Energy Saving Ideas – Save Energy and Money on Refrigeration

Refrigeration is responsible for 6% of your home’s energy use. Being a single appliance responsible for all this energy use, the fridge is an ideal place for some Energy Saving Ideas.

Much like Lighting, Refrigerators and Freezers produce heat, which works against you when you try to cool your home. Once again you get double savings for reducing your refrigerator’s energy consumption.

Here’s how to save energy on refrigeration and reduce electric bill:

Image of refrigerator temperature control for energy-saving-ideas articleAdjust the Temperature
Make sure your refrigerator is set to the correct temperature. 45÷F (7÷C) are enough for the fridge, while 0÷F (-18÷C) are sufficient for the freezer.


Image of a refrigeretor door sealing gasket for lower electric bills articleCheck the Sealing Gasket
A damaged seal lets the cool air out, making your refrigerator work harder to keep itself cool.

When your refrigerator works harder it uses more electricity. It also produces more heat, meaning that you need more A/C, and the compressor’s life is shortened.

Have a look at the sealing gasket. If it is worn, torn or doesn’t look flush – replace it. Even small gaps can affect performance dramatically.

Image of a refrigerator grill for home energy saving tips articleClean the Air Passages
Check the air passages, vents and coils for dust which clogs them, and vacuum if necessary.

Clean vents will make your refrigerator and freezer use less electricity, and will also make them last longer.
Do this once, preferably twice a year.


Image of a tape-meter to illustrate energy consumption reductionMake Sure the Refrigerator is At Lease 2½ Inches (5 cm) Away From the Wall
so that the hot air it generates can circulate well.
A well circulated refrigerator will consume less energy.


Image of a pot in a refrigerator for energy consumption articleDon’t Put Hot Food Into the Fridge
Let it cool down to room temperature on the counter top instead prior to putting it in the refrigerator/freezer (unless the recipe tells you to do it).


image of frozen meat for top 10 energy saving tips acticleDefrost Frozen Food In the Fridge
instead of defrosting them in the microwave on under running water. When defrosting food in the refrigerator you get to save electricity. 

First, you save by avoiding the microwave use. Second, the frozen food helps to cool the refrigerator as it thaws, lowering its electricity demand.

A side benefit is slow defrost, which is better for the food.


image of hor sun rays for energy saving ideas articleShade it
Make sure your refrigerator and freezer are not standing under direct sunlight.

Put them in a cold spot, as far as possible from any heat source such as radiators, ovens or any other heat producing device.

If you can manage to put them against an outside wall – even better. Outside walls are cooler then inner walls, and the heat generated by the refrigerator or freezer can escape outside more easily.


Image of a man staring into fridge to explain how to save money on electricityIt’s Not a Movie
Don’t just stand in front of the refrigerator or freezer, staring at it while trying to make up your mind. 

Every time your refrigerator or freezer doors are open, you loose a lot of energy.

Try to decide what you want before opening the doors.


image of labels for home energy saving tips articleLabel it!
One of my favorite energy saving ideas:

Develop a habit of labeling clearly the items in your freezer, so that you can retrieve the food you are looking for quickly as possible, loosing less energy.


Image of icy freezer for top 10 energy saving tips articleDefrost it!
Unless you have a no frost refrigerator or freezer, you need to defrost it on a regular basis, or when it gets too much iced up (more than 1/4″ or 6 mm thick).

An Iced up freezer makes the cooling unit work harder and use more electricity, wasting more energy than needed.


Image of a full freezer to explain how to save money on electricityKeep It Full
Keep your freezer full. An empty freezer will loose a lot of cold air every time you open it, and new hot and moist air will replace it, resulting in more ice buildup and more energy lose.

And here is the most original of all the energy saving ideas I’ve come across: If you don’t have enough food to fill the freezer, put empty container boxes inside to do the job.


Image of Energy Star as one of top 10 energy saving tipsConsider Replacing your old Refrigerator or Freezer
If your fridge is from the 70s, replacing it with an ENERGY STAR qualified model can save you over $200 each year on your utility bills. 

Replacing a fridge from the 80s will save you more than $100 each year! Use the ENERGY STAR Savings Calculator to find out exactly how much money you can save by replacing your existing refrigerator.

Continue investigating more ways to Save On Utility Bills with these energy saving tips on Electronics and Computers.

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