Growing up, many of us had multiple refrigerators or an extra freezer. Our home had a fridge in the garage. A large freezer, too. The freezer was loaded with food and the garage fridge with pop and beer and leftovers that didn’t fit in the house fridge.
Of course, that isn’t very energy-efficient. But we weren’t alone. Statistics show that Midwesterners are most likely to have multiple refrigerators – more than 30% of households do. Part of that might be due to the prevalence of hunting in those areas, or to those who have meat in bulk, said Eric BenSalah, OPPD’s energy consultant.
“Having multiple refrigerators is driven by necessity, not by a certain demographic,” BenSalah said. “We see it range from the retired and seniors to single people and young families. But where you have the unit can make a difference.”
It’s best to keep your freezers and fridges indoors, to save on energy costs. A beer fridge in the garage, for example, has to work much harder during the sweltering summer months.
“It’s best to store your second fridge in a conditioned space like a basement,” he said. “Even if you have a more recent model, one that is more energy-efficient, it shouldn’t go in the garage.”
But for some, the garage is the only place with space for an extra refrigerator.
“In that case, it’s best to put it along a wall that doesn’t receive direct sunlight,” BenSalah said. “Also, it’s best to keep that second fridge or freezer as full as possible as that is more efficient than a mostly empty one.”
BenSalah said that each item in the refrigerator or freezer acts as a cooling pack. That means there is less open space for the fridge or freezer to cool. If you don’t have much in your freezer, putting jugs of water inside to freeze can help make the unit more efficient.
Of course, the newer the model, the less energy it will use and the lower the impact on your bill. BenSalah said models that are more than 15 years old will tend to be less energy-efficient. Newer models have high energy efficiency ratings.
So if you are going to have a second unit, or already do, there are some adjustments you can make to keep costs down.
Some other tips from BenSalah:
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