The refrigerator is one of the most energy-intensive appliances in the typical home, and having an efficient fridge in the kitchen can really make a positive difference both financially and environmentally. Thankfully, today’s newer refrigerator models are a lot more efficient compared to previous models.
Unfortunately, not all homeowners can afford to buy a new refrigerator, and some people are simply stuck with the appliances the landlord may have left behind. Here are a number of things you can to do save on energy and make your refrigerator more efficient:
1) Keep it full.
Cool air rushes out of the fridge each time the door opens, and the appliance works hard to replace this air. Not many homeowners know this, but a full refrigerator is a more efficient one. Try filling the empty space with bottles and jugs of water to help keep things cold.
If your refrigerator just contains a bottle of ketchup and a few cans of soda or beer, you’re much better off keeping your fridge unplugged or buying a smaller unit.
2) Keep the cold air in.
Make a conscious effort to open the refrigerator door as briefly and infrequently as possible. Avoid staring at the fridge’s contents blankly, and know what you’re looking for instead. Label leftovers and various contents to make items simpler to find.
3) Keep your food covered.
Uncovered foods emit moisture, and the refrigerator’s compressor works harder to remove this dampness. Always keep liquids and food covered or wrapped in plastic wrap. You may also want to invest in reusable plastic containers.
4) Regularly dust around your fridge.
It may seem taxing to move your fridge when sweeping or dusting, but make it a point to sweep or dust underneath, behind, and around the appliance every two months or so, especially if you have pets. Debris and dust that collects along the fridge’s coils and condenser tubes may make it less efficient.
5) Check the door gasket.
The gasket is the plastic portion that keeps the fridge door sealed shut. Check if the gasket needs replacing by closing the door on a piece of paper. If you can pull the paper with the door closed, it’s time to replace the gasket.
6) Make your own ice.
If you’ve got one of those refrigerator models with an automatic icemaker, you may want to consider giving it a rest. It’s a lot more efficient to make your own ice in ice trays.
Practice the abovementioned tips until they become habits, and you’ll be rewarded with many years of (extended) service, as well as extra savings in your pocket. You’ll also be doing the environment a favor!
Photo Credit: iClipart