Location: North Idaho at 975m elevation on steep western slope, 60cm annual precipitation, zone 4
posted 3 years ago
Just throwing this out there- I know it's super obvious but it hadn't occurred to me either until it did...
Anyways, if you live in a cold climate in the winter and don't have a space to move your fridge that is not so cold everything in it will freeze (we move freezer outside and unplug it for example), why not take gallon milk jugs, fill them with water, and let them freeze outside then stick them in the fridge? Sure, they melt, adding their coldness to the fridge for free then you just swap them with fresh ones from outside. I bet you could substantially reduce the energy input of this major energy sucker by doing this if you had a big fridge and filled as much as you could with ice.
I don't see why that wouldn't work. Before we had our solar system hooked up, we lived the most of summer with ice blocks in a deep freezer for refrigeration. The bit of research I did suggested adding as much frozen stuff like blocks of ice to increase the cold sink effect of the freezer and make everything stay cold longer.
The first refrigerators were called ice boxes and were passive. They had a double chamber; one to hold the block of ice (where you could put a few items around and below), and the other with shelves for food items. My friend Dave in Dunster has an old style one.
My friend Tim in the same community uses a half sized fridge that uses the exact method you describe with the milk jugs all winter. His future intention and mine as well, is to have our water intake for our houses to come in by the fridge, and flow around the inside of the fridge chamber. Every time you run water (hot or cold), the cold water runs through your fridge unit on it's way to it's point of use. We have cold mountain creek water year round.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."-Margaret Mead "The only thing worse than being blind, is having sight but no vision."-Helen Keller
I don't see why this wouldn't work. Actually the refrigerator is a device that in my opinion is strange to use in winter.
It is cold inside so we crank up the room temperature, at the same time expecting our fridge to remain cool and thereby increasing the energy necessary for the fridge......
I will open the floodgates of his own worst nightmare! All in a tiny ad: