Introduction – Cooling and Energy Efficiency
[Updated 1/8/2024: a new entrant appeared at the top though not is all as it seems. Read more to find out!] An energy-efficient freezer uses less energy while maintaining the temperature to keep food safely frozen. These are typically marked with an Energy Star certification and must meet certain energy usage criteria the EPA and Department of Energy set.
Top 7 Most Energy Efficient Freezers
The refrigerators are given by the manufacturer and a model number. The model number contains asterixes at the end which mean that multiple models have the same starting letters and numbers but differ in ending letters and numbers. The asterixes are wild card characters to indicate that the same stats about efficiency are shared across a bunch of models.
The Hotpoint HCM22QW*WW freezer, is newly recognized by us for being the highest in efficiency on a kWh per cu ft cooled, appears to have a connection with General Electric (GE), either as a subsidiary or through an acquisition.
This association is inferred from its efficiency stats, closely mirroring those of a GE model. The limited information available about this freezer does not diminish its significance in the context of Hotpoint’s historical evolution.
Hotpoint, established over a century ago by Earl Richardson and George A. Hughes, has a long-standing history in the appliance industry, marked by several innovations in household technology.
This historical backdrop provides a perspective on the development of the HCM22QW*WW model. While specific details about the freezer are scarce, its high efficiency rating suggests that it benefits from Hotpoint’s legacy of integrating practical and efficient designs, a practice that has been consistent since the brand’s inception.
2. GE: FCM22DL****
Our number one freezer we calculated needs only 16 kW to cool every cubic foot. This GE freezer is a chest freezer with a total volume of 21.7 cubic feet. It is Energy Star certified and uses 10% less energy than the US Federal Standard. It has manual defrost and is not connected to any other devices. It became available on the market as of July 2019.
The first GE freezers were introduced in the early 1970s. These early models were bulky and inefficient by today’s standards, but they were a major improvement over the chest freezers that were common at the time. In the 1980s, GE released a new line of freezers that were much more energy-efficient.
These models quickly became popular, and GE has continued to release new and improved freezer models in the years since. Today, GE freezers are some of the most popular on the market, thanks to their quality, efficiency, and innovative features. This freezer is rated with an efficiency of 15.94 kWh per cubic ft.
3. Crosley: XCM22DM****
Our number 2 is very close behind needing also only 16 kW per cubic foot. This Crosley refrigerator is a chest freezer with a total volume of 21.7 cubic feet. It has an annual energy use of 346 kWh/yr and is 10% less energy used than the US federal standard. It is certified as of 06/14/2019 and is available in the United States market.
The Crosley freezer is a chest freezer that was first introduced in the early 1950s. It was one of the first freezers to be produced commercially and was very popular in the United States. The Crosley freezer was eventually replaced by more modern models, but it is still remembered as one of the first and most popular chest freezers ever made.
This freezer, like the first, is also rated with an efficiency of 15.94 kWh per cubic ft.
4. Frigidaire: FFUM2021A*
Just a little bit less efficient is number three which needs 17 kW per cubic foot. The Frigidaire freezer has a capacity of 20.5 ft3 and uses 355 kWh/yr of energy. It is a manual defrost freezer and is not compact or built-in. It is certified by the US Federal Standard and is available on the market as of 07/01/2022.
Frigidaire freezers were first introduced in the market in 1918. It was one of the first few models of freezer that were available in the market. This freezer has a calculated efficiency of 17.31 kWh per cubic ft.
5. Danby Designer: DCFM108A1*
The fourth most efficient freezer starts to pull away a bit in effciency at 20 kW per cubic foot it’s about 25% less efficient than the first. The Danby Designer freezer is a chest freezer with a total volume of 10.8 cubic feet. It has an annual energy use of 220 kWh and a US federal standard of 246 kWh.
It is 11 percent less energy efficient than the US federal standard. It is not a compact freezer and does not have a built-in ice maker. It meets the ENERGY STAR most efficient 2022 criteria.
Danby freezers have been around for over 70 years, and are a well-known and trusted brand in the freezer industry. They are known for their quality, durability, and performance, and have a wide variety of models to choose from.
The calculated efficiency is 20.37 kWh per cubic ft.
6. Danby: DCF100A1WDD
Like the 5th, the 6th most efficient freezer also uses 21 kW for every cubic ft. The Danby freezer is a chest freezer with a total volume of 10.0 cubic feet. It has an annual energy use of 211 kWh/yr and a US Federal Standard of 235 kWh/yr.
