Simple Tips to Reduce the Energy Costs of Your Refrigerator

With rising energy costs, it can feel like your refrigerator is simply sucking up all your money. A good refrigerator is essential to keep your produce fresh and prolong the lifespan of your food. Unfortunately, there are a number of maintenance issues and repair problems that can reduce the efficiency of your refrigerator, leading to those higher bills. So, here are some simple tips to reduce your refrigerator energy costs.

Close up image of an open refrigerator

Think About How You’re Storing Food

What you store in your refrigerator can make a massive difference to your energy costs. Although it may seem counterintuitive, having your refrigerator full can actually reduce the energy costs. The reason for this is that there is less air space that needs to be cooled. Unfortunately, overfilling your refrigerator can reduce air circulation, and this can cause items to spoil more quickly as they are not properly chilled.

Try not to pack your refrigerator tightly and think about allowing air to circulate. Ensure that all food items are in containers or properly covered or it will allow moisture to enter the appliance, forcing the compressor to work harder and use more energy.

Perform Regular Maintenance

When all the components of your refrigerator are working properly, the appliance will work more efficiently and use less energy. One of the most common maintenance issues to compromise efficiency is the gaskets inside of the door becoming damaged or faulty. A bad gasket allows the cooled air to leak out, forcing your refrigerator to work harder and harder to maintain the temperature. To test whether your gasket has gone bad, shut a piece of paper in the door and try to pull it out. If it easily slides out or doesn’t even stay in place, there is a poor seal, and your gasket is leaking air.

Another common issue is clogged condenser coils, where dust and debris can accumulate and compromise performance. This can be remedied by cleaning the coils every month or two. You will find instructions on cleaning the coils for your specific refrigerator in your owner’s manual.

Set the Correct Temperature

While it is tempting to simply crank up your refrigerator for the best cooling, the key to reducing your energy costs is to ensure that you set the correct temperatures for your refrigerator and freezer. The ideal temperature for a refrigerator is between 37 and 40ºf, while your freezer should be set to 5ºf. If there is a build-up of frost inside your freezer, you should reduce the temperature and remove the ice as it creates an energy barrier. Frost accumulation is an indication that your freezer is set too high and this will use far more energy than necessary.

Ensure Your Refrigerator is in a Cool Spot

The physical location for your refrigerator can actually have a massive impact on your energy costs. The exterior temperature of your refrigerator makes a difference to the appliance performance, and this could lead to increasing bills. If your refrigerator has been placed near a dishwasher or oven, or it is surrounded by cabinets, there will be an inconsistent air temperature around the unit, forcing it to work harder. Ideally, your refrigerator should be placed in the coolest spot in your kitchen to allow it to run at a constant temperature. If this is not possible, ensure that there is plenty of space behind and around the appliance to allow proper airflow and ventilation.

If you’re still experiencing issues with your refrigerator, you can have confidence that a professional home appliance repair specialist will be able to offer an effective solution. For assistance with any of your refrigerator repair needs, be sure to speak to a professional home appliance repair service.