Improving NoveKool fridge and freezer performance to reduce amps usage

Dec 15, 2017
Hunter Legend 41AC Portsmouth
Hi all,

We have a 2004 H41AC and have the original NovaKool fridge and the freezer installed. Aware that they are now 17 years old, they still both work but are quite power hungry which is an issue when at anchor, as even with 500w of solar and generating about 20A we are still just about breaking even with charging the 420AH domestic AGM battery bank.

So, does anyone have any pictures of what they did to improve the cooling and efficiency such as adding extra insulation and also extar cooling fans at the rear to improve the airflow? As in this thread:

Also, is it worth taking them out and getting the refrigerant replaced?

Or, what about replacing them with newer and more efficient models that fit in the same locations, ideally to add a bit more capacity if that is the case?

Thanks in advance

Dec 19, 2006
Hunter 36 Punta Gorda
I have nova cool ref in my 2007 H-36 and what I did was open bigger opening in the cabinet behind going into
where my ac is located and has venting so now I get more air flow from built in fan and was thinking of adding
another fan to get hot air out and hope for more cooling and for now not in our hot season yet here in Florida.


Apr 22, 2014
Hunter 42 Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
On my H Passage 42 I did two things to reduce refrigeration power consumption. 1) Replace the 2 units with a single. 2) Modified both boxes so the air flows from the freezer side to the refrigerator side. This also ended up providing more storage on the refrigerator side; it has a door as well as a lid, so a shelf was easy to add on that side.
Apr 4, 2015
Hunter 38 Campbell River
We have a 2006 Hunter 38 with separate NovaKool fridge and freezer. They both slide out easily and there was no insulation around either of them. I bought some 1/2" waterproof insulation board (approx R5) at Home Depot and insulated around both, at least top and sides. There was 1/2" of empty space (top and sides) around both except for one side of the fridge where I was able to fit the insulation into the cabinet under the sink beside it (between shelves and out of immediate sight). It improved the performance of both considerably. My next task is to improve the airflow a bit more - I did cut a couple of vent holes internally to the cabinet while insulating. A member on another forum with an H38 - I think he is also on this one - advised to wire a computer fan into the space behind the units and carefully cut external to the cabinet vents near the top of that space. You may be able to find a fan that can be mounted externally to cover up the hole that you cut - otherwise, Sea Dog make a number of vent covers that will work and look like they belong. My water heater sits in a locker just behind of the fridge and I've just insulated around that as well - hope to further improve both the fridge and water heater performance.
Dec 15, 2017
Hunter Legend 41AC Portsmouth
Thanks for the replies and that is one of the next projects then, to add more insulation around the fridge and freezer and improve the airflow.
Jul 7, 2004
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
What models do you all have? My Nova Kool is a little smaller I'm sure but it only draws about as much as a 65 w light bulb. And only when it cycles on.
Keeping it full helps to stabilize the temp