It is certified for use in the United States and Canada. It does not meet the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2022 Criteria.
The first Danby freezer was created in 1947 by Canadian appliance manufacturer, Danby. It was one of the first freezers on the market and quickly became a popular choice for consumers.
Today, Danby is a leading manufacturer of freezers and other appliances, and their products are available in many countries around the world. We calculated the efficiency to be 21.1 kWh per cubic ft.
7. Beko: BUFR2715WH
Our final entry, the 7th most efficiency freezer uses 21 kW like the 5th and 6th. The Beko freezer is an upright freezer with automatic defrost. It has a total volume of 14.3 cubic feet and an adjusted volume of 25.1 cubic feet. It has an annual energy use of 305 kWh/yr and has a US Federal Standard of 445 kWh/yr.
It is certified by the CB to be 31% less energy use than the US Federal Standard. It is available on the market as of 04/15/2020. Beko freezers have been produced by the Turkish company Beko since the early 1990s – one of the largest appliance makers in Europe.
The company produces a wide range of domestic appliances, and its freezers are available in a variety of sizes and designs. Beko freezers are known for their energy efficiency and have won several awards for their environmental credentials. The calculated efficiency is 21.32 kWh per cubic ft.
Methodology: We Analyzed 363 Freezers And Found The Most Energy Efficient Freezers
Important for those who want to understand how we got our results. We obtained data from Energy Star certified refrigerators from the EPA website.
There were three types of refrigerators included: upright, chest (that lay horizontal), and compact. We included all three types in our analysis. We didn’t simply look for freezers with the lowest energy usage – we used a special metric of kWh of energy to cool each cubic foot of space.
That way you won’t just get compact freezers which naturally use less energy for the trivial reason that the volume they cool is much smaller than larger freezers.
Top 10 Most Energy Efficient Freezer
To make it simpler, here we include a table that includes the 7 from above, and 3 more to make the top ten most efficient freezers. These were all analyzed using the above method of energy needed to cool per cubic foot of space.
|Capacity (Total Volume) (ft3)
|Annual Energy Use (kWh/yr)
|kWh per Cu ft
We Use “Kilowatt Hour Per Cubic Foot” Used As The Metric Of Efficiency
This leads us to the way we define efficiency. We assess energy efficiency of a freezer by the amount of electrical energy needed to cool down a cubic foot of space.
It’s not just how much energy a freezer uses, it’s also how much you can store in them! We calculated the kilowatt hour per cubic foot of space. Because many models for a single brand was represented, we also collapsed the results so that only the best model for each brand is represented.
This increases the diversity of brands and increases our choice.
New freezers have advanced thermostat and temperature control technology, allowing for more precise management of the freezer’s internal temperature.
In addition, some models may have functions such as “vacation mode” or “quick freeze,” which temporarily adjust settings to save energy when the freezer is not in regular use.
Choosing an energy-efficient model can reduce your overall energy consumption and lower your carbon footprint.
Note that our methodology automatically eliminated all the compact freezers because they are inefficient on a kWh per cubic foot basis. And of the top 10, 3 are upright and 7 are chest freezers.
There seems to be a preference or propensity for the horizontal freezers to be better at retaining cold. Below the top 7 you can see our full analysis of all 73 freezers!
Top 73 Most Energy Efficient Freezers
Although in our analysis we ended up analyzing 73 brand models for their energy efficiency, we only have space to talk about 7 in detail and add the specs for another 10 above. Here we show you what the statistical distribution of efficiencies look like.
On the left are the very efficient freezers which include the GE, Crosley, Frigidaire models. Their efficiencies are all less than 25 kWh per year per cubic foot.
In fact, looking across, the efficiencies don’t get much worse except at the very end when we reach the compact freezers. At this point, the inefficiency rises sharply to 75 kWh per year per cubic foot and even over 175 kWh per year per cubic foot.
The simple conclusion is that most of the large size freezers are efficient, and there’s not much difference between them. Just stay away from the really bad ones that are over 40 kWh per cubic ft, which constitute about ~20 brands.
However, if you are aiming for the ultra efficient, then go with the ones that we identified, provided you’re able to use the space. If you can’t use the space, calculate what is the minimum size you need and go for that. The inefficiency will rise a bit but not much.
