Perhaps it is no surprise that a refrigerator is one of the appliances that consumes the most energy in UK households. While brand new fridges are constantly becoming more energy efficient, it is expensive to buy new appliances. With that mind, it is helpful to know some easy tricks and tips on how you could save some energy with your fridge, no matter how old.
1. Keep The Door Shut
Whilst this might be an obvious point, simply keeping the door of your fridge shut ensures that cold air stays inside. No matter if your fridge is new or old, it is advisable to only open your fridge for short periods of time. Simply think about what you would like to eat or drink before you open your fridge, rather than deciding with the door wide open.
2. Check The Temperature
You may think your fridge is simply “cold”, however subtle differences in the temperature, similarly to air-conditioners, can make a big difference in your energy bill. The ideal temperature for a fridge is between 1-5C, and around -18C for your freezer. Whilst slightly warmer temperatures would be sufficient for cooling the food, these guidelines were selected on the basis of killing most bacteria, while preserving essential vitamins of fresh goods. In short, you can make your fridge more energy efficient, by simply regulating the temperature.
3. Check The Seal Of Your Fridge
This energy tip will more likely apply to you if you have an older fridge. If the seal of your fridge has worn off, the cold air inside will escape, and your fridge will have to work harder to keep cool. An obvious sign of this is when you see condensation outside of your fridge.
For this reason, always make sure the seals are kept clean and watch out for any cracks that may have developed over the years.
4. Don’t Put Hot Food In Your Fridge
Another tip is to leave your cooked food to cool down on the counter before putting it in your fridge. Why? Because you’ll save your fridge some energy by not making it work extra hard to cool down piping hot food.
5. Clean The Coils
The metal coils at the back of your fridge remove heat from the inside and transfer it to the room the fridge is in. To work properly, they need air to be able to circulate around them. You can clean them with a duster or very gently with a vacuum cleaner, and you should clean them at least once a year. This is best done when the fridge has been emptied and unplugged. By simply cleaning the coils, your fridge could become up to 30% more energy efficient.
Another tip is to make sure you leave some space between the fridge and any walls or cupboards next to it. This allows for extra ventilation, and will help you save energy.
6. Organise Your Food
As you might remember from your school days, hot air rises, and cold air falls. Placing your meat lower down will help to keep it fresh.
7. Check Your Room Temperature
Whilst your refrigerator will hopefully be strongly sealed, the outside temperature of the room can have a big impact on your fridge’s energy efficiency. If your room is just a few degrees Celsius above average room temperature, your fridge could be working 20% more to keep cool. On hot summer days it is therefore recommended to keep your blinds drawn.
8. Make Sure To Defrost
If your fridge has a layer of frost on the inside, it might be time to defrost! Any ice over 1cm thick should be removed to ensure your fridge can work more efficiently, and to help you save energy.
9. Fill Your Freezer
Lastly, to help drive the efficiency of your fridge, keep your freezer full. The fuller your freezer, the better your fridge will work! This might also come in handy, in the case of a power outage. The more food and drinks and in your freezer, the longer it will take for any of your food in the fridge to go off.
If you want to find out how energy efficient you are in general, why not take our short quiz or learn more about home energy efficiency. Or if you'd like to cut your bills, run an energy quote to see if you can make a saving.
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