There’s at least one appliance in your home that’s always on: your refrigerator. Because refrigerators have to stay on all the time to keep food at the right temperature, these appliances can end up consuming a lot of energy. Luckily, there are ways that you can make your refrigerator more energy efficient. Start with these:
Make These Simple Switches
Change the temperature.
The lower that you set the temperature, the more energy the refrigerator will have to use to maintain it. It’s important to find the perfect balance between keeping food fresh and chilled, but not being wasteful. Energy efficient experts recommend keeping the temperature of the refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and the freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit for maximum efficiency without affecting your food.
Where is your refrigerator located in the kitchen? It’s best to keep your refrigerator in a nice, cool area away from others appliances that could emit heat. Ovens, dishwashers and microwaves are all heat sources and could cause the refrigerator to use more energy to control the temperature. While you’re at it, make sure that your refrigerator is not directly in front of a window that also could cause it to heat up.
Stop These Bad Habits
Time for a midnight snack? Wait! Before you open the refrigerator door, figure out what you want inside. The longer that you hold the door open, the more cold air will escape. Once the door is closed, the refrigerator will have to crank up the power and consume more energy to cool everything inside back down. If you don’t remember what’s behind the doors, take a quick peek in and then close the doors again until you make your decision.
Keep it full.
The fuller your refrigerator is, the less it has to work to cool down the temperature of empty space. Stock up on fresh foods, juices, meats and other refrigerated items that will keep your belly full and your energy bills low. It may be tempting to swing by the grocery store on your way home from work just to pick up the essentials, but instead, try to get everything you need in one trip so you can keep your refrigerator full at all times.
Tackle These Projects
Replace the seal.
Over time, the seal around refrigerator doors begins to lose suction from repeated use. If you notice that the seal around your refrigerator door is not as tight as it should be, this means cool air could be escaping even when the door is closed. Take the time to replace the seal to protect it from wasting energy. Look at your owner’s manual or talk to the employees at a local hardware store to determine where you can find a replacement seal for your specific refrigerator model. Once you have the piece you need, this is a simple project that just involves prying off the old seal and installing the new one.
Clean the coils.
Have you ever taken the time to look at the back of your refrigerator? The metal coils that are hidden behind your fridge help to get heat away from the compressor, which is the part of the appliance that controls the temperature. If you keep this area free from dust and debris, the compressor does not have to use as much energy to keep the rest of the appliance cool.
By following these best practices for using your refrigerator, you will be well on your way to a more energy efficient home!