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Old 08-29-2007, 08:55 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by cfg83 View Post
theclencher -

Do you have the space to "lay it flat" like in that other thread?

CarloSW2
CarloSW2-

No room. It's a big old thing too, 15.something cu. ft.. On it's side it would make a regular chest freezer look miniscule.
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Old 08-29-2007, 08:58 PM   #12
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Not true - go shopping. The new fridges are dramatically more efficient than the 20+ y/o ones. Like 1/2 the energy usage or better.

We just replaced a 30+ y/o fridge with a newer, slightly smaller one (so not strictly apples to apples). The calcs: the new one will pay for itself in 5 years from the energy savings over the old one @ $0.10 / kwh (and that assumes stable prices, which is unlikely).

What I've been wondering: is it practical to add insulation to an old fridge to make it more efficient?

What about adding an "inner half door" so when you open the main door, you can access the stuff on top that you go for regularly, but to get at the less accessed stuff, you have to open another (plexiglass?) panel. That might keep a lot more cool air inside.
Some of the energy use estimates I've come across show way better than 1/2 usage.

Your ideas sound very good to me, especially the half door!
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Old 08-29-2007, 09:01 PM   #13
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What about adding an "inner half door" so when you open the main door, you can access the stuff on top that you go for regularly, but to get at the less accessed stuff, you have to open another (plexiglass?) panel. That might keep a lot more cool air inside.
What would be great would be one big outer door and then maybe 2 plexiglass inner doors. You open the fridge and go into a stupor until you figure out what you're hungry for and then only spill half the air while getting it.
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Old 08-29-2007, 09:04 PM   #14
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If the door gasket isn't sealing it'll be a big waste of energy. Test it by closing a dollar bill in the door in several places and see if there is tension on in when you pull it out. It's highly unlikely that it would benefit from a recharge.

Make sure the condenser coils are clean and that any interior or exterior (under the refrigerator if the condenser is underneath) fans are working and clean. Foam board can be taped to the exterior of the refrigerator unless the condenser is inside the walls.

Q
I think there is room for improvement in the gasket sealing area. Will source/cost some locally tomorrow.

Have already cleaned coils, drip pan, fan, etc.- even brought high pressure air hose in from the garage and blasted it but good. I like cleaning house with an air hose!

It's a freezer above/fridge below unit; coils are all underneath- nothing on back side. I'm picturing foam board stuck on it... ghetto! LOL Nah, I'm sure if a guy took the time to do a nice job and covered it with something it could look good.

P.S. If the fridge is a little too big anyway, I suppose a guy could line the inside with foam board and get the triple benefits of 1. reduced interior volume to cool, 2. more insulation 3. doesn't change exterior appearance...

P.P.S. I came across a good idea in my web searching... only works for those of us in the frozen north tho'. Make pans of ice outside in the winter, then put them in the fridge. As they melt they can reduce or eliminate the compressor cycle!
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Old 08-29-2007, 09:16 PM   #15
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theclencher,

Here's some empirical data to compare with. And the 7.5amp thing probably is a max peak draw, so perhaps your meter wasn't fast enough to catch it? In any case, it's the steady state rating that's important - mine, at steady state, hovers around 1.01A. This measured using a Kill A Watt.

My apartment has what looks like a 25cu. ft. top freezer unit. I, and my partner in crime, are conducting a few experiments to increase use efficiency without laying it down Here's some current running data:


174 hours 10.25kWhr
7.25 days - 1.41kWhr per day

metro

Quote:
What about adding an "inner half door" so when you open the main door, you can access the stuff on top that you go for regularly, but to get at the less accessed stuff, you have to open another (plexiglass?) panel. That might keep a lot more cool air inside.
You mean like the one I've got prototyped right now I started working on something like that a few weeks ago -- and am in the process of collecting data. There's a few issues with it, but hopefully we can draw some conclusions with a large enough data set The biggest issue is getting the female influence/approval - things have to "look right" and I guess pretty too
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Old 08-29-2007, 09:43 PM   #16
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I was thinking the 7.5a would be a max draw with the frost-free freezer defrost activated and a hot room besides. It was a digital meter and the electric cooperative guy was working it so I didn't see any initial spike.
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Old 08-29-2007, 09:49 PM   #17
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I was thinking the 7.5a would be a max draw with the frost-free freezer defrost activated and a hot room besides. It was a digital meter and the electric cooperative guy was working it so I didn't see any initial spike.
Gotcha, I thought that was a label on the compressor itself
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Old 08-29-2007, 09:53 PM   #18
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Make sure the condenser fan (underneath) is working and clean, and the slots in the back that it draws air through are clear. If it isn't working, the refrigerator will run for long periods of time. Also make sure the grill in front is clear.

On the door gasket, you can take a hair dryer, put it on high heat, and with the door closed go slowly around heating the gasket until it softens up and moves into the correct position. Once it cools it should retain it's shape.

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Old 08-30-2007, 05:20 AM   #19
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Question, is this a rental house or one you own and plan to sell? And what are your plans when you do move? Buying or renting? If you own now and plan to own later, it would be best to go ahead and buy a new one. Nobody's going to want to buy a 40 year old fridge with a house. If this is a rental, just hobble along with it until moving time. Really there's not a whole lot that can be done with a fridge built back when they were just starting to consider building for efficiency. That was at the end of the era of build it to last forever and don't mind the power cause it'll be cheap forever.

If you did want to try to improve that one though, might see if you can find a modern compressor sized for the box, then have a one-man shop fridge tech install it, if you can find one willing to do a little custom work. If you do go this way I'd have the old compressor mount cut out and weld in a new mount so that future compressor replacements are just bolt-in jobs. Sounds like the box itself is pretty well insulated, or at least has the room for it. No idea if you can get the insulation out and maybe replace it with better stuff, but if you could a compressor swap and reinsulation might make the fridge the most efficient appliance you have.

You might also try a green box. Don't know where you might find one now. This is a little box that plugs into the wall that the appliance plugs into. It is supposed to prevent the surge that an appliance draws when starting up and is supposed to help cut power usage. I have one on the washer, one on the deep freeze and one on the fridge, and when I installed them they did seem to work. If I remember correctly they cut about 15 bucks a month off my power bill, combined, but this was from the mid 90s so I don't exactly remember the details anymore. All it is, looking in through the cooling slots, is a small circuit board with a bunch of capacitors and resistors, along with a couple of other components I can't quite see. Pretty simple little board.
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Old 08-30-2007, 07:21 AM   #20
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I have also noticed that my fridge is probably the biggest single energy user in my home (about even with my electric dryer doing 3 loads per week ). It averages about 3kwhr / day. It is a whirlpool side by side and about 10 yrs old . I noticed on the kill-a-watt that it uses almost 500 watts while silent sometimes ( defrost cycle I'm guessing), and less than 200 watts when the pump and fan are running.

Quote:
Make sure the condenser fan (underneath) is working and clean, and the slots in the back that it draws air through are clear. If it isn't working, the refrigerator will run for long periods of time. Also make sure the grill in front is clear.

On the door gasket, you can take a hair dryer, put it on high heat, and with the door closed go slowly around heating the gasket until it softens up and moves into the correct position. Once it cools it should retain it's shape.
Mine does seem to run alote of the time.
Good points there, I'll try checking that stuff on mine and see if it helps.
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