Did you know that the average refrigerator uses about 650 kilowatthour (kWh) of electricity every year? As a matter of fact, up to 25% of a home’s total energy consumption can come from refrigeration! Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to make your fridge more efficient and save some money on your energy bill. Check out our fridge maintenance tips below.
Set to Right Temperature
One of the most important things you can do to make your fridge more efficient is to set it to the right temperature. The Canadian energy department recommends setting your fridge between 3°C and 5°C, and your freezer at -18°C. These are temperature ranges that will keep your food fresh while using the least amount of energy over time.
Keep Fridge Full
If you have the space, try to keep your fridge as full as possible. A full fridge will maintain a more consistent temperature and use less energy than an empty one. If you don’t have enough food to fill your fridge, consider filling up the space with bottles of water. The reason an unfilled fridge will struggle to maintain efficiency is that cold air sinks, and when there’s not enough food in the way, it can escape through the cracks.
Let Leftovers Cool
If you have just cooked a big meal, resist the urge to put piping hot leftovers straight into the fridge. Let them cool to room temperature first. Putting hot food into the fridge can cause the compressor to work harder and use more energy, as the hot food will cause the fridge to raise its internal temperature to account for the heat coming from the new entrants.
Keep Refrigerator in a Cooler Area
If possible, try to keep your fridge away from direct sunlight and heat-generating appliances like the oven, stovetop, or dishwasher. These can make your fridge work harder as it tries to maintain its internal temperature in the face of all this heat. Finding an area separate from other high-energy, traditionally warm appliances will help your fridge work far more efficiently over time.
Check Refrigerator’s Sealing
When thinking about how to take care of a fridge, you should always consider your seals. A properly sealed fridge will have gaskets that fit snugly around the door, with no gaps or cracks for cold air to escape. If you can see light peeking through when the door is closed, it’s a good sign that your fridge’s sealing needs to be replaced. Replacing a refrigerator seal requires taking the fridge door off, so if you’re not comfortable doing that, it’s best to call a professional like the ones at Alpha Tech Appliance. You can source the necessary seal replacement online or from a local hardware store.
Ditch the Frequent Snacks
While it might be tempting to grab a snack every time you walk by the fridge, try to resist the urge. Every time you open the fridge, cool air escapes and the fridge has to work harder to maintain its internal temperature. If you’re frequently opening the fridge for small snacks, that’s a lot of extra energy being used! As opposed to opening your fridge with each pass, you should try and make a list of the snacks you want before opening it. This way, you can limit the number of times you open the fridge and reduce how much energy it’s using.
Regularly Clean Your Refrigerator
Not only will a clean fridge look nicer, but it will also work more efficiently. A dirty fridge has to work harder to maintain its internal temperature as the dirt and grime can act as insulators, trapping heat. Cleaning your fridge regularly will help it run more smoothly and use less energy over time. To clean your fridge, start by taking everything out and throwing away anything that’s expired. Then, give the fridge a good wipe down with a mixture of warm water and dish soap. Be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies, as dirt can build up in these areas and make your fridge less efficient. Once you’re done cleaning, put all the food back in and make sure to seal any open containers.
Stay on Top of Repairs
If your fridge isn’t running as efficiently as it used to, it might be time for a repair. A refrigerator that isn’t cooling properly or is leaking water is likely in need of some professional attention. While it might be tempting to try and fix the problem yourself, unless you’re comfortable with appliance repairs, it’s always best to call a professional. Trying to repair a fridge yourself can be dangerous, as many fridges use chemicals like Freon that can be harmful if not handled properly. A professional will have the experience and knowledge necessary to safely repair your fridge and get it running efficiently again.
Upgrade Your Refrigerator
If you’ve had your fridge for more than 10 years, it might be time for an upgrade. Newer fridges are much more energy-efficient than older models, so upgrading can help you save money on your energy bill. If your fridge is giving you trouble or isn’t as efficient as it used to be, it might be time to invest in a new one. When shopping for a new fridge, look for models that are Energy Star certified. These fridges use less energy than traditional models and can help you save money on your utility bills. You should also look for a fridge with adjustable shelves and door bins, as this will give you more flexibility in how you store food.
When it comes to making your refrigerator more efficient, there are several options at your disposal. From regularly cleaning your fridge to fixing seals, reducing open rates, or adjusting its location, there are plenty of ways to reduce how much energy your fridge uses. If you’re having trouble with your fridge or need professional assistance, get in touch with our team at Alpha Tech Appliance Repair.
Our expert technicians have been providing fridge repair and installation services to customers across the Greater Toronto Area for years. To learn more about our services or to request an appointment, contact us today!