Did you know your kitchen likely uses more energy than any other room in your house? The culprit: your refrigerator. Unlike many other appliances that you can operate during off-peak times, your fridge doesn’t have that luxury. Running 24 hours a day, it can represent up to 25 percent of your monthly electricity bill.
Here are 10 ways you can save some energy!
Fill the freezer, but give the fridge some air
It takes a lot of energy to replace all the cold air that flows out every time someone opens the door. Thus, your freezer works most efficiently when packed as full as possible. The less room there is, the less air can escape.
However, the opposite goes for the fridge. By not overcrowding, you are not only saving yourself the energy it takes looking for something but saving the fridge energy as well. Cold air needs to circulate and flow consistently throughout the fridge, but when its crowded it creates inconsistent temperatures, causing pockets of heat and warmth.
Store food on the correct shelves
While refrigerators maintain essentially the same temperature throughout the unit, not every kind of food item stays fresh at the same temperature or location. Generally speaking, the lower shelves are the colder spots of a fridge, so that is where you should place all produce and uncooked meats. Leftover foods, precooked foods, drinks, sauces, dips, and soups can all be kept in the fridge’s top shelf without excessive stressing over contamination.
The door of your refrigerator is the warmest area of the entire unit because it is opened and closed so often. For this reason, you should never store anything but condiments and other products that can tolerate temperature fluctuations, such as juice.
Don’t put hot food straight in
When putting food inside your fridge or freezer, allow it to cool down first. The less work your appliance has to do, the less energy it will use.
A small appliance thermometer is a good way to monitor a fridge or freezer’s temperature. If the appliance is too warm, food may go to waste, and if it’s too cold, it wastes energy. See the ideal fridge and freezer temperatures here.
Keep an eye on frost build up
If your freezer requires manual defrosting, then make sure you defrost it regularly. The more ice your freezer has in it, the more energy it uses. If the ice around the inside is more than 1cm thick, you need to defrost it.
Use frozen food to your advantage
Thawing meat in the refrigerator is not only the safest way but it helps keep the fridge cool without using energy to do so.
Ventilation is vital
Make sure your fridge/freezer unit has plenty of room around it for air to circulate and keep it away from any external sources of heat, including direct sunlight.
Clean the coils
Dust and dirt can accumulate on your refrigerator’s coils (located either on the back or underneath), impeding its operation and causing the unit to work that much harder. Overworking will ultimately shorten your refrigerator’s lifespan. Give the coils a thorough cleaning every few months using either a cloth or a soft vacuum brush.
Check the seals
Be sure to wipe down all door seals, as they can wear-out and crack, reducing their efficiency and causing your compressor to work overtime to maintain a steady internal temperature. If you can place a piece of paper in your closed fridge door and easily remove it, you should consider adjusting the latch or replacing the seal.
Invest in efficiency
ENERGY STAR certified refrigerators use up to 10% less energy than a standard model. Combine an efficient fridge with these tips and you’ll be sure to see a decrease in your electricity bill.
Learn more about some of Danby’s Energy Star Most Efficient models in our blog here!
Check out the original blog on Carbon Track’s website here!
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