• Green Tip: How to Make Your Refrigerator More Efficient

    Posted by   |  May 12, 2017
    Share Button

    For all the items around your house that may put a strain on the environment – and a dent in your wallet – there’s one appliance that always stays running – the refrigerator. Though the refrigerator remains an indispensable tool, it guzzles up energy in ways you might not realize. Fortunately, with a few tricks you can optimize its energy performance and, over time, protect the environment and save money at the same time.


    Although it may seem both obvious and innocuous, checking your refrigerator’s temperature can have a major impact on you energy consumption. Often times, people keep their refrigerators running at unnecessarily low heat levels, as a precaution against the many dangers of improperly stored food. The folks at the FDA, however, give a higher measure for the right amount of heat than you might expect. A refrigerator can keep food up to 40 degrees fahrenheit, while a freezer can go up to five. By adjusting the temperatures slightly, you can cut down on the energy spent to maintain colder numbers like 33 degrees.


    Shut the door!

    If your refrigerator does not include a built-in thermometer, you can still perform this energy efficient, cost effective maneuver – simply stick a thermometer in a glass of water, stick it in the fridge, and check the next day. For your freezer, you can place the thermometer between to frozen foods, then check eight hours later.

    Check The Gasket

    The gasket – seal – on your refrigerator door can wear down over time. If your refrigerator can’t close properly, it’s going to work significantly harder to compensate for the influx of outside air. Checking the rubber seal, then, can make sure that your household appliance does not do unnecessary damage to the environment. Further, the unit itself will break down if it has to keep using the extra energy, and replacing your refrigerator will run a high cost.

    To test the gasket, close your refrigerator door on a piece of paper. If you can pull it out easily, you’ll need to adjust or replace the seal.

    To replace the seal, you’ll need to:

    • Find the right gasket for your model.
    • Pull back the gasket to reveal retainer screws.
    • Loosen (don’t remove) retainer screws from the perimeter of the door.
    • Pull off old gasket.
    • Lay new gasket in warm water for a few minutes.
    • Install new gasket by putting the lip behind the retainer; tighten the screws.

    Clean Your Condenser Coils

    Condenser coils serve as a vital part of the heating and cooling process, so it may come as a surprise that they attract a lot of problems. Located at the bottom of your fridge, these critical pieces can take on thick layers of dust, interfering with their operation and pushing your appliance into unneeded strain. Fortunately, the solution does not require much effort or know-how.

    To clean your condenser coils:

    • Unplug your fridge – don’t work near an electric motor if there’s still power running to it!
    • Remove the grate in front of the coils or fan.
    • Scrub the protective grate, wipe dust off the coils.
    • Put the protective grate back in place and turn the power back on.

    Other Ways

    Many options remain to cut down on your refrigerator’s consumption, to a lesser degree. Because the appliance serves such an important function in the home, proper maintenance and careful planning can go a long way towards reducing your costs and footprint.

    Other ways to keep your refrigerator running at a sustainable rate include:

    • Removing clutter and organizing food to cut down on open-door time.
    • Reduce your frost accumulation by regularly defrosting your refrigerator and freezer.
    • Turn off the ice maker when not in use.
    • Space items to increase air flow.
    • Most importantly, the easiest way to keep your refrigerator expenditures down is to keep the door closed!

    By Brendan Szendro

    Speak Your Mind