5 Eco-Friendly Fridges for Your Sustainable Kitchen

In today's eco-friendly world, climate-friendly refrigerators have become a popular choice for kitchen appliances.

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5 Eco-Friendly Fridges for Your Sustainable Kitchen

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Our Top Picks

Green Hive is reader-supported. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. To understand our thorough approach to rating brands and products, explore our comprehensive methodology.

More and more people are realizing the importance of sustainable materials that don't damage the environment or leave it in peril. In this article, we've compiled a list of green refrigerators that will help you make your decision easier when purchasing new appliances for your kitchen. But first, let's develop a basic understanding of the subject.

Are fridges bad for the environment?

Having a refrigerator in your kitchen is an essential part of life these days, which means they are not bad for the environment on their own. However, there has been some concern recently about fridges that use hazardous substances like CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) or HCFC's (hydrofluorocarbons). If you are concerned about your fridge's impact on the environment, be sure to take a look at the materials used in its construction. There are other concerns regarding steel utilized in refrigerators and freezers. Steel has a significant carbon footprint as well as relies on environmentally harmful iron ore mining.

New fridges are much more energy-efficient than they used to be

It's true that some new fridges are much more efficient than their older counterparts. If you're shopping around for a replacement, there are many features built into these newer models that can help reduce your energy usage and therefore reduce the amount of power needed to keep them running. For example, eco-friendly refrigerators may have a power-saving mode that powers off the display and some of the other components.

They may also have sensors that can tell when they aren't opened, so there's no need to keep running parts like freezers and displays if nobody is around. When purchasing a new fridge, the energy consumption aspect is particularly crucial. It's also crucial to consider how much energy your new fridge will consume and where it'll come from. Fridges can account for up to 15% of your household's energy consumption, so it is important to consider the impact of using a given appliance and whether or not you need it, not only to reduce overall carbon emissions but also to save on your electricity bill.

Disposal of old fridges

Once you've decided to upgrade your appliances, be sure that the old ones are disposed of properly. Proper appliance disposal results in the gases being recovered, as well as the plastic and other materials. Most major electronics retailers take them in when you buy a new one, or your local government may collect them for a fee if you can't get to a recycling center. If your old fridge still works and isn't too outdated it may even be possible for them to find new life -- if not in another home then as a backup fridge or freezer.

What to Look for When Purchasing a Climate-Friendly Refrigerator?

So remember when buying a try to go for an energy-efficient model with a low carbon footprint and strong eco-friendly credentials. Pay attention if the refrigerator contains any HFC gases, and make sure that the company responsible for disposal of the old appliance takes care to do it responsibly. If you can't find one with all these features, keep an eye out for new technology as eco-friendly refrigerators are getting more impressive every year.

Without any further ado, here's a list of the top green refrigerators for your kitchen:

Smeg 24-Inch 50s Style Refrigerator

Smeg is another good choice for an HFC-free refrigerator. The Italian firm demonstrates a great level of commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility, as well as energy-efficient appliances that are RoHS and REACH compliant. Smeg strictly adheres to and aspires to exceed European sustainability requirements for ecologically responsible manufacturing processes. The company's headquarters has won honors for its environmentally friendly design and policies, including not developing on more than 30-33 per cent of the site in order to promote habitat conservation (the firm also planted over 4,000 plants).

Smeg's 24-inch 50's Retro Style refrigerators, which come in 10 different colour tones ranging from a delicate cream to a brilliant orange, may appear to be stylishly vintage, but they are incredibly energy efficient. Smeg is committed to using the most recyclable materials and components in its products, choosing steel, glass, aluminum, and brass whenever feasible. Smeg also adheres to all EU RoHS (no hazardous chemicals) and REACH (chemical substances) standards completely.

Samsung 36-Inch Refrigerator with Family Hub™

Newcomers like Samsung, which has just entered the market, are pushing the envelope for innovation with energy-efficient appliances that include higher-end features at a mid-range price. The Samsung 36-Inch Counter Depth 4-Door French Door Refrigerator with Family HubTM is a fantastic refrigerator, especially if you like incorporating home technology into your home.

This refrigerator is a food preserver and a home entertainment system, and it still meets Energy Star requirements with an annual power output of 662 kWh, despite having a through-door ice and water dispenser on one side and a huge interactive touchscreen on the other.

Samsung's distinctive feature is its Family Hub™ functionality, which allows you to manage your daily life using an interface that looks like a smartphone. You can make shopping lists, plan schedules, play music and movies, and connect with a variety of smart home devices through this interface.

Bosch 500 24-Inch Refrigerator

The Bosch 500 24-inch Refrigerator is one of my top recommendations. This model, with its compact dimensions, is ideal for city living. The B11CBB50SSS should be considered by city dwellers that want to save resources while still having a fantastic refrigerator that will fit into smaller places. This is a compact refrigerator, which will fit into your kitchen and can also readily travel through the front door (unlike sofas, there isn't an ice doctor in New York City). There isn't an ice maker or a water filter, however, keep that in mind if it's a necessity.

The Bosch 500 has a HydroFresh drawer to keep food fresher for twice as long by limiting humidity. The concealed door hinges provide solid support while allowing for easy opening, and the continuous stainless steel luxury is unbroken. The electronic controls allow for precise temperature control, and the open door alarm helps you save electricity while storing

This model consumes only 357 kWh per year, making it more energy-efficient than most similarly sized refrigerators. For practical storage of big frozen items like a huge birthday cake or pizza boxes, this refrigerator has an extra-deep BigBox frozen food drawer that is deeper than usual.

