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100 tips for saving energy - Refrigerators and Freezers

Refrigerators and Freezers

  1. A typical home uses 600-1200 kiloWatt-hours per year for refrigerating and freezing food. To become more energy efficient in storing food, follow these tips:
  2. Allow hot food to cool off before putting it in the refrigerator.
  3. Check the condition of door gaskets by placing a dollar bill against the frame and closing the door. If the bill can be pulled out with a very gentle tug, the door should be adjusted or the gasket replaced.
  4. Defrost frozen food in the refrigeration, this is the safest way to thaw food AND it helps to keep the other food in the refrigerator cold.
  5. Do not put uncovered liquids in the refrigerator. The liquids give off vapors that add to the compressor workload.
  6. If possible, locate refrigerators and freezers away from direct sunlight, ranges, and heating equipment.
  7. Keep your refrigerator at 37°- 40° F and your freezer at 5°F.
  8. Keep your refrigerator filled to capacity, but don't overcrowd to the point where doors cannot be closed or air cannot circulate.
  9. Make sure you defrost your refrigerator and freezer on a regular basis or whenever necessary. An iced up freezer will make the freezer work harder, therefore wasting more energy than needed. Only set your refrigerator to as cold as you need it and avoid keeping the door open for long periods of time as the more cold air that escapes, the harder the refrigerator has to work. You should check the seal regularly as well, as if it is damaged then cold air will be escaping also.
  10. Never put a second refrigerator in the garage. If you need a second unit, put it in the basement
  11. Plan ahead and remove all ingredients for each meal at one time.
  12. You should never put warm or hot food into the refrigerator as this will make the refrigerator work extra hard to try and keep it cold; always allow food to cool down first.
  13. The location of your refrigerator can make a difference in how energy efficient it is. Make sure it is out of direct sunlight and not close to the oven. It is best to keep it against an outside wall so that the heat it generates can escape easily, and always make sure that there is a few inches space all around the refrigerator so that air can circulate.
  14. Try switching off the power-saver switch, if your refrigerator has one. If only a small amount of condensation appears, save energy and leave the switch off.
  15. Vacuum the condenser coils (underneath or behind the unit) every three months or so.

Buying Tips for a Refrigerator/Freezer

  1. Look for energy-saving features such as the power-saver switch and improved insulation materials.
  2. Reduce your refrigeration electricity usage by 40 percent by replacing a 12-year-old or older unit with a new unit. An Energy Star® unit will lower usage even more.
  3. Select a refrigerator or freezer that is just large enough for your needs

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Real Goods Solar, Inc.