The refrigerator is the one appliance in your home that runs constantly, 24/7/365, no matter the season or occasion. It stands in your kitchen quietly doing its job day in and day out. When it comes to energy savings, most people do not give much thought to the refrigerator, even though it could potentially add up to $300 per year to your utility bills. The good news is there are simple things you can do to make your refrigeration more bill friendly.
You might think a refrigerator with fewer items would have less work to do. However, the truth of the matter is open air takes more energy to cool. You see, once the items in your refrigerator have been cooled, they keep each other cool, decreasing the amount of work done by your refrigeration unit.
Shopping for a refrigerator can be daunting as there are many options to choose from. Many people will simply find the biggest refrigerator in their price range and call it a day. However, if you are a single person household or your family does not eat at home a great deal, you might be better served with a smaller refrigerator. Smaller means it will take less energy to run and will be easier to keep stocked.
There are two major areas you should be concerned with keeping clean if you want refrigeration that does not cost an arm and a leg. Start with the refrigerator coils. In older units, these were highly visible on the backside of the unit. With newer models, you may need to remove a panel to access the coils. Thankfully, this is a chore you can do once or twice per year.
You also want to ensure that your door seal stays clean. The seal is a long magnetic strip that goes around the inner edge of your refrigerator door. Over time, the seal can get dirty due to spills and just ordinary usage. If it gets too grimy, your refrigerator will not seal correctly, causing it to work overtime to keep your food cold.
Are you tempted to turn your refrigeration up to blast freezer status? We all like cold milk and fresh food but using an incorrect temperature is simply a waste of electricity. Do you know the recommended temperature for your cold food storage?
You may also want to consider your icemaker settings. On average, most people will simply turn the icemaker on and forget it, but you should really consider turning it off when the ice bin is full. Ice makers are an energy drain, and work quickly enough that shutting them off until the ice is all gone shouldn’t create a serious headache.
When you think about energy savings, the first item on your checklist is probably not refrigeration, but maybe it should be. A few extra minutes of your time when choosing the proper device, cleaning and selecting the right settings could save you several hundred dollars per year in energy costs.