Most Efficient Small Refrigerators (16 to 19 cubic feet) – Top 3 Picks

A refrigerator is something that’s constantly plugged in, so it’s a great item in your house to try and save on energy costs – as appliances account for 17% of a typical home’s energy usage. We’ve looked at many different energy star rated refrigerators. This list gives you the top 3 efficient small refrigerators (all of these are in the 16 to 19 cubic feet range).

Efficiency was measured by which of these refrigerators uses the least amount of kilowatt hours per year – thus significantly using less energy per refrigerator.

If you would like to see more refrigerators beyond the top 3 that we’ve chosen, simply head over to the Energy Star Refrigerator Search, and select your search parameters. From there, you can sort your results from a variety of fashions, including kilowatt usage, % energy savings, and overall volume.

Here’s the list:


The Sunfrost R-19 is a refrigerator-only model. Instead of one large door, it features two equal sized refrigerator sections. As far as efficiency is concerned, this refrigerator is super efficient. It showcases a kwh/year usage of 204 and uses 53% less energy than the federal standard!

Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a freezer or an ice machine, you won’t find it on this refrigerator. However, a real cool feature of this fridge is that it will not need defrosting and the design incorporates a passive cooling system (it does not use any fans). Overall, it’s a solid refrigerator for your home.


The Gaggenau RC472700 is a sleek looking refrigerator that is very energy efficient. It boats a kwh/year usage of 319 and will use 29% less energy than the federal standard. It has a volume of 17.5 cubic feet and is 30 inches wide.

There are numerous features on this refrigerator, including a motorized glass shelf, multi-flow air system, temperature control, and doors that open up to a 115 degree angle!


The GE GTH17BBT is an energy star rated refrigerator/freezer combo. This one features the freezer on the top and the refrigerator on the bottom. Where efficiency matters, this refrigerator has a kwh/year usage of 324, using 30% less energy. It has a volume of 16.6 cubic feet.

Overall, this refrigerator is pretty standard. An optional ice maker is available, and it has all of the typical shelves, crispers, temperature controls, and is available in multiple colors (black, white, and bisque). It can usually be purchased for under $900, so it’s an efficient machine that is cost effective as well…you can’t beat that.

So as we’ve mentioned, a refrigerator is an excellent way to cut back on energy usage in the home. While these refrigerators here might not be the largest of the group, they will definitely help save you money and energy. Try one in your home today.

Do you feel we’ve missed one, or is there a refrigerator that falls in this range that you’re just absolutely crazy about? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Most Efficient – Our New Post Series

At Practical Environmentalist, we’re all about most efficient.

I know that when I buy anything for my own home, I’m always looking for the most efficient model for the money. Whether it’s a water heater, an air conditioning unit, or even the insulation and radiant barrier in my attic, I want to keep my energy usage low.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who cares about that kind of thing, so why not make it a series of posts?

We’re going to cover all kinds of different products and categories, from automobiles to refrigerators to air conditioning units.

Is there anything you’d like to see covered here?

Most Efficient Large Refrigerators (greater than 24 cubic feet) Top 3 Picks

In the constant quest to save energy, you should never forget about your refrigerator. They run 24 hours per day. Appliances account for about 17 percent of your household’s energy consumption, with refrigerators, clothes washers, and clothes dryers at the top of the list, according to the Department of Energy.

We’ve taken a look at the Energy Star ratings of large refrigerators – the ones here are greater than 24 cubic feet. Based on the lowest use of KWH/year – these are the top three most efficient large refrigerator picks.

If you want to see the rest of the list, you certainly can! Just go over to the Energy Star Refrigerator Search Page and look for the refrigerator that matches your specifications! From there, you can sort them by different options (including total size, kwh/year usage, or even total % of energy saved).


The LG LFC25776 is a french door style refrigerator with the freezer on the bottom. It has a volume of 25 cubic feet, uses 30% less energy, and uses 416 kilowatt hours per year. It’s available in white, black, and stainless steel – so there’s certainly one to match your kitchen.

If you’re a fan of ice makers, there’s not one on this refrigerator – that is a downfall. Other positives though include all LED-lighting, a 4-compartment crisper with deli storage center, and a bottom loading freezer.


The Samsung RF266AEBP is a 26 cubic foot refrigerator that is Energy Star rated. This refrigerator uses 23% less energy, and has a kwh/year usage of 462. It’s a bottom loading refrigerator, and much like the LG refrigerator – does not have an ice machine.

There are lots of great features on this refrigerator – from the cooling systems to the doors. It’s definitely a good one to check out.

This next refrigerator actually falls into a category with many other refrigerators. There are quite a few refrigerators that use 20% less energy at a rate of 476 kw/hr a year. Read below to see why we chose the one we did.


The Whirlpool GX5FHTXVY is a bottom freezer refrigerator that uses 20 percent less energy at a rate of 476 kwh/year. This particular fridge has a bunch of great features such as an interior water dispenser complete with PuR® 6-Month Water Filtration – which helps set it apart from some of the other refrigerators we have spoken of.

Freezer baskets, ice makers, can holder – all the bells and whistles are there. On top of it, it’s an energy star rated refrigerator. At a capacity of 24.8 Cubic Feet it’s still pretty big, and can chill and freeze a lot of your food. There’s nothing but positives to this refrigerator.

So if you’re looking for the most efficient large refrigerator, these are some great options.

Own one of these and like it or hate it? Feel that we should have covered a different model as the most efficient large refrigerator?

Let us know in the comments!