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How to Maximize Your Fridge’s Energy Efficiency

Nov 15, 2014

Now here’s a question for you: which kitchen appliance is always on the go, provides a bright light in the deep dark of night and gives you what you need when you need it? Your refrigerator of course! And as the hardest working appliance in the kitchen, there are a few things you should know about how to keep it functioning in the most energy efficient manner:

  1. Keeping your refrigerator full helps increase energy efficiency as there is less air to cool due to the space taken by food. On the other hand, overfilling your fridge will hinder air circulation.
  2. Make sure liquids are covered and stored foods are wrapped. Otherwise, the food will dry out and the moisture released will force the fridge’s compressor to work harder.
  3. Proper maintenance is key to keeping your refrigerator working properly and more energy efficiently.
      • The coils behind the fridge should be cleaned regularly and kept dust-free.
      • Regularly defrost the freezer; frost build up more than one quarter of an inch will decrease energy efficiency.
      • Make sure door seals are intact. Test this by placing a dollar bill between the door seal and unit; if it slides out easily, your fridge isn’t properly sealed.
      • Ensure the compressor is working properly. If your compressor is struggling to cool your fridge, it’s using more energy than necessary and needs to be looked at.
  4. Set your fridge temperature anywhere between 37 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Your freezer should be at 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Finally, location also helps in regard to maximizing energy efficiency. Ensure there’s proper airflow around the fridge so it runs efficiently; avoid locating it near windows, stoves or ovens, as heat will force it to work harder to keep food cool. The best location for your fridge is the coolest area in your kitchen.

To learn more about how to make your home more energy efficient, contact a RESNET Home Energy Professional for advice.