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What's more energy efficient, a refrigerator with a top-mounted freezers, bottom-mounted freezer, or a side-by-side? Follow

In general, refrigerators with top-mounted freezers use less energy than refrigerators with either side-mounted or bottom-mounted freezers. However, there is a large degree of variation depending on the size of a given refrigerator/freezer, its defrost type, and whether the model has through-the-door ice. 

Efficiency percentages (% Less Energy) are calculated for refrigerators by comparing a specific ENERGY STAR qualified model to the federal standards for the maximum energy consumption established by the National Appliance Energy Conservation Acts (NAECA).

As an example, if we look at top, side and bottom mount freezers (without through-the-door ice) with an average adjusted volume (AV) of 20, top mounted freezers use the least energy, with bottom mounted second, and side mounted last.

 Configuration

 NAECA energy use (kWh/year)              

 NAECA energy use (kWh/year) assuming Adjusted Volume (AV) = 20

 Annual Energy Bill assuming 10 cents per kWh              

 Top Mount Freezer without through-the-door ice and without an automatic icemaker

 < 8.07*AV + 233.7

395.1

 40

 Side Mount Freezer without through-the-door ice and without an automatic icemaker

 < 8.51*AV + 297.8

 468

 47

 Bottom Mount Freezer without through-the-door ice and without an automatic icemaker

 < 8.85*AV + 317.0

 494

 49

 Top Mount Freezer with through-the-door ice

 < 8.40*AV + 385.4

 553.4

 55

 Side Mount Freezer with through-the-door ice

 < 8.54*AV + 432.8

 603.6

 60

Bottom Mount Freezer with through-the-door ice

 < 9.25*AV + 475.4

660.4

66


ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerators must use 10% less energy than the NAECA maximum. You can compare the annual energy usage of each ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerator using our Product Search.

More information on ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerators.

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