You know that heating and cooling your home makes up the majority of your energy costs, but did you realize that your refrigerator can be costing you alot of dollars as well? Since your refrigerator uses electric all of the time, any additional money it costs to run it is going to keep adding up month after month. In order to save yourself wasted money, use these tips on saving energy costs for your refrigerator.
1. Set the Temperature Controls at Proper Levels
To keep your food cold and fresh, your refrigerator needs to be kept at a constant temperature of 36 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit. And the freezer part should be maintained at 0 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Setting your refrigerator or freezer at a colder level is unnecessary and is just wasting energy dollars.
2. Keep Your Refrigerator/Freezer Full of Food
A refrigerator and a freezer unit both use more energy if they are empty or close to it. If your refrigerator is rarely full of food, then maybe you need to buy a smaller model to save energy costs. Otherwise, you can use fill up the empty spaces with bottles of tap water. The cold water will help hold the coldness of your refrigerator, unlike empty space. You can also place containers of water in your freezer, as well, to help make it more energy efficient.
Be careful not to overfill either your refrigerator or freezer compartment, though. If either unit is too full, the air won’t be able to properly circulate, and that will affect the coldness levels.
3. Shop for an Energy-Efficient Refrigerator
If your refrigerator is too big for your family, or if it was manufactured prior to 1993, then it’s definitely not an energy-efficient appliance. Another tip for saving energy costs for your refrigerator, is to replace it with a unit that carries the “Energy Star” label. Appliances that carry this label run more efficiently than products that don’t. That means, they cost less to use and will save you energy dollars. A refrigerator that has an “Energy Star” label can save you an estimated 30 to 50 percent in electric usage.
Also, extra features such as in-the-door icemakers, water dispensers, and “frost-free” freezers can help make your new refrigerator more convenient to use. However, if you don’t absolutely need them, skip them! Instead, to save energy costs, look for base models that don’t have these added features. Because, all of these features may save you time, but you’ll pay for them in the long run every time you get an electric bill. For example, a “frost-free” freezer can use up to 40% more electric than a do-it-yourself model.
4. Make Sure the Door Seal is Working Properly
Although it’s just a long piece of rubber, the seal on your refrigerator door is one of the most important factors for keeping the cold air inside. Periodically check the seal by closing your refrigerator door on a dollar bill. Grab the bill. If it slides out easily, then the seal needs to be replaced. Repeat this test on several different places around the seal.
5. Keep the Coils Clean
Every six months, you should pull your refrigerator out and use a vacuum cleaner to clean the coils that are located underneath it or behind it. This will help the compressor run more efficiently and help save you even more energy costs.