Energy Efficiency
Set Refrigerator Defrost Timers To Engage Only When Needed

What Is It?

Defrost timers control when and how often the freezer defrosts. The need to defrost depends upon the level of use and humidity. Defrost timers can be adjusted to fit individual needs and ensure that defrosting does not occur too often. New refrigerator models come with a defrost timer built in.


During the defrost process, the freezer warms up and then has to cool itself down again. This process requires more energy than sustaining a constant temperature, and models that automatically go through this process unnecessarily waste energy. By setting the defrost schedule manually, businesses can save energy, money, and reduce the melting and water cooling associated with a defrost cycle.

Challenge Participants Currently Adopting This Practice

  • Au Bon Pain
  • Community Servings
  • Federal Reserve
  • Gillette
  • John Hancock
  • Marriott
  • New England Aquarium
  • Nutter, McClennen & Fish, LLP
  • Sheraton Hotel
  • WilmerHale

Financing Options, Incentives, And Rebates

Additional Resources

A Small Sample of Commercial Refrigerator Providers and Installers


In The News

“Defrosting Refrigeration Systems: Keep it Short and Sweet” Contracting Business, Feb 2006