Summer is almost over, but the heat is still lingering, so here are a few refrigerator and freezer tips to reduce energy costs. As the temperature rises, more strain is put onto your fridge and freezer to keep the contents cold. Taking the time to do preventative maintenance on your fridge and freezer can save you a few bucks on your energy bill. Appliances tend to run more efficiently with some extra upkeep, and the better you take care of them, the longer they’ll last.
Use these simple tips to keep your fridge/freezer operating at its best:
1. Clean beyond the refrigerator shelves by cleaning the condenser coils located behind your fridge at least once a year. Use a brush or handheld vacuum to remove loose particles, including dirt, dust and pet hair.
2. Give your refrigerator some breathing room by keeping the appliance at least two or three inches away from the wall. Also, try to place your refrigerator away from direct sunlight and appliances that produce heat to make your refrigerator run more efficiently.
3. Do you crave a midnight snack, but can’t decide what to eat? Keep your fridge full, not only to satisfy all of your midnight munchies, but to also help the fridge save energy after recovery from the door being open.
4. Check and care for the rubber seals surrounding the inside of your fridge by using mild soap twice a year to help prevent cracked and torn seals. Use your money to test the seals by placing a bill halfway inside the refrigerator door. If the bill pulls out easily, then your losing money in more than one way and it may be time to replace the rubber seals.
5. Take your refrigerator’s temperature and see if you are wasting energy. Make sure that the refrigerator runs between 36°F (2.22°C) and 40°F (4.45°C) and the freezer runs between 0°F (-17.78°C) and 5°F (-15°C.) If it is kept 10°F (-12°C) colder than recommended, you may be using 25% more energy than needed.
6. All refrigerators need maintenance, but if your refrigerator is an older model, it is important to make sure it’s operating efficiently. Refrigerators manufactured after 2001 use at least 30 percent less energy than models made in the 1990’s or earlier.
Follow these do-it-yourself energy efficient tips periodically by adding them to your family calendar. To help prolong the life of your fridge, combine these tips with regular visits from your local appliance repair professional.