Refrigerators are less energy efficient than most people realize. Their energy efficiency ratings are done under ideal conditions – get a few things wrong and you might end up spending a lot more electricity on cooling your food than necessary.
If you follow the advice in the list below, though, you can be safe in the knowledge that your fridge is a lean, green cooling machine!
Please leave a comment if you know about more ways to improve the energy efficiency of your refrigerator!
- Don’t leave the door open
The longer the door stays open, the more hot air gets inside – making the refrigerator spend energy cooling it down.
- Keep food away from the back wall
If food or anything else touches the back wall inside the refrigerator, the cooling cycle will go haywire and waste energy. Prolonged contact with the back wall will also damage your veggies.
- Keep warm leftovers out
Putting warm food inside your refrigerator will, not surprisingly, make it work harder. It also increases the chances of unpleasant bacteria growth in the food, so it’s better to cool the food to room temperature first.
- Thaw frozen food in the fridge
Are any of tomorrow’s dinner ingredients in the freezer? Put them in the fridge today, and let them thaw slowly. As an added bonus, slowly thawed food will taste better.
- Dust or vacuum the cooling coils
The coils on the back of the refrigerator are what gets rid of heat from its interior. If they get too dusty, they’ll be less efficient at conducting heat, making the refrigerator work harder. The same applies to your freezer. Make sure you don’t damage or bend the coils while you dust them; it’ll make them less efficient.
- Defrost the freezing compartment
Built-up frost and ice will reduce energy efficiency significantly. The same goes for your freezer; defrost it when frost build-up is getting noticeable.
- Use an energy efficient light bulb
The light bulbs in refrigerators are normally incandescent bulbs that will produce more heat than light – kind of counterproductive in a cooling appliance. LED bulbs are especially suitable in a refrigerator.
- Place it next to an outside wall
Walls that are exposed to the elements are generally cooler than walls that are not – unless you live in a very warm climate, of course, in which case it might be better to place the refrigerator as far from outside walls as possible.
- Avoid stoves and hot water heaters
Try to place your refrigerator away from anything that will radiate heat.
- Give it some air
Make a healthy flow of air around the appliance possible; this helps transport heat away. This is especially important for the coils on the back – the air they heat up has to be replaced with cooler air, or your poor fridge will be working hard and wasting energy constantly.
Don’t go yet, there’s more! The follow-up to this post has 13 more ways to fridge energy saving heaven.appliances, cooling, energy efficiency, energy saving, food, kitchen, refrigerator