Reducing your electric bill can be a daunting task because almost everything in your home uses electricity. Heating, cooling, and lighting are some of the highest costs in the home; however, you can easily adjust their use throughout the day.
Saving energy on your refrigerator’s electricity usage is not as simple as using an on-and-off switch. The fridge is more susceptible to energy waste, as well, because nobody likes spoiled or moldy food. When it comes to appliances, your refrigerator may be one of the worst culprits – stealing the most energy costs from you. Thankfully, there are 5 easy ways you can reduce your monthly electricity bill by getting smart with these energy-efficient refrigerator tips.
When your refrigerator is mostly full, the items within become cool, as well – and actually help insulate and keep the interior cool. As a result, the device does not have to work as hard (or use as much energy) to maintain the temperature. Nor does it have to struggle to cool back down after you stand in front of it gazing at all that food with the door open for way too long. However, if you fill the fridge too much, you can interfere with the proper circulation of cool air. This will force it to use more energy to remain cool. Why waste this extra energy just to save a few tomatoes or chicken parm leftovers? So, keep your refrigerator full, but not too full – even if you need to add a jug of water to fill it up.
Many manufacturers have set up their refrigerators to have unnecessarily low temperatures, causing your refrigerator to waste energy. The ideal temperature range for your fridge to keep your food fresh is between 35°F and 40°F. If there is no temperature listed on the dial, the manufacturer’s website or manual may have the information.
Refrigerator door seals, also known as “gaskets,” help seal in the cold air inside your appliance. If the gaskets are worn, they can leak the cool air and cause the refrigerator to strain to maintain its temperature. You can test a gasket by closing the door on a sheet of paper: if you cannot easily pull out the paper, the gasket is working. Test each edge of the door seal to see if there are any areas where warm air may be sneaking in.
On the back of every refrigerator are condenser coils. When the fridge doesn’t have enough space between these coils and the wall, energy gets wasted. A good, energy-efficient practice is to move the fridge away from the wall just a few inches and to clean the coils every once in a while to make sure they are well ventilated.
Do you really need to stand in front of your fridge with the door wide open, contemplating what snack you’re about to eat? The longer the door is left open, the more cool air escapes (replaced by warm room air), and the more energy your fridge wastes. Try to limit how often and how long you use the fridge to prevent it from having to use extra energy to cool back down.