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Craig Muccio

About "Ask the Energy Expert"

Craig Muccio runs FPL's Conservation Research & Development Program and crunches the numbers to figure out how you can save by managing your energy use.

Your questions on energy-related topics can be submitted anytime to our Ask the Energy Expert blog. Just click here to submit your question, and if chosen, it will be answered here

Does it cost more to run a refrigerator in the garage?

By Craig Muccio

Asked on: October 24, 2014 by Diane W. from Boynton Beach

Does it cost more to run a refrigerator in the garage due to higher temperatures?

That is a great question. Yes, a refrigerator in a garage can cost a little more to run, especially in the hot summer months versus a refrigerator in your air-conditioned kitchen. Data from FPL research performed in Florida indicates that a refrigerator in the garage costs $11 more each year to run than a refrigerator in the kitchen. The study found the average refrigerator in the kitchen today costs $84 a year while the average appliance in the garage costs $95 a year to operate.

 What causes the difference?
The difference in cost can be attributed to two primary factors: 

1. Your garage is typically warmer than your kitchen since garages are not air-conditioned and therefore the refrigerator will run a little longer to maintain the larger temperature difference between the inside and outside of the appliance.  

2. Most customers do not buy new refrigerators for their garage. Instead, they typically buy a new refrigerator for the kitchen and move their older, less efficient refrigerator to the garage which can cost more to run. 

How old is that refrigerator in your garage and what is it costing?

So your refrigerator may not be this old, but for the sake of comparison, the average refrigerator made in 1984 uses 1170 kWh or about $117 a year while a new ENERGY STAR® refrigerator could cost less than $40 a year to run.  

So, now that you know the facts, how much is it worth to you to keep those extra drinks cold? 

Thinking it’s time to buy a new refrigerator?

Make sure to purchase an ENERGY STAR® refrigerator to save as much as 40 percent on energy costs.  Be sure to buy only the size you need (no larger) and compare features and energy use. Side-by-side models use more energy than top-and-bottom ones. 

Visit FPL.com/appliances to learn more about appliances, the costs to run them and how you can be more energy efficient and save money.

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