Your refrigerator and freezer use the most electricity out of all of your other appliances. Some residences even have multiple units. So it makes sense to focus on these to use less energy and start saving.
- Avoid making multiple trips to open the fridge or freezer door. Each time you allow cold air to escape and increase the energy costs. When preparing meals, plan for what you need and get everything in a single trip.
- Let warm foods cool before tossing them into the refrigerator or freezer. Hot foods cause the motor to work longer and harder.
- Keep your freezer full, but not packed. Frozen food stays colder longer than air, so by keeping cold food next to cold food, you increase the efficiency of the freezer. You’ll be able to save energy by placing water filled containers in the empty spaces. Make sure not to block the fan or ports that allow the cold air to circulate.
- If you have a second refrigeration unit, see if you can get by using a single unit. Running two will always be more costly, especially if the second unit is an older, less efficient model. If you have a refrigerator or freezer in your garage, remember that the garage is not cooled, and these units will be forced to run more.
- Give the rear of your unit space. Make sure to provide at least two inches of clearance between the rear condenser coils and the wall. These coils remove heat from the system and should be cleaned twice per year. Make sure to unplug the fridge before you start cleaning and use a brush or vacuum.
- If the door seals are bad cold air will escape from the appliance. Adjust, clean, or replace the seals as necessary. You can check your seals by simply placing a dollar bill in between the seals and shut the door. If the dollar doesn’t stay, or is extremely easy to pull out, cold air is leaking.
- Adjust the level of your thermometers. Set the refrigerator to 40 degrees and the freezer to 4 degrees. Fine-tune to meet your personal preferences.
- As a rule of thumb, a manual defrost refrigerator uses less energy than an automatic defrost unit.
If you have an old or outdated unit, simply purchasing a new efficient model could save you quite a bit on your monthly electric bills. The savings could potentially be more than the price of the new unit. Have some refrigerator or freezer tips of your own? Share them with us in the comments below.