CUTTING REFRIGERATION COSTS

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CUTTING REFRIGERATION COSTS

Postby bobhenry » Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:30 pm

The house in a house will have a vent free 99% effecient gas fireplace. I have used one similar in the big house for 4 seasons and it was great ( but alas it is too big) . My question is about refrigeration. Since my house is inside a larger shell I could have the fridge and freezer in this unheated larger area. My question is how much will I save this winter on electric by having the appliance "outside" of the heated little house in the 40 degree to -5 ambient temp in the bigger building. At 32 F will the refrigerator even need to run ? I looked online but can find nothing about ambient temp varying the electrical demand of refrigeration equipment. Any thoughts :thinking:
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Re: CUTTING REFRIGERATION COSTS

Postby VijayGupta » Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:02 pm

I just did a search on "garage refrigerator" and found some info on fridges in unheated areas:

http://www.appliance-repair-it.com/gara ... rator.html
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Re: CUTTING REFRIGERATION COSTS

Postby eamarquardt » Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:26 pm

VijayGupta wrote:I just did a search on "garage refrigerator" and found some info on fridges in unheated areas:

http://www.appliance-repair-it.com/gara ... rator.html


Sooooooo, a reefer operating at temperatures below the desired temperature of the regular compartment and above the desired temperature of the freezer compartment will not lower the freezer compartment to freezing temperatures. Not a problem if you use a separate freezer. Overall you'll save energy even running both a reefer and freezer when the temperatures don't require the refrigerator to run.

There might be a problem with the stuff in the reefer freezing if the ambient temperature stays low for an extended period of time. Some stuff doesn't survive freezing well so you might ruin a fair amount of food and therefore spend more money on food.

Each time you go out of your interior house to your exterior house to get a beer (assuming you drink beer) you'll be letting cold air into your heated space and it will cost you more in heating costs.

Seems to me it's not worth the effort to save about three bucks a month:

http://www.glendalewaterandpower.com/ra ... costs.aspx

Trying it isn't an option here. The lowest my home has ever gotten w/o heat for extended periods is about 50f.

I'd focus my cost cutting efforts where there would be more of a payback.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Gus
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Re: CUTTING REFRIGERATION COSTS

Postby bobhenry » Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:51 am

[quote="eamarquardt] Each time you go out of your interior house to your exterior house to get a beer (assuming you drink beer) you'll be letting cold air into your heated space and it will cost you more in heating costs.

That's almost a deal breaker right there!

The lowest my home has ever gotten w/o heat for extended periods is about 50f.

I really hate you California folks in about January when we are at 4 below zero
:lol:

I'd focus my cost cutting efforts where there would be more of a payback.

So I guess I'll throw the freezer out there and keep the fridge inside God knows I don't want my beer frozen :frightened:


Hope this helps.

Gus[/quote]

Thanks for the input guys :thumbsup:

BOB :beer:
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Re: CUTTING REFRIGERATION COSTS

Postby Shadow Catcher » Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:05 am

We had a freezer on the back porch (unheated) and the year we hit -20 the compressor died. There are compressor heating bands which sort of defeat the purpose of trying to save $ on electricity. I plan on buying a top loading freezer and it will go on t back porch as we don't really have any place else to put it, I plan on buying one of the heater bands for it.
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Re: CUTTING REFRIGERATION COSTS

Postby Bogo » Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:22 pm

You can get freezers made for putting in unheated garages, but you pay a bit extra for them.
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Re: CUTTING REFRIGERATION COSTS

Postby del » Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:35 pm

What about mounting the door in a hole in the wall. The door opens to the heated area, but the unit is in the cold area.

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Re: CUTTING REFRIGERATION COSTS

Postby eamarquardt » Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:24 pm

del wrote:What about mounting the door in a hole in the wall. The door opens to the heated area, but the unit is in the cold area.

del


A compromise at best as you will still have a fair amount of the reefer's exterior in a heated area (working against your intent) and you still have the problems with the different temperatures required by the reefer/freezer compartments and the compressor getting too cold for the oil to be fluid and properly lubricate the compressor.

If ya wanna be creative mount your reefer/freezer next to an exterior wall. Cut a supply and exhaust port into the freezer and reefer compartments with em ducted to the outside with a small computer fan and a flapper gate. Each fan should should be controlled by a thermostat for the desired temperature (a bit above that which turns on the compressor) of the reefer and freezer compartments. When cold is required you suck in air from outside and use minimal energy. As the weather warms up though, you'll have to turn off the "economizer" function or when cool is required the system will suck in warm outside air. I'm sure with some additional sensors and a computer to control the fans/compressor operation you could make it fully automatic and functional.

It gets complicated if your really serious (and I'm not really that serious).

I still think yer better off looking for other ways to save a buck.

Cheers,

Gus
The opinions in this post are my own. My comments are directed to those that might like an alternative approach to those already espoused.There is the right way,the wrong way,the USMC way, your way, my way, and the highway.
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Re: CUTTING REFRIGERATION COSTS

Postby MtnDon » Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:49 pm

I have used something similar for years on the home fridge. I'm having trouble remembering the proper name for the control I use. It is used in workshops to turn on a vacuum when a power table saw or other dust producing tool is turned on. I have the fridge plugged into it and a squirrel cage exhaust fan in the attic connected to the other connection. I have had to modify the skirting and seals around the fridge as fridges have come and gone. Basically though air is exhausted vertically through the cabinet soffit and into the attic whenever the fridge comes on. That is in warm weather. Now in winter some of the rubber sealed skirting is removed and the fan disabled so the heat stays in the kitchen like every other fridge.

I have a similar setup for a propane fueled fridge in our cabin. It differs in that it is non electric, just relying on convection cooling as propane fridges do.

Both make a difference that can be felt.
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