Out of all your appliances, there is none that works as hard as your refrigerator. Your refrigerator never gets a break—it's on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. As a result, it can be responsible for some pretty big energy drains. Take a look at some simple tips that will help reduce the amount of energy that your refrigerator uses.
Don't Let the Freezer Get Empty
Your freezer is at its best when it's as full as you can get it. That's because the machine doesn't have to work as hard to cool off the interior of the freezer when there is a bunch of frozen food inside of it, helping to keep the temperature down. It takes a lot more energy to cool a big empty space. However, that doesn't mean that you should go out and buy a bunch of food you won't eat.
When you still have a week to go before your next grocery shopping expedition and you're down to just a few items in the freezer, you can fill the empty space by filling up empty milk jugs or other containers with water. They'll freeze into big blocks of ice, reducing the amount of space that needs to be cooled and lowering the overall temperature in the freezer compartment. When you're ready to fill the space up with food again, just take them out and save them for the next time you empty out the freezer.
Monitor the Refrigerator Temperature
Keeping your refrigerator at the correct temperature not only helps the refrigerator run efficiently, it also saves you money on your food bill. If the temperature is too low, you'll find that some of the items in your fridge end up freezing—and frozen mayo or sour cream aren't much good even after they've thawed back out.
If your refrigerator is too warm, you'll be throwing out bad eggs and milk more often than you should have to. The ideal temperature for your refrigerator is between is around 35° F (1.6° C). Something like 40° F (4.4° C) or more is too high; at that temperature you're risking food spoilage. And 32° F (0° C) is too low; that's the freezing point for water, and a lot of the other things in your refrigerator as well.
You can monitor the temperature by putting a mercury thermometer in a glass of water, and leaving that glass in the refrigerator overnight. The temperature that you'll read in the morning is the true temperature inside of your fridge. Do this once a week or so to ensure that your fridge is maintaining the temperature that you want.
Clean the Coils
The average refrigerator is a remarkably reliable appliance. They rarely break, and they require very little in the way of maintenance. However, because they require so little, many homeowners forget to do anything at all to maintain the refrigerator, and that's a mistake. If you don't do anything else, you should at least get into the habit of cleaning the coils on the bottom and in the back of your refrigerator on a regular basis.
The coils are easy to clean. Just pull the fridge away from the wall and vacuum the coils with a brush attachment. Then use a duster or a refrigerator coil brush to reach into tight spots that the vacuum cleaner attachment might not reach. You only need to do this a few times a year, and eliminating that dust and dirt will help your fridge function much more efficiently.
When you're finished cleaning, don't push the refrigerator all the way back against the wall. Leaving an inch or two of clearance between the fridge and the wall will promote air flow and help prevent the motor from overheating, reducing the chance that you'll need repairs anytime soon.
Taking the time to keep your freezer full, monitor the temperature in your fridge, and clean your refrigerator coils can make a big difference to your energy bills. And the less money you spend to run the fridge, the more you can spend on keeping your favorite treats inside of it. For more tips or assistance, contact refrigerator repair companies in your area.