Many people never realize the need to conserve the energy in their houses until the winter hits and the power bill starts hitting thousands. It is wise to learn and incorporate methods of saving energy in your day-to-day activities so which will save you money and also save the planet from extra greenhouse emissions. The refrigerator is one of the biggest daily consumers of energy in households and also one of the easiest to manage. All you need to do is ensure that your refrigerator hits the set temperature as quickly as possible and stays there for as long as possible. As long as the temperature is kept at the required temperature, the fridge will be easy on your energy bill. Here are 10 tips for reducing your energy consumption with your refrigerator.
Check For and Fix Air Leakages
Leakages are can be very costly because they force your refrigerator to work harder to retain temperatures optimally. You may not notice leakages unless you test for them and the easiest method is to close your fridge with a thin sheet of paper attached to your gasket.
Pull the piece of paper and if it slides out, then you may have leakage on your hands. You have to test all the sides of the door to prove that the gasket is working perfectly. You should also replace your gasket if you notice any damage, scratches or looseness on it.
Use Glass Containers For Storage
Plastic containers are great because they are light and therefore put less weight on your compartments but they don’t retain their cold as well as metal and glass containers. Glass containers stay cold for long which means they need less energy to cool them even after removing them from the refrigerator for a short while.
Remember To Defrost
The frost in your freezer is good for some time but once it goes over 1mm of thickness, it starts causing problems. It is recommended that you defrost your freezer at least once every year but you can do it as frequently as possible depending on how thick it gets. You should also remove dirt and clatter from the fridge so that you can pick items quickly and close the refrigerator.
Defrost Your Food In The Fridge
Defrosting your frozen food can actually help you save energy. While defrosting on the counter is easy and maybe quick, it is not the most energy-efficient method. You should defrost food in the refrigerator allowing the cold to cool air inside the fridge which reduces the energy needed to reduce the temperature in there.
Keep It Stocked
Air is actually a poor conductor of heat which means that the more of it there is in the fridge, the longer it takes for the cold to kick in. You should therefore put food in there so that there is less room for lots of air to circulate. You shouldn’t overstock the fridge though since lack of air will make it harder to cool.
Reduce Frequency Of Opening The Doors
Every time you open the refrigerator doors, warm air comes in and replaces the cold one inside which means more energy is needed to bring the temperature back to your set conditions. You should therefore ensure that the fridge is opened as few times as possible and for as short a time as possible. Those frequent trips to the refrigerator don’t help your energy bill.
Don’t Set The Temperatures To Be Too Cold
2.5°C to 5°C is perfect for keeping your food preserved and also optimal for energy consumption. You should leave the freezer at -17°C to -18°C because the frost layer will help retain the freezing conditions which means the energy consumption goes down. Reducing that temperature by a single degree increases the power consumption tremendously. You should remember to adjust the temperatures depending on the weather but never set it to be too cold.
Cool Your Hot Foods First
Allowing your leftovers to cool to room temperature may take some time but it will save you money. Food leaking hot air into your refrigerator forces it to overwork to cool the food to room temperature, cool the hot air and then bring the food to the set temperature.
Locate The Fridge In A Cool Open Space
Putting the refrigerator close to places that heat up in your house affects the ability of the condenser to keep the air inside the fridge cold. To save the refrigerator, you have to ensure that it is located in a cool place with proper air circulation. It is recommended that you keep the fridge away from windows, doors and heating fixtures and also 3ft away from the wall on each side to allow for free air circulation.
Keep The Condenser Coils Clean
Neglecting your refrigerator’s backside is not a good idea either. Those coils will only work properly when they can disperse heat evenly and that requires them to be clean. You should therefore dust them frequently to reduce the load on your compressor.
Do you have any other tips for saving energy with your fridge/freezer/refrigerator? Why not let us know in the comments below.