The refrigerators in our homes don’t always get the recognition they deserve. They silently sit in one part of your kitchen, keeping your food and drinks cold or frozen. It is the hardest working appliance in your kitchen, but that comes at a cost.
Besides the obvious maintenance costs associated with a refrigerator, you must always be wary of the energy it is consuming. Its consumption directly reflects on your electricity bills. If you wish to keep this bill as low as possible, you must ensure that your refrigerator’s energy consumption is made as low as possible.
Here’s How To Do It!
Keep It Cool
Just like it is the refrigerator’s job to keep things cold or frozen, it is your job to make sure the refrigerator is also kept cool. Where you keep your refrigerator has a direct impact on its performance. Keep your refrigerator far away from sources of heat like stoves, ovens, radiators, and sunlight.
Furthermore, if your refrigerator is placed such that it does not have much open space at the back, you need to put it somewhere else. Make sure you leave free space around the back, top, and sides to make room for ventilation. The compressor generates a certain amount of heat that needs to be ventilated.
If this heat isn’t allowed to leave efficiently, it will heat up the refrigerator, which will need to work harder to bring the temperature down, resulting in more power being used.
Keep It Full and Organized
Unbeknownst to most people, one of the best ways to ensure your refrigerator remains efficient is by keeping it stocked. When the refrigerator door is closed, the cooling builds up inside. Every time you open the door, hot air enters and the refrigerator needs to start working again to bring the temperature down.
When you stock a refrigerator with food and drinks, every time this hot air enters the refrigerator, it is absorbed by these items, reducing the need to generate more cooling. This will, in turn, require the refrigerator to work less and save electricity.
By organizing your refrigerator, you are putting the most frequently used items in the front and behind them, items that you don’t use as much. By doing this, not only are you saving your own time, you are spending less time with the refrigerator door open.
The longer the door stays open, the more cool air leaves, which translates to more power used to bring it back to normal. This might seem like a menial change but when compounded, it can save you a lot of money on your electricity bill and elongate the life of your refrigerator.
Store Food Properly
When you store hot food or drink in a refrigerator, you are disturbing the cooling inside. This hot substance will raise the air temperature inside. The refrigerator needs to start cooling down again, which is going to use more energy.
It makes sense that you don’t want your food to spoil by leaving it outside, but a way to work around this is to let it come down to room temperature before storing it for later.
When you keep your food in the refrigerator, don’t leave it uncovered. The moisture from the food is going to interfere with the cooling inside, and the refrigerator will have to work to regulate it.
Moreover, uncovered food has a smell to it. This smell will spread throughout the refrigerator, which means it will start smelling bad. If this odor is allowed to sit for a long time, it might decay into an unpleasant smell that will blow right into your face whenever you open the door.
Clean Your Coils
The coils at the back of your refrigerator work to ensure the temperature inside stays as low as possible. Being on the outside, these coils tend to accumulate dust and dirt over time. If this dust and dirt aren’t cleaned properly, it will begin to impair the cooling process, making your refrigerator work harder, using more electricity in the process.
You don’t need to clean the coils every single week; this accumulation usually takes weeks or even months. However, when cleaning the rest of your kitchen, take a peek behind your refrigerator to see whether you need to clean it. When the time comes to clean it, unplug your refrigerator and use a brush or vacuum to remove all dust and dirt that is caked on.
By doing this, you are allowing the refrigerator to operate at peak performance and efficiency, which requires less power and thus, helps save on your electricity bill.
Buy a Newer Model
Older refrigerators were extremely inefficient and also a constant source of pollution. Newer models, in compliance with modern regulations, use a fraction of their predecessor’s power.
Moreover, no matter how much care you take, a refrigerator is still an appliance. It has a certain lifecycle, and once it reaches the end of that life, it needs to be replaced. However, before it reaches the end, it starts showing signs of things going south.
It will break down more often, nuts and bolts will begin to fall apart, and no matter what you do, it will eventually reach its end. The longer this is allowed to go on, the more money leaves your pocket.
Don’t run for a replacement at the first sign of something going wrong. However, don’t completely turn a blind eye to it. When you can see that your refrigerator is starting to struggle, replace it with a newer model because if you don’t spend money on a new one, you’re going to be spending money keeping the old one alive. As a bonus, modern refrigerators also come with a range of smart technologies that allows you to control them with your phone and see what is going on inside.
You can’t live without a refrigerator. When you do have a refrigerator, you also want to make sure it is operating as efficiently as possible. In order for this to happen, you must follow every necessary step mentioned in this article.
None of them require too much time or effort but if you take care of it, the long term benefits involve a longer life for your refrigerator and more money toward that vacation you were planning!