A friend explained why she chose a freezer-less fridge recently:
In general terms, the close to 50% savings of freezerless fridges are there because:
1) the unit does not have to produce the low temperature of the freezing section (in one of your warm rooms, remember)
2) the continous defrost cycling of new frdge/freezer combos (even those with the more efficient bottom drawer-type freezing sections)are using power for that function.
It is much more efficient to have a chest-type freezer (the cold air doesn’t flow out the minute you open the lid) in a cooler room or basement for frozen food. Good exercise doing the stairs to get the frozen stuff too!
I don’t have a freezer at present. I do have the use of a friend’s freezer, but it is a car-drive away. Sigh! For frozen food,I have improvised with a small insulated cooler that fits nicely in the fridge. Packages thaw very slowly over a couple of days.
I am weaning myself off frozen food partly for the energy savings and partly because I have read that freezing results in some nutrition loss. I am eating more food in season (local organic if possible) and exploring drying fruit for winter. (A hot summer car makes an effective oven for drying fuit , often in one day.)
Surprisingly, my Danby (DAR1102W - 11 cu.ft I think) does not have an EnergyStar appliance rating, in spite of having the low EnerGuide consumption rating of 338 kWh per year. (I was interested to find that a smaller size Danby uses nearly as much - about 330kWh.) Woods also makes freezerless fridges. Larger than mine are available. Black, white and stainless. I have put an energy use meter on the fridge but have not yet used the data to compare with the claim of 338 kWh per year.
I am surprised that they are not advertized as energy savers. To date, people probably buy them as a second beer fridge. The manual notes that frequent door opening will probably increase the energy consumption. But isn’t that the same for all fridges?