In terms of home appliances and energy use, the refrigerator is one culprit that often leads to high utility bills, when compared with other home appliances. You can calculate your refrigerator’s annual energy use by clicking here. Today’s models are fortunately 60 percent more energy efficient than they were in years’ past. The following easy steps will ensure an energy-efficient refrigerator.
- Keep it clean. We’re talking inside and out. This step includes keeping the coils free of dust and grime. A dirty refrigerator uses more electricity than typically required. You should also avoid storing anything on top, as this can prevent proper ventilation, thus leading to increased electricity usage.
- Keep it full. Keeping your refrigerator fully stocked is, quite possibly, one of the simplest methods for ensuring it runs efficiently. If you’re more a freezer kind of person (my freezer is always full; my fridge not so much), then you may want to consider thinking outside the box, or investing in a smaller unit.
- Keep it at the correct temperature. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recommends setting your refrigerator between 37 and 40 degrees for maximum effectiveness and efficiency. The freezer should be set at 5 degrees. It’s a good idea to routinely test your refrigerators temperature. Here’s how:
- Place a thermometer in a shallow bowl
- Place bowl on the middle shelf of your unit
- Check the temperature after a day or so
- Allow leftovers to cool – prior to placing in the refrigerator or freezer. Putting hot food in your refrigerator causes it to work that much harder as it attempts to cool food down to an adequate temperature. Always allow your leftovers to sit on the counter until they’ve cooled down to room temperature.
- Inspect the refrigerator’s sealing. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) recommends testing the unit’s sealing by placing a dollar bill in the door to see if it stays. Replace sealing if it doesn’t stay. Do this every six months. A faulty seal allows air to escape, resulting in temperatures rises.
- Keep it in a cool location. Avoid keeping your refrigerator next to appliances that emit heat such as microwaves, stoves, or ovens. Keep it away from direct sunlight. Keep trips to the refrigerator at a minimum if you truly want to save energy (you allow cooled air to escape each time you open it).
Brought to you by A&H Electric.