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How Much Does It Cost to Run a Fridge Freezer?

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By Elizabeth Masterman

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With the price of electricity higher than ever, we are all paying more attention to how much it costs to run each of our appliances. A fridge freezer has to be on all the time, so is there anything we can do to bring the cost down?

How Much Does It Cost to Run a Fridge Freezer?

Based on prices at the time of publishing, a fridge freezer will cost between £35 and £155 a year to run. The amount it will cost to run your fridge freezer will come down to the size, style and energy efficiency rating of your appliance, and how efficiently you use it.

How Do Fridge Freezer Energy Ratings Work?

Before we look at costs, it’s essential to understand how energy efficiency ratings work. Energy efficiency ratings were introduced around 20 years ago, with a scale from A being the most efficient to F being the least efficient.

But as technology improved, more and more appliances were meeting the requirements for an A rating, meaning a new system was needed to differentiate between these products.

This is when further ratings of A+, A++ and A+++ were introduced.

Appliance Ratings

However, it was felt that this was too confusing for customers, so in 2021 the system was overhauled. The new grading system now goes from A to G, with A being the most efficient and G being the least efficient.

If you bought your appliance before 2021, a fridge freezer with an A+ would probably now be rated an F or G rating, A++ translates to a D or an E rating, and an A+++ is roughly equivalent to a B or C rating.

You’ll struggle to find an A-rated fridge freezer these days.

Do Some Fridge Freezers Cost More to Run Than Others?

There are so many makes and models of fridge freezers on the market that it’s impossible to give a breakdown as to how much it costs to run every type. But it is possible to give some estimates based on the energy efficiency rating of your appliance. 

The energy efficiency rating may be on a label somewhere on your appliance, but if not, it will be on the instructions or documents that came with it when you purchased it.

As a generalisation, American-style fridge freezers, which have double doors and are often twice the width of a regular fridge freezer, are often more expensive to run – the slimmer and smaller an appliance, the lower the running costs.

How Much Does a Fridge Freezer Cost to Run a Day?

To give you some examples, a single fridge freezer with an energy efficiency rating of A (the most efficient nowadays) will cost you around 10p a day to run, compared with an appliance with a D rating, which will cost you around 21p a day to run, and a machine with an F rating (the least efficient) will cost around 39p a day.

On the other hand, one of the larger American-style fridge freezers with an energy efficiency rating of C will cost around 21p a day to run, whereas one with an F rating will cost around 43p a day to run.

That might not sound like a lot, but that’s around £13 a month or £156 a year. Over the course of 10 years, you could save over £1,000 by choosing a slimline, more energy-efficient model.

What to Look for When Choosing a New Fridge Freezer

You will obviously want a fridge freezer with a high energy efficiency rating. But there are a few other clever features to look out for that could help make the appliance more cost-effective:

Look for a fridge freezer with plenty of separate sections, as opening only one section will mean less cold air loss, resulting in lower running costs.

Many fridge freezers have separate drawers or lidded sections, and many of the American-style fridge freezers have a small hatch to access milk and juice, so you don’t have to open the door every time.

It’s also a good idea to choose a freezer with an inverter compressor.

Whereas a standard compressor is constantly switching on and off, an inverter compressing merely slows once the optimum air temperature is achieved, allowing it to maintain a more consistent speed and therefore run more efficiently. 

Our Tips to Cut the Cost of Running a Fridge Freezer

When it comes to keeping those costs down, there are a few tips and tricks you can follow to avoid throwing money out the window:

Only Open It When Necessary

It sounds obvious, but only open the fridge freezer when necessary, and don’t keep the door open for too long. This is so that the internal temperature remains stable. If it drops drastically, then the appliance will have to work hard to bring the temperature back down.

This is also why if you are intending to freeze freshly-cooked food, give it time to cool completely before putting it in the fridge or freezer.

Consider Placement Carefully

Think carefully about where you place your fridge freezer. Make sure there’s enough ventilation around the compressor. Also, ensure your appliance isn’t in direct sunlight or next to the oven or a radiator.

Fill It

Fridge freezers work by cooling the air inside, so if there’s less air, it’s cheaper to keep it cool. Keep your fridge and freezer fully stocked, and when this isn’t possible, pop in some bottles of tap water.

You don’t want your freezer wasting money on cooling empty space and air!

Clean the Coils

Those coils on the back of your fridge freezer are part of the condenser, and if they are covered in dust, this can stop your appliance from working as efficiently.

If you can, carefully hoover off any dust that accumulates, or if this isn’t possible, try using a feather duster.

Check the Seals

It’s a good idea to check the seals around the doors.

One way to do this is to open the door, place a piece of paper across the door frame and shut the door. If you can remove the paper without opening the door, consider replacing your door seals.

Get Rid of the Old One

When you get a new fridge freezer, it can be tempting to keep the old one (if it still works, of course) as a spare, perhaps in the garage.

However, an empty or lightly stocked fridge freezer actually costs more to keep cool, and older appliances are usually less energy efficient, so they will use even more unnecessary power.

Simply question whether you actually need that second fridge freezer or not…

Defrost It Regularly

If your fridge freezer isn’t a frost-free type, make sure you defrost it regularly to keep it running at its most efficient.

Also, choose the temperature of your fridge and freezer carefully. The optimum temperature for a fridge is 3°C to 4°C, and for freezers, it’s -15°C to -18°C.

Freezer That Needs Defrosting

Do you have more questions about the costs of running a fridge freezer? Then check these FAQs out:

How Much Does an F-Rated Fridge Freezer Cost to Run?

An F-rated fridge freezer will cost between £140 and £160 per year to run. This is around 275% more expensive than the equivalently-sized A-rated version.

How Much Does an A-Rated Fridge Freezer Cost to Run?

An A-rated fridge freezer will be one of the cheapest to run, costing approximately £40 per year, assuming you use it efficiently.

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