To be fair, the old fridge was smaller but it had much thicker insulation.  It is only used when we have large family gatherings now.  New one is probably pre 2001.  A look at shows that very few models are available without auto-defrost.  If I can't have a quieter model I'll wait.

-----Original Message-----
From: Vermont Skiing Discussion and Snow Reports [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Dana Dorsett
Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 3:27 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [SKIVT-L] KMart Carbon Credits

Chris Goodrich [[log in to unmask]] writes:

>I replaced my 1950s fridge several years ago with a new "energy star"
>one and was thoroughly disappointed.  With it's small cooling unit that
>runs all the time and frost free freezer it actually uses more energy
>is much noisier.

Same size, same configuration?  And when? (Minimum efficiency standards
were bumped considerably in 2001, to where some 1999 model year "Energy
Star" units were no longer legal to sell!))

Over/under configurations are inherently more efficient than
side-by-side doors- it's about a 30-40% difference.  You pay a lot for
those side-by-side units beyond the purchase-price, Energy Star or not.

If the compressor runs all the time (or almost all the time) it could
mean there's something defective about it- bad or missing
weatherstripping/seals somewhere.  It should run long cyles, but
probably at no more than a 50% duty cycle unless you keep the house
warmer than 80F.

If you REALLY think it uses more energy (as opposed to merely noisier
compressors & fans- I wish they'd rate the audible dB of appliances!),
buy yourself a $20 Kill-a-Watt meter and test that thesis:

Set it to log kWh, and leave it hooked up to each for a prescribed
amount of time (24 hours minimum), see what it reads, then figure out
what it's average load is.  Noisier doesn't necessarily mean more power
(how noisy is your 1000W toaster?)

These li'l meters can be handy if you want to find & fix all the stuff
that uses power even when "off" (like many wall-wort powered devices,
many TVs & home entertainment gear, etc.).  In some homes "phantom
loads" add up to over 100W of background, which is 875kWh/year.  Almost
anybody can recoup the purchase price in power savings of one of these
in less than a year if they sniff out and quash the power-pigs and
phantom loads.  If it sucks more than a watt when off it'll pay to put
it on a switched power strip so that "off" really means OFF.

Odds are the Kill-a-Watt test will favor the antique somewhat, since it
probably doesn't get opened & closed as often and is likely that it's in
a cooler environment (basement, not kitchen), but that probably
represents less than a 15% error.

BTW: if you have the '50s beast plugged in it means you didn't replace
it, you ADDED to it.  Buying the additional refrigerator increased your
net load, independent of the efficiency of the new unit.  To be a net
gain you have to decommission the antique, take it off line, don't stick
it in the basement or garage to keep the reeb & bait cold.

But to be sure, the peak of reefer-beastliness came after the '50s,
plateaued in the '70s and only got better (gradually) through the '80s
under voluntary targets.

>Does anybody around here sell a true efficiency model?  I know you can
>them shipped from California or Scandinavia but that gets a little
>The old one is still in my basement and still runs.  If it didn't look
>shabby I would bring it back up and throw out the new one.

I suspect you'd do better with a Korean or Japanese refrigerator than a
Euro or US model price & efficiency wise. (But it depends on the model,
eh?) And don't buy more refrigerator than you need- big & empty is less
efficient than small and mostly-full, since if all else is equal (which
it never is) door opening/closing losses are reduced and the total
surface area is lower.

And before you throw it out, test it, if it's more efficient than the
antique (likely is), toss the antique- who cares how noisy the one in
the basement is?

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