When it comes to energy efficiency in our homes, most of us are simply throwing money out the window when it comes to properly operating our refrigerators and freezers. Truth be told, these two major appliances account for roughly 16% of our monthly electric bill.
Growing up, our parents always told us one thing regarding the refrigerator — “don’t leave the door open for more than a few seconds”! But when it comes to energy efficiency, there is way more than that statement to consider.
We’ve put together a list of tips to help you save money all year long. By following our advice, you can save over $100 on your electric bill.
The Two-Thirds Rule
Remember the sage advice mentioned above by your parents as you were growing up? It’s certainly true that every time you open the fridge or freezer, cold air escapes. But if you manage to keep them two-thirds full, only one-third of the air will escape every time their doors are opened. This is a very good practice for households where the fridge or freezer are opened frequently.
Clean Those Condenser Coils
Chances are, you have probably never cleaned the condenser coils on the back (or bottom) of your fridge. A good practice would be to do this two to three times a year. If you’ve never cleaned them, chances are there is a huge dust build-up on them. This gunk will impede airflow to the fridge and force it to work harder than it should.
Some estimates indicate that you can save as much as 15% off the overall electricity used by your fridge if you keep these coils cleaned.
Cleaning the coils is actually pretty easy but you will need a few items including a wire brush, a vacuum, safety goggles and a dust mask. Use the wire brush to separate the dust from the coils and the vacuum to clean up the mess.
Eliminate the Clutter
Is the top of your fridge the home of every single item that you decided not to put in your pantry or cabinets? It has always seemed like a good idea to store things on top of our refrigerators but that could be costing you money.
You should make sure there’s plenty of airflow around your fridge. By storing tons of items on top of it or having other things on the side of it, it forces the fridge to work harder to get rid of the hot air that is created during the cooling process (science geeks will totally understand what that means).
The bottom line is, keep these areas as clean and clear as possible which will allow the fridge to operate much easier and, in turn, use less electricity.
Keep it Covered (or Cool it Down)
When storing leftovers, don’t place hot uncovered dishes in the fridge. This just adds unnecessary heat to the cooling process. If you feel the need to place hot items in the fridge, cover them up first to prevent most of that excess heat. This applies to both food and liquids.
Your Parents Were Right
Finally, your parents were absolutely correct when it comes to closing the fridge or freezer door as quickly as possible. Sometimes that can simply be impossible because we have a hard time making up our minds.
But keep this in mind. By opening and closing the door quicker on a regular basis, you can save as much as 7% on your fridge’s overall energy usage.
These tips are guaranteed to help you save money on your electric bill. And as an added bonus, you will also be doing your part in lowering your carbon footprint. Who could argue against a little extra money in their wallet along with making the world a greener place?