Field Performance of Residential Refrigerators: A Comparison with the Laboratory Test

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The field electricity use of 209 refrigerators was compared to their labeled consumption. The mean field use of all units was 1009 kWh/year, 882 kWh/year for top-freezers, and 1366 kWh/year for side-by-sides. There was considerable scatter in the results but, in general, the label overpredicted field use. The relationship could be best described with the formula, Annual Field Use = 0.94 x (Annual Label Use) - 85. For a typical unit with a labeled use of 1160 kWh/year, the field use was about 15% lower.

There was considerable seasonality in energy use: the peak weeks generally occurred around the beginning of August. However, there was no simple relationship between the label value and the peak-week consumption.

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