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Understanding Energy Efficiency Ratings for Refrigerators and Freezers


When you're in the market for a new refrigerator or freezer, it's important to pay attention to its energy efficiency rating. These ratings not only indicate how much energy the appliance uses, but also how much you can expect to save on your utility bills over time. Understanding these ratings can help you make an informed decision when choosing a new appliance.

The first thing to know is that energy efficiency ratings are determined by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE). The EPA’s Energy Star program rates appliances based on their energy consumption compared to similar models, while the DOE’s Appliance Standards program sets minimum efficiency standards for all appliances.

One of the most important factors to consider when looking at energy efficiency ratings is the appliance's annual energy consumption, measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. The lower the number, the less energy the appliance uses. This information can usually be found on the appliance's Energy Guide label, which is required by law to be displayed on all new refrigerators and freezers.

In addition to the energy consumption, it's also important to pay attention to the appliance's energy efficiency ratio (EER) or coefficient of performance (COP). These ratings indicate how efficiently the appliance converts electricity into cooling power. A higher EER or COP means the appliance is more energy efficient.

Another rating to look for is the Energy Star certification. Appliances that are Energy Star certified meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA. Energy Star certified refrigerators and freezers use at least 15% less energy than non-certified models, and some models can be up to 40% more efficient.

It's also worth noting that the size and type of refrigerator or freezer can impact its energy efficiency rating. Smaller models tend to be more energy efficient than larger ones, and chest freezers are generally more efficient than upright freezers.

In addition to the energy and cost savings, upgrading to an energy-efficient refrigerator or freezer can also benefit the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. According to the EPA, if every household in the US replaced their old refrigerator with an Energy Star certified model, it would be the equivalent of taking 1.7 million cars off the road.

In conclusion, understanding energy efficiency ratings for refrigerators and freezers is important when choosing a new appliance. By paying attention to the annual energy consumption, EER or COP rating, Energy Star certification, and size and type of appliance, you can make an informed decision that will save you money on your utility bills and benefit the environment.

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