Miserly Meat Loaf and other horrors…

5 Nov

I keep using terms like “Energy Efficient”.

I keep preaching  (I know, I know… stop rolling your eyes. Your face could freeze like that,and then where would you be, huh?) “affordable lifestyles”.

I want you to save money out of each and every paycheck.


Well, because I want you to send it to ME! Wait, I’m not a (gasp!) Democrat… 😉

Seriously, I know that deep in your heart of hearts, you lust after a big block of Corten Coolness.

You want, you desire, you dream… about living in an ISBU Home that you built by using guilt to make all your friends and relatives gather (straining backs and IQ’s) as they stand alongside you and build your house of steel.

But, you can’t do that until you save some cash, right?

A while back, I told you about a refrigerator that was on sale at Home Depot.

It was/is an extremely energy efficient model, perfect for a small family (especially if you’re living off-grid).

I read the following commentary recently, written by a friend of mine (“Internet Friend”, not “drinking buddy”) about that same refrigerator and I thought I’d share it, with his permission, of course;

I’ve talked about this guy before. He’s a “Little House” Expert, musician, author, lecturer, and all around SMART guy.  I’ve learned a lot just paying attention to his thread comments.

(The words are his, the formatting is mine.)

Laren Corie says:

“I have had my new refrigerator (16.6ft³ 30% more efficient than Energy Star, HotPoint HTH17CBT2RBB, from Home Depot $404, Sale price $359, after rebate cost $229) for a couple of months.

I did not immediately run it through my Kill-A-Watt meter, because I had lent that to my neighbors.

However, I recently got it back, and plugged the fridge into it. That was followed by these crazy wind storms, which occasionally knocked out the power for a few seconds, which reset the meter to zero. I now have a 2½ day reading from it.

In this cool weather, when I keep my cabin in the mid sixties, and it can drop down to sixty at night, the refrigerator is using less than 300Wh/day, which is like burning a 12 Watt light bulb, continually.

(Hang on, folks – Laren is about to go all “statistician” on your butts… nothing like clouding the issue with facts!) 😉

The yellow tag energy usage estimate was 887Wh/day, but as I have pointed out, many times, those numbers are based on placing the unit inside of a 90°F test box. Its current energy usage is around 1- (289/887) = 67% less, while the current temperature differential is about 1- ((63-38)/(90-38)) = 52% less (refrigerator, not freezer).

So, even though the occasional openings of the door will use a little extra energy (not the big deal that some try to claim, when arguing that chest refrigerators are the way to go) the efficiency increase (over its yellow tag number) is significantly greater than the simple reduction in the temperature differential, due to increased compressor efficiency at a lower differential.

In fact it is 1- (67/52) = 29% greater.

Anyway, the bottom line is that this fairly big, upright, combi refrigerator/freezer will only cost about $15/year to operate. This standard, low-cost, refrigerator is efficient enough for off-grid use.


And I’ll point out for the record that this refrigerator IS being used “off-grid”. Several of my families bought one, for use in their ISBU Homesteads, and they are having great experiences with it.

Most of these homes are ONLY using an array of photovoltaic panels, or a back-up generator for primary power supply to the structures.

And, they are ALL thrilled at the way this refrigerator functions with such a miserly amount of power usage.

You don’t have to live in the woods, in a “Little House,” or a “Tiny House” or even an “ISBU Home” to use this refrigerator. Even if you’re just looking for an energy efficient refrigerator for your home use, this refrigerator should be high on your list.

While I don’t see it listed at Home Depot on-line right now (as of October 31, 2010), it’s still a GREAT bargain.

They DO list this one:

Hotpoint 16.6 Cu. Ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator

Model # HTH17CBTWW     Internet # 202049965
Store SO SKU # 423392

$404.10/EA-Each  Free Shipping Online Special

When I made an inquiry, Home Depot sent me an email telling me that this was the same refrigerator as the previously mentioned one. Part numbers had changed. And they said that the Free Shipping Special was being extended.

And, looking at it, I think it is the same refrigerator.

Stay tuned.