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Old 11-02-2014, 06:49 PM
Lizg Female Lizg is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 9
Default New to us fridge

We are in the market for a "new to us" fridge - the house we bought doesn't come with one. I was wondering if you guys had any recomendations on a particular brand or model that doesn't use a lot of energy. We are trying to reduce our energy consumption as much as possible. Thanks
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Old 10-24-2015, 12:57 PM
JeepHammer Male JeepHammer is offline
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 39

About any unit you look at will have the 'Energy Star' rating on the internet, so you can check it before you buy.

I would make sure the unit gets good and cold before I dropped a dime on it.
A pocket thermometer sit on a shelf, plugged in, and in a half an hour or so it should be down to where you set the thermostat.

On a used unit, make sure all the shelves are there!
What I didn't know is, those shelves direct the cold air, and without them, the unit simply won't work as advertised.
I found that out the hard way...


I searched high and low for a high efficiency freezer and fridge when I went off grid...

I finally ran into a HVAC guy that also lived off grid, and we swapped work for expertise in each others fields.

I'll save you that trouble and give up what we did, if you can use it, then you are welcome to it...

First, I was looking in the wrong place.
Stand Alone freezers/fridges are inefficient by design.
The compressor is stuffed up right under the compartment you are trying to keep cool, and heat rises...

SO, after much smacking me in the head to get it through my thick skull,
The old HVAC guy FINALLY spelled it out for me.

Lose the case so you can insulate the 'Cold Cabinet'.
Once you stuff a bunch more insulation around the 'Cold Cabinet', the efficiency shoots WAY UP!

This won't work for people with very limited space, there simply isn't room for the insulation.
I tore out storage cabinets and built in the cold cabinet with a TON of high efficiency insulation...

The second step was to get an older, or really well made fridge/freezer.
They have COPPER lines that can easily be extended, Like your home Air Conditioning systems often have...
MUCH higher quality compressors if they have copper lines instead of steel or aluminum, so the compressors last MUCH longer...

I didn't know a thing about that, so I started looking for a fridge & freezer,
No matter the age, that had copper compressor connections...

The THIRD link in this chain,
Turns out high quality compressors are CHEAP!
There are hundreds of thousands of high quality compressor units on the surplus market!
A bunch of them well under $150...

So, it didn't matter if the compressor was cooked in what I picked, a BRAND NEW compressor was cheap and easy to install...

The fourth little bit of information I couldn't grasp,
The compressor can go about anywhere, it does NOT have to be stuffed under the Cold Cabinet, generating heat right where you DO NOT want it...

So, My compressors are in the utility room, line sets to the fridge & freezer.
Heat vented outside in summer, Vented inside the house to help knock back heating bills in the winter...

A little copper line, some soldering of those lines, some added insulation around the cold cabinet, and the energy usage went down like crazy!


For the 'Garage Beer Fridge', I looked for a copper line set off the compressor,
Found one on a VERY NICE unit, the compressor was fried (Voltage Spike killed the electronics),
Gave $35 for the Insulated box,
Ordered a compressor, $110, and have a very large, very nice stainless steel free standing fridge for a grand total of $145 and some solder/Freon...

Remember, all high efficiency COMMERICAL appliances have remote compressors/condensers to keep the compressor heat out of the unit.
Little 'Free Standing' units are the only ones that put the compressor/heat right under the Cold Cabinet...

It's work, I'm not going to lie,
But the savings are MUCH more than what 'Energy Star' ratings on consumer products will produce...

Last edited by JeepHammer; 10-24-2015 at 01:04 PM.
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