How to cut power consumption and save energy with your refrigerator

Representative image: iStock/shylendrahoode

The harsh summer we just went through has placed a considerable strain on power grids nationwide. With air conditioners running at full blast to combat the relentless heat, energy consumption peaks, leading to soaring electricity costs. The demand for cooling appliances, coupled with increased usage of fans, refrigerators, and other electrical devices, places a considerable strain on power grids nationwide. In response, individuals are turning to energy-saving practices, such as setting thermostats higher, utilizing fans instead of air conditioning, and optimizing appliance usage to mitigate the financial impact of summer's energy surge.

When it comes to kitchen appliances, refrigerator is often a major culprit in spiking the units in the electricity meters. Saving energy while using a refrigerator is essential for reducing electricity bills and minimizing environmental impact. Here are some tips to help you save energy:

Do not leave the fridge door open
Leaving the fridge door open for an extended period does increase electricity usage and therefore can lead to higher electricity charges. When the fridge door is open, cold air escapes, and the refrigerator has to work harder to maintain its internal temperature. This results in the compressor running more frequently to cool the air inside, consuming more electricity.

Additionally, when warm air enters the refrigerator, it raises the overall temperature inside, which means the fridge needs to expend even more energy to bring the temperature back down to the desired level once the door is closed.

To minimize electricity usage and prevent higher electricity charges, it's important to keep the fridge door closed whenever possible and to avoid leaving it open for extended periods. This simple habit not only saves energy but also helps to maintain the freshness of the food stored inside the refrigerator.

Representative image: : Shutterstock/Pixel-Shot

Set the temperature correctly
Set your refrigerator temperature to the manufacturer's recommended setting, usually between 37°F (3°C) and 40°F (4°C), and the freezer temperature at 0°F (-18°C). Setting the temperature lower than necessary increases energy consumption.

Keep the fridge well-organized
Arrange items in the refrigerator to allow for proper airflow. Avoid overcrowding, which can restrict airflow and make the refrigerator work harder to maintain the desired temperature.

Representative image: iStock/cyano66

Check door seals
Inspect the door seals regularly to ensure they are tight and free from cracks or gaps. Loose seals allow cold air to escape, making the refrigerator less energy-efficient.

Allow hot food to cool before storing
Let hot food cool down to room temperature before placing it in the refrigerator. This prevents the appliance from having to work extra hard to cool down the hot food, saving energy.

Defrost regularly
If you have a manual defrost refrigerator, regularly defrost it to prevent ice buildup. Ice buildup reduces the efficiency of the refrigerator and increases energy consumption.

Keep the refrigerator away from heat sources
Place the refrigerator away from heat sources such as ovens, stoves, and direct sunlight. Excessive heat around the refrigerator can cause it to work harder to maintain the desired temperature.

Representative image: iStock/AndreyPopov

Clean the condenser coils
Dust and debris on the condenser coils can reduce the refrigerator's efficiency. Clean the coils regularly to ensure optimal performance.

Use energy-saving features
If your refrigerator has energy-saving features such as vacation mode or energy-saving settings, utilize them to reduce energy consumption when not in active use.

Buy fridges with five star rating
Opting for refrigerators with a five-star energy rating is an excellent way to save on electricity bills while minimizing your environmental footprint. These high-efficiency appliances are designed to consume significantly less energy compared to lower-rated models, helping you cut down on your electricity expenses over time. 

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