The fridge is an appliance with one of the biggest consumption of electricity in a typical household. So it pays to explore simple ways in which we can make savings on energy consumption of the fridge.
Here are some of the top tips for saving electricity on your fridge:
1. Let food cool down a little first before putting it into the fridge, as the fridge uses up more electricity in order to bring the temperature of warm or hot foods down.
2. Defrost your fridge and freezer regularly. Frost makes the freezer run more inefficiently and consume more energy than necessary.
3. Place the fridge away from appliances such as an oven or a dishwasher. It should also stand away from direct sunlight.
4. Leave a couple of inches of space around the fridge so that air can circulate around the condenser coils. This helps the heat generated from the fridge to dissipate quicker.
5. Place the fridge along an outside wall, if possible, for the heat generated to be removed more easily.
6. Defrost frozen food in the fridge as this helps cool the fridge as the food thaws.
7. Keep the number of door openings to a minimum, and when the door is open, don’t open it for too long. If a lot of cold air escapes, the fridge has to work harder to chill the air back down.
8. For the same reasons as the tip above, check that the seal between the door and the fridge is airtight and not leaking cold air when the door is shut.
9. Avoid putting the fridge in an environment subject to extreme summer and winter temperatures such as an uninsulated garage. For example, a fridge working in a 90F environment can consume 45 to 50% more energy than one working in a 70F environment.
10. Measure your fridge electricity consumption with an electricity monitor. If you have an old fridge, use the monitor to help you decide if you should upgrade to a newer, more energy efficient model.
Regarding the last point, a leading manufacturer has come up with an electricity monitor that not only measures the electricity consumption but also works out the projected annual cost of running an electric appliance such as a fridge. You input the electric rate found on the utility bill and it does the calculation for you. For more accurate results, let the electricity monitor run for a week or so.
Once you have a number for the projected annual costs of your old fridge, you can then shop around for a new fridge. These days a new fridge comes with an energy guide label that tells you the estimated amount of electricity it uses per year and the estimated yearly operating costs. When you compare the operating costs between the old and the new fridges, you will find it easier to decide whether it makes sense to upgrade.