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Author Topic: Can anyone recommend an energy thrifty household fridge?  (Read 3109 times)
belfert
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« on: September 07, 2008, 06:00:34 PM »

My Haier fridge is driving me crazy with not getting cold enough in the fridge section while the freezer gets well below zero.  I tried pretty much everything in the previous thread I started about this.  I'm thinking the Haier might need to go for something a little bigger that works better.  I'm going to call Haier as a last ditch effort before I discard it.  I'm not sure it is worth a service call for a $250 fridge.

Can anyone recommend a current model fridge that is energy thrifty and the defrost can be disabled easily?  The fridge usually runs only 10 days at a time and I am on inverter or generator except when plugged in at home.

My fridge only has a 1.2 amp draw (manula defrost), but the ones I'm looking at are around 4 to 6 amps.  I assume the higher draw is due to the defrost heater.  I found a number of fridges around 15 cubic feet with Frigidiare even selling an Energy Star model for $500.  Most of the smaller fridges are not Energy Star except for high $ models.

One of my biggest issuse would be getting a larger fridge into the bus.  I would probably have to remove a window and use a fork lift to get it in.  The smaller fridge barely fit in.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
ArtGill
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« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2008, 06:12:34 PM »

Look at a refrig that has the freezer inside the refrig.  ie: only one door.  This will eliminate a circulation fan to move the cold air from a freezer to the frig.

Art
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Art & Cheryll Gill
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« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2008, 06:21:01 PM »

Brian;I have been told Ammna makes a low amp draw I see them in the higher end conversions fwiw
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bubbaqgal
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« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2008, 06:38:53 PM »

You should be able to get an apartment sized fridge in your door.  Ours is 12 cubic feet, about 5 feet tall.  We had to remove the door but it went in. Measure the door carefully before going shopping and take your tape measure with you.  Measure it with and without the door to be sure it will fit.  We have a one door fridge and I hate it. Every time you open the door for anything you are getting warm air to the freezer.  I have to defrost it way more often than I would like.  Do not buy one of those dorm type fridges. They use more power than a full sized one. Our freezer froze the top of the food and the bottom of the package would mold. 
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belfert
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« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2008, 06:43:39 PM »

Two responses:

I barely got my 10 cubic foot fridge into the bus.  We scraped the dash up pretty good to get it in.  I still have the two passenger partitions in place.  (No good reason to remove them.)  No way am I am going to get anything larger in through the door.

The only single door fridges I saw are even smaller than my present fridge.  Not going to go with a single door fridge especially after the other comment.

With six to nine people on a trip the current fridge was too small anyhow.  I want to go a little bigger like 14 CF if possible.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
luvrbus
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« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2008, 07:11:14 PM »

Belfert, listen to the female Cat probably knows what is best
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Bob Gil
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« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2008, 07:17:13 PM »

Two responses:

I barely got my 10 cubic foot fridge into the bus.  We scraped the dash up pretty good to get it in.  I still have the two passenger partitions in place.  (No good reason to remove them.)  No way am I am going to get anything larger in through the door.


Did you take the door off of it when you got it in?

I would think it would be a job even with out the doors having to lift it over the seats, but I would love to have a seat or two in mine.
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« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2008, 09:25:42 PM »

Brian

I have a 14.27 cf Haier. Had to pull the windshield to get it in. I got new seals and stopped the windshield leaks.
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Terry
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« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2008, 10:24:09 PM »

Brian, we've seen that symptom a number of times in apartment refrigerators. In those cases, there wasn't enough refrigerant in the system.

Since the cold control is typically in the chill side of the system, and the refrigerant typically is piped to the freezer side, the refrigerant can be completely evaporated in the freezer. This would mean that none would reach the chill side, causing the unit to run all the time.

If you have a single evaporator, this would not apply. This would leave you with a cold control, fan or defrost problem to deal with. I suppose that it's also possible that there is not enough refrigeration capacity to cool the chill side.

Does the unit get cold enough when you are not staying in your bus?

Good luck.

Tom Caffrey
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Tom Caffrey PD4106-2576
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JohnEd
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« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2008, 11:02:27 PM »

Brian,

Go down to your local refer repair shop and ask the teck what he thinks might be the problem.  find out where they get their warranty work done and contact them also....probably by phone.  Tom probably has the correct answer because he usually does.  Only a repair shop can charge those things....I think.

Nick said there is a new refridgerant out there thart is really efficient do maybe the field has changed.  With efficiencty being as important as it is to us you might want to spend a little more.  I ahve no personal experience with this...sorry.  Yes I do:  Buy one of those tiny refer fans that run off of two drycells.  THEY WORK GANGBUSTERS as long as you don't blok them in with food and bags.  Best bang for a buck I have had.

John
« Last Edit: September 08, 2008, 12:14:08 AM by JohnEd » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2008, 11:38:08 PM »

Let's assume your fridge is working correctly.  In that case, try getting one of the little 2xD cell operated RV fridge fans and stick it down low in the fridge where it's unobstructed.  It'll slowly but constantly circulate the cold air and even everything out.  Works wonders in my fridge.

Other than that, here's a great list of all the best of the best fridges as far as energy efficiency goes...


http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=refrig.display_products_html

cheers
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belfert
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« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2008, 05:18:02 AM »

I am going to try a fan in my current fridge before giving up on it.  I will fiill it with water and pop and watch it for a day to see what happens.

I am not sure why professional bus conversions come with Amana fridges.  Maybe they get them cheap.  They don't seem to be particularly power thrifty.  Aman doesn't make anything very small anyhow.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
JackConrad
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« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2008, 06:17:23 AM »

    We used a Frigidaire 14.8 cu.ft. Energy Star that we purchased at Lowe's. I think it uses about 2 amp. Perhaps it was due to the humidty levels, but when our defroster timer failed, we had to defrost about every 8-10 days.
    We did have to remove the refrigerator door and go through a side window to get it into the coach.  Wasn't that hard, 2 of us set the refrigerator in the back of the pick-up, backed up to the side of the coach, and set it in the window opening. I then went inside and balanced it while my freind came inside. we picked it up and set it in place. Re-attached the door and we were done.  Jack
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belfert
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« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2008, 06:57:04 AM »

Jack, do you have a model number for that Frigidaire?  Lowes has a Frigidiare that size that is Energy Star for $500.  Do you have any problems because the coils are not exposed?  Craig Shephard says his fridge runs too many hours a day and he blames the non-exposed coils for part of it.

I talked to a Haier dealer about my fridge and the repair guy said the lack of a fan might be the issue with my fridge.  I am going to see if I can find a muffin fan at work to circulate air.  My fridge is currently at 40F at max on the middle shelf which is way too high for my liking.  It will spike to 45F or higher when the door is opened a few times.  45F is on the high side for keeping food from spoiling.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
luvrbus
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« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2008, 07:07:01 AM »

You cold always buy a Sub Zero A friend of mine has one in his Newell
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