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05/14/2011

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Kate Stephenson

I am constantly annoyed at how much noise my fridge makes... and this is motivating me to plug in the Kill-o-watt meter and figure out how much juice it is actually using. I've been frustrated with the calculators that supposedly tell you whether it's "worth it" to replace your fridge- I like your calculations better- easy to do and understand.
The question is, now that this model is no longer available, what's the next best thing?

Marc Rosenbaum

Noisy refrigerators are a common complaint. It's hard to determine how noisy a fridge is ahead of time without going and hearing one in the shop (where there is more background noise than your quiet home).
I was surprised that the 11 year old Maytag was as energy-intensive as it was - I thought that efficiency had been cranked up by then. What I suggest is to get the Energy Star listing I linked in the article, sort it for the features you want (I got a top freezer because bottom freezers use more energy) and then see if they are available.
One thing you'll learn by looking at the listings is that there are far fewer companies making these products than there are brand names. When you see four in a row with identical specs, you'll know that they're made by one manufacturer and labeled by the other three.

John Morgan

Marc,

I bought the same model GE refrigerator last winter, and was also disturbed to hear it is being replaced by a less efficient model. I will be interested to hear if you can reach the annual energy usage of 260 kWh. I was initially very bullish about the low energy consumption, with the house at 60 degrees for the winter, but the warmer weather pattern is already clear. At the rate it fluctuates with the ambient temp. I can see it shooting well over 1 kWh per day during the summer months. I'm keeping daily records of ambient temp. and refrigerator consumption.

Marc Rosenbaum

I'm sure it will go up during the summer. The room it's in has probably averaged 69-70F since we installed the GE fridge. Over a year, I expect the average temperature will be higher because we intend to install a wood stove to use in the coldest months.

Daniel Bergey

I was excited by the NIST report, with it's surprising answer. Friends ask me about ice makers, and we'd all guessed that it would be about a wash, if convenience didn't change ice consumption. So much better to have real data.

Patti Roads

Hey Marc - great post! Just writing to say I love what you're doing here. This type of stuff really interests me - keep on writing!

Thanks, House #16 ;)

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