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Will an extra fridge raise my energy bill?

By FPL Expert

Asked on: December 30, 2010 by S. Morgan, West Palm Beach

My husband and I are in a heated debate, again! I want a second refrigerator in the garage for the extra storage space, and as usual, he is worried about the cost. How much would this new refrigerator add to our electric bill?

Depending on the size and model, an extra refrigerator could cost at least $100 a year ($8.33 monthly) to operate. Remember that most garages are not air-conditioned, which means a refrigerator there is going to work harder to maintain a cooler temperature. It’s also not a good idea to move your current, possibly less efficient refrigerator into the garage. If you convince your husband to see things your way, you may want to consider buying a new refrigerator. If you do, 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. Also be sure to purchase an Energy Star®-rated product to save as much as 40 percent on energy costs. Visit www.FPL.com/appliances to learn how much it costs to operate other appliances in your home.

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Comments [22]

  1. Anthony Chicoyne

    You made a bold statement that it would cost $8.33 to run a refrigerator in the garage in Florida. What you did not do is give a comparative number for the same refrigerator in the house. Seems like a statement of “convenience”.

  2. shopping ideas

    I really appreciate expert Craig muccino thoughts and views about energy saving. Expect you write on my blog sometime…

  3. Robert golden

    What is the cost to keep the charges in for the garden tool s such as the hedge cutter and such 19v charger empty charger.

  4. freezer reviews

    Thanks for sharing these energy saving tips. Good to know Energy Star fridge are a good buy.



  6. Richard Niederhoffer

    My pool water filter pump runs 8 hours a day does this add heavily to my electric bill?

  7. Dan Victor

    Our a/c unit is set at 75 at night-80 degrees daytime; turn off water heater, computers at night are not left connected, run pool 3hrs per day, I don’t run the DW if not full; wash full loads of laundry & dry as well. All appliances are up to date.
    We have a Heat Recovery Unit and all pipes are insulated.
    My electric bill escalates (kWh) every month in the summer months even when the house was not occupied. We do not have FPL at this house.
    At our house with FPL our bill is not an issue.
    Any advise besides energy audit?

  8. L.J. Kinnear

    I’ve been told that a refrigerator uses less energy when full. What can I do when the refrigerator in the garage doesn’t have much in it, but still needs to run?

    1. Joseph

      Simplest system is to put several plastic gallons of water in the fridge, they will act as a “sink” and keep the fridge from cycling…saves lots of energy….same holds for snowbirds, don’t leave an empty fridge, put gallon jugs of water in it before going north.
      Also not a good idea to shut off or unplug fridge, the compressor may be a problem when you come south.

  9. Rob Coble

    I disagree with the estimates. i believe it more like $50.00 per year. it is the cheapest appliances to operate. This also cuts down on how much you use the one inside. i think it is a good idea to have two. also when you have one go down you have a back up!!

    1. Tina Rajtert

      Your refrigerator is the MOST expensive appliance to run, especially if it is not full.

  10. mike

    I don’t see anywhere where you encourage the public to suggest ways to save energy, obviously FPL thinks that they have all the experts in energy savings and no one else could offer anything of value…

  11. tony sytsma

    I am still baffled by the fact I cannot use my Visa Card (Canadian) yo pay my FPL bill!

  12. DEL


  13. Gary

    Who is going to convince the woman to put a brand new refgerator in the garage while keeping the old one in the kitchen?

    If you have an inefficient one in the kitchen and a new energy star in the garage, doesn’t the combo cost nearly the same if you reverse the locations?

    $8 per month to keep the beer cold, priceless.

  14. George

    You can also select a RV refrigerator or freezer. I have found chest type units that are 120vac/12vdc that have 4″ of insulation all around. Very efficient units (assuming that you have the unit mostly full).

  15. Joe Marinelli

    The answer is too simplistic. The fridge may work harder in the unconditioned area but the lower energy use in the conditioned area is offset by the conditioned area moving the heat twice. The path is once from the interior of the fridge by the fridge cooling system and a second time from the conditioned space by the AC cooling system. Although the delta in temperature in the garage is higher the better insulation in the more efficient fridge may actually make it cheaper to run in the garage by avoiding the second 33% penalty of moving the heat by the AC.

  16. rafael sanchez sr

    thanks for your explanation about the second fridge,I had the same idea,now I know what type of fridge to buy.

  17. Kathy

    $8.33 per month for an extra refrigerator in the garage – sounds like a bargain to me and well worth it.

  18. Ken Maine

    The additional cooling in a hot garage is probably offset with the additional A/C needed inside of the home. You are taking the heat dissapated in the home and cooling it with A/C.

  19. Bobby Dempsey

    Yes, in the summertime the unheated/cooled garage will cost more. Conversly, in the winter it will cost less in the un-heated garage!

  20. David

    Great info, very helpful!


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