Liebherr Monolith MRB3000 Refrigerator

Liebherr, a German firm, produces HFC-free refrigerators that are one of my favourite Green Hive picks. Liebherr has been the first company to convert its whole appliance line to HCFC/CFC-free refrigerants, and Liebherr Appliances in North America was one of the first refrigeration companies

When it comes to powder coating their steel, Liebherr goes green. They do not utilize any solvents while finishing their sheet metals, and the heat generated throughout manufacturing is reused as heating energy for their offices and production facilities. They also identify the plastic components in the products to guarantee simple and effective recycling, and all their manufacturing facilities are certified to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, which are both industry standards for environmental management.

Blomberg BRFB1312SS 24-Inch Refrigerator

Blomberg, for example, is a good choice. It's made of 99.9 per cent lead-free materials and has no ozone-depleting greenhouse gases.

They were the 2018 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year in the Product Brand Owner category, with refrigerators that are at least 85 per cent recyclable produced in facilities that are ISO 14001 certified (i.e., sensitive to the safe and responsible use of materials, energy, and natural resources).

The biggest problems behind refrigeration appliances

Be careful there is a catch when buying your new appliance!

Many manufacturers are included in corporate groups that also produce military equipment. Koç Holding A.S. controls Beko, Grundig, Flavel, Leisure, and Blomberg after acquiring various firms over the years. Otokar, another one of Koç's enterprises, produces armoured vehicles for use by the Turkish Armed Forces.

The following is a quote from the USASpending.gov website: In 2020, Bosch Rexroth had contracts worth $7.9 million with the US Department of Defense, including aircraft launching equipment and other items. Bosch is also known for manufacturing and selling Siemen's home appliances under the brand name.

Since 2015, Samsung has been downgraded for investments in firms engaged in the production and sale of cluster munitions, as well as businesses marketing virtual reality devices for military training and other communication equipment "tailored for deployment in tactical environments."

Liebherr produces "combat aircraft, military transporters, military training aircraft... and combat helicopters," as well as military cranes.

FAQs on Refrigerators

Let's answer to some of the most common question concerning refrigerators.

R22 refrigerant environmentally friendly?

No, the refrigerant R22 that was used for decades before being replaced by more environmentally friendly options can have negative environmental effects. R22 is a gas with a high global warming potential of 9300 times more powerful than carbon dioxide—more so even than methane or nitrous oxide. This means this gas has the ability to trigger more greenhouse gases with less required volume and over a shorter time frame.

Are ENERGY STAR refrigerators worth it?

When it comes to choosing an energy-efficient appliance, there are lots of options. One of them is ENERGY STAR-certified appliances. These are products that meet requirements for energy efficiency set by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They are tested by the EPA to make sure they meet strict energy-efficiency specifications. Getting an ENERGY STAR symbol can help your appliances save you money on utility bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that lead to climate change. So yes, buying an ENERGY STAR refrigerator is worth it!

Do mini-fridges waste a lot of energy?

A small fridge is going to have higher monthly electricity bills because of the cost of constant cooling without proper insulation. Some models will even generate more heat, which requires yet another payout for its disposal or release by way of an expensive AC unit. A typical residential home uses 8 kilowatts per hour at peak energy usage with one full-size refrigerator on so you can see how quickly your bill could add up if you have several tiny fridges running all day, every day.

How can I make my refrigerator more environmentally friendly?

If you can't afford to repair your refrigerator or freezer, there are still measures you may take to make it more efficient.

Set the right temperatures

Check the temperature of your fridge and freezer with a thermometer. Set them to the lowest possible setting that retains the refrigerator temperature between 35 and 38 degrees, and the freezer between 0 and 5 degrees. A refrigerator set 10 degrees colder consumes roughly 25% more energy.

Clean the coils.

At least once a year, clean the condenser coils. Unplug the unit and carefully brush or vacuum the coils to increase its efficiency by 30%.

Don’t Forget to Defrost

Refrigerators that do not have an automatic defrost function require less energy than other refrigerators. To keep efficiency, they must be defrosted manually. When the ice reaches 1/4 inch thick, it is good practice to defrost the appliance by hand.

Regulate Room Temperature

The energy consumption of refrigerators varies by temperature. When the room temperature rises above 71 degrees Fahrenheit, refrigerators require more energy. For each 1 degree Celsius over normal room temperature (70 degrees), refrigerators consume 2.5 percent more electricity. This means that in an 80-degree room, your refrigerator will use 22 to 25 per cent more power, a cooler room will reduce reduce energy consumption.

Sweat & Save

Refrigerators are used to not only chill your food but also to heat the surrounding area around the door seal in order to avoid condensation - the anti-sweat functionality. This consumes 5% to 10% more power. Check for a power-saving switch on your refrigerator that shuts off the anti-sweat function after a set time this will help saving energy.

Make Room

Make sure there is at least an inch of space between your refrigerator and the wall for optimal air circulation. This will help your fridge work more smoothly and therefore use less energy and have a lower climate impact.

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In Conclusion

Eco-friendly refrigerators are an important consideration when choosing new appliances for your kitchen. They can help you save on utility bills and reduce the environmental impact of greenhouse gas emissions that lead to climate change. With a little knowledge about how these products work, you’ll be able to make informed decisions about which eco-friendly refrigerator is best for your home or office space.

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