The refrigerator is likely the appliance with the most significant energy consumption in your house. It not only functions 24 hours a day, but is considered a necessity by most households. If you want to save on the electricity bill, the fridge can help you reduce your expenses. However, putting this in mind, you might end up compromising the comfort of your family. How do you reduce the electricity bill on an essential appliance on your household?
You might think it is impossible to cut down the energy consumption of your refrigerator since its operation is 24 hours a day. Proper planning can help you conserve energy while maintaining the freshness of your food.
To begin with, if you own a 15-year old refrigerator, consider upgrading to a new, cost-effective appliance to maximize your goal in energy saving. Spending money on a new one may not seem economical, but in the long run, it will help you save some extra cash. Here are ten simple tips to reduce the electricity bill of your refrigerator:
Clean the coils
Condenser coils are mostly located at the back of the appliance or under a grill on the front. They do the heavy lifting to produce cold air in your fridge. Having dusty coils in your refrigerators could result in lousy airflow, which may lead to the compressor not operating well. The use of a coil brush or bristle brush can remove the dirt and dust off. Check on it once in a while for a build-up of dust. However, you don’t need to clean it every day.
Check the door seals
If you have had your refrigerator for years, you might want to check that there is no cold air leakage. Since doors are opened and closed constantly, the door seals weaken. This might result in leaky door gaskets that lead to higher energy consumption. You can perform a test for your appliance by simply using a piece of paper. Place the paper in the door while you close it, and then try to slide the paper out once the door has been closed. If this test can be easily done, it is time to replace your door seals.
Regulate the temperature
Having the right coldness and warmth can save your electricity bill. Be careful in adjusting your temps; you might end up spoiling your foods if it’s too warm in your refrigerator or you might find yourself paying more on your bill and freezing your food if it’s colder than necessary. Just like your air conditioner, setting the right temperature will help you reduce energy consumption. It is essential to keep the temperature between 36-38 ℉ and 0-5 ℉ for the freezer, according to the standards of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (2003). Inadequate food temp control may result in illnesses related to food. An inexpensive fridge or freezer thermometer can do the trick if your unit doesn’t provide degree settings.
Get rid of clutter
Having a clean, organized refrigerator not only lets you save your electricity bill but also helps you in getting the things you need quickly. A disarranged unit makes you spend more time looking for what you need with the door open, which means more energy to waste. The easier you locate your items, the less time the door is open, and the more you save on your bill! Also, remove some things that don’t belong in the fridge, such as condiments. Consider placing your most used stuff on the top shelf. Keep in mind that a full refrigerator can reduce energy usage; however, overfilling it will block air circulation.
Decrease frost build-up
There are refrigerator units on the market that require manual defrosting. If you have this kind of fridge, a daily defrosting is essential. Check for ice build-ups every day to ensure the efficiency of the appliance. Not cleaning the thick ice on your fridge can cause an increase in your monthly electric bill. Defrost your freezer every once in a while, especially during hot, warm weather.
Position in a cool, dry place
The best location for your refrigerator in the kitchen should be the coldest area and away from the heat generators such as stoves, ovens or even windows. When exposed to high heat sources, your fridge may need to double up its function; this will increase your energy consumption and decreases the lifespan of your appliance. Remember that when you design your kitchen, choose a spot where you can quickly get items from your fridge but without putting it near heat sources.
Avoid hot food leftovers in the fridge
A little saving can go a long way when you follow this tip in reducing your bill. Don’t put your leftovers in your appliance right after a meal. Put it aside and let it cool down a bit. Store and cover foods before placing them inside. This not only protects your food from contamination but prevents moisture that gives the unit’s compressor more work to do.
Limit unnecessary “peeks” inside the fridge
Although Blasnik mentioned that closing the fridge’s door fast won’t help a lot in energy saving, avoiding unnecessary trips to the refrigerator will help you reduce a little on your electrical bill. If you stare at the content of your fridge for a long time, the cold air escapes and your unit needs to work harder.
Since a refrigerator is an essential appliance in every household, its efficiency should be maintained. Improving its efficiency is possible by putting into practice some easy-to-follow tips and ways to reduce energy consumption. You will be amazed by how much you save on your electric bill after a month!