The Benefits Of Using An Energy Efficient Freezer
The first benefit of using an energy-efficient freezer is lowering your monthly energy bills. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that refrigerators and freezers account for about 14% of a household’s total energy usage, so switching to an energy-efficient model can notably impact your bills.
Another benefit is helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lessen your carbon footprint in the fight against climate change. The production and use of energy contribute to emissions, so using an energy-efficient appliance means fewer resources are needed to power it.
Additionally, most energy-efficient models also tend to be quieter and have better temperature control, leading to improved food preservation and less waste in the long run. Investing in an energy-efficient freezer benefits your wallet and the environment.
How Does An Energy-Efficient Freezer Work?
The first step is that the refrigerator or freezer uses insulation to keep the cold air trapped inside. This helps to reduce the amount of energy needed for cooling.
Next, the appliance uses a more efficient compressor that consumes less electricity. Lastly, it may have advanced temperature controls that allow precise adjustments instead of just turning the temperature up or down.
These factors work together to make the freezer more energy efficient, saving money on electricity bills and reducing carbon emissions. It’s important to note that proper maintenance and organization can also improve a freezer’s energy efficiency.
Be sure to clean out old items regularly and organize food for proper air circulation. Less energy is needed to freeze things and we can reduce the time to freeze ice cubes for example.
Overall, energy-efficient freezers offer numerous benefits regarding reducing energy consumption and protecting the environment.
Do Energy Efficient Freezers Really Make A Difference
Many people have switched to energy-efficient appliances, but does it make a difference? Does an energy-efficient freezer save you money and reduce your carbon footprint?
The answer is yes – and energy-efficient freezers can significantly save your electricity bill and environmental impact. Their wattage range from 40W to 50W, which saves a lot of energy when you compare it to an older model that uses 100W or more.
When looking for a new refrigerator or freezer, take note of its energy efficiency rating. This rating, measured in kilowatt-hours per year, tells you how much electricity the appliance will consume.
An energy-efficient model will have a lower rating, meaning it uses less electricity. And when it comes to your electricity bill, every bit counts.
Additionally, using less electricity means fewer emissions from power plants – benefiting both your wallet and the planet. Most energy-efficient freezers are also designed with better insulation and temperature controls, helping to preserve the food properly.
Combined with regular maintenance and proper organization techniques, an energy-efficient freezer can help you save money in the long run and play a valuable role in reducing your environmental impact.
Who Should Buy An Energy Efficient Freezer?
While energy-efficient products often come with a higher price tag, the cost savings, in the long run, make them worth considering for anyone looking to reduce their utility bills. However, certain groups may see even greater benefits from investing in an energy-efficient freezer.
For example, people living in hot climates will likely experience a larger reduction in their energy usage as their freezer works harder to keep food frozen.
Large households or those who frequently entertain and have constantly-stocked freezers can also see significant savings from switching to an energy-efficient model. And those who prioritize minimizing their environmental impact can rest easy knowing they are reducing their carbon footprint by using less electricity.
These are just a few examples of individuals who may benefit greatly from purchasing an energy-efficient freezer, but any conscious consumer should consider making the switch. Not only will you save money over time, but you’ll also be doing your part to preserve resources for future generations.
Where Can You Find The Best Deals On Energy Efficient Freezers?
There are many places to find energy-efficient freezers, including traditional brick-and-mortar stores like Walmart, Best Buy, and Home Depot, as well as online retailers like Amazon and eBay
Some local utility companies may offer incentives or rebates for purchasing energy-efficient appliances such as freezers, so be sure to research and see if any programs are available in your area.
The key is to compare prices and features across multiple models to find the right freezer that fits your needs and budget.
Regardless of where you shop, it is important to read reviews from other customers before making a final purchase decision. This will help you get a better sense of the quality and overall performance of the freezer, as well as any common issues or problems other users have experienced.
Look for reputable manufacturers and brands with a reputation for making high-quality products. This will help ensure you get the best value and the most bang for your buck.
In conclusion, while energy-efficient freezers have certain advantages and benefits, it is important to consider your individual needs and preferences when purchasing. Whether you invest in an energy-efficient freezer or choose a different model, be sure to do your research and carefully evaluate all the options before making a final decision.
Anna Lauer is a writer, gardener, and homesteader living in rural Wisconsin. She has written for Mother Earth News, Grit, and Hobby Farms magazines. Anna is writing a new book about growing your food for free and an ultimate guide to producing food at little to no cost. When she’s not writing or gardening, Anna enjoys spending time with her husband and two young daughters.