Wednesday, March 24, 2010
About a year ago some good friends gave us a small chest freezer they had found next to a dumpster. The power cord was a little chewed up and there was a small amount of rust down inside. We replaced the cord, sanded down the rust and touched it up with some paint. After plugging it in to see if it worked we installed a thermostat purchased from Kansas Wind Power, a great off grid resource.
The new thermostat has a small box that we mounted on the outside, and a tiny probe that we ran through the door seal and down into the lower part of the freezer. We set the new thermostat at 40 degrees and cut our electric use by 1/3 just like that. Since we have not permanently modified the unit it can still function as a freezer if necessary.
Since cold air sinks, a chest fridge does not lose its cool when opened. Our converted fridge is on the porch, so much of this winter it has hardly even switched on. Although it is not as easy to organize as an upright, using stackable baskets works fine.
This design can be ten times more efficient than an Energy Star fridge, and is an affordable way to reduce our energy needs. We were inspired by the good folks at Mt. Best to try this idea.
According to the EIA, refrigeration accounts for 14% of household energy usage.
(another picture of our fridge is below in the last post)
Posted by JULIAN MOCK at 12:38 PM