with one that has earned the ENERGY STAR. 

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