Energy consumption is probably one of the most important factors in buying a glass door fridge, due to the nature of being a ‘glass door’ it is not uncommon for 2 x fridges that ‘look’ the same to have up to 4 x times the difference in power consumption.
One area that confuses here is that glass door drinks fridges are classified as ‘commercial’, meaning they do not require energy consumption labels. This makes it hard for the consumer to try to compare as there is no ‘set’ way to advertise power consumption unless the units have had MEPS testing done and results then show online. MEPS is usually only done when food needs to be stored in the fridges, it’s an expensive test but to advertise units as OK for food storage it has to be done. If units are only being advertised and sold as ‘drinks fridges’ then MEPS is not required, meaning that anyone can import a fridge and sell as a drinks fridge with NO requirement to abide by any energy consumption standard. This means there are so many units that draw plenty of energy and no way for the average punter to know.
The parts that draw the most power are mainly the compressor, lighting and fans, so with these 3 things you can focus on consumption based on what is used. Generally brand name parts are better rated than cheaper no name fans and compressors. Lighting other than LED will draw more, LED is long lasting and reliable and is commonly used now in a lot of fridges.
Although parts play a major factor, the function and ‘refrigeration balance’ of the unit also dictates a lot in how much energy is used. A fridge that is ‘balanced’ well will chill quicker and hence draw less energy, a fridge poorly designed will need to run more to get to temperature. You will find a lot of cheaper units can’t handle ‘hotter ambient’ temperatures, they struggle and run for much longer to get to desired temperature, hence can use extraordinary amounts of energy. Some of the tests we have done on other units in market in our test room were frightening!
After doing this since 1996, I have learnt so much and I can honestly say that 90% of factories in China really have no idea what they are doing in regard to ‘balancing fridge systems’ with correct compressor and correct sized parts to suit the units to run efficiently.
So in short there really is a difference between fridges that look the same. You need units proven to chill in higher temperatures at a good rate, saving working time on parts and energy consumption and $$$.