How to

30 June 2017

Are Your Fridge & Freezer Costing a Fortune to Run? Try these Simple Tips & Tricks

Of all the various appliances dotted about the average home, the fridge and freezer are typically among the biggest drains on electricity. Not only do they require a relatively-hefty amount of power, they are also required to run 24 hours a day, all year round. These two factors combine to create quite the financial expense, but there are some simple techniques you can make use of to lessen the drain on both electricity and finances which stem from the operation of such home appliances.

Regular Cleaning

A dirty fridge is an inefficient fridge, especially when it comes to the coils. A build-up of dust on the coils under and behind your fridge will severely compromise its ability to run effectively, forcing the appliance to work harder to stay cool which will obviously make it more expensive over time.

Another benefit of regular cleaning lies in improving the longevity of your appliance, cutting out the high cost of a replacement.

Check the Seals

The seals around your fridge door take a fair beating through repeated use, which can cause them to deteriorate or even tear over time. This is far from ideal as it allows warmer air to get into the fridge itself, raising the temperature and thereby forcing the appliance to work harder.

It is strongly advised that these seals should be checked for damage periodically and replaced when required in order to lessen the energy demand of your fridge or freezer.

Fill Empty Freezer Space with Water Bottles

Freezers work best when full, as the appliance doesn’t have to work so hard to keep all the contents frozen. While it will not always be possible to keep your freezer fully loaded up with food, simply placing a few large water bottles, three-quarter filled, into the freezer alongside your food can achieve the same effect. Not only will your newly filled freezer now run more efficiently due to the lack of vacant space, the frozen water will also help the keep the interior of the freezer cool and thereby further reduce the energy consumption of the appliance.

Don’t Overstock the Fridge

Unlike the freezer, your fridge needs some open space in order to properly function. This is because the fridge relies upon air circulation for its cooling capabilities, and an overstuffed fridge will block this. Ensure that any expired or questionable produce is disposed of, for the benefit of both cleanliness and space.

Organise the Contents Carefully

The temperature of your fridge is not constant throughout, and as such certain products are best placed in particular areas of the fridge to improve upon overall efficiency. For example, the lower shelves contain the coldest parts of the fridge, and so this is where dairy and raw meat products should be kept. The door on the other hand is the warmest, hence why storing milk in the fridge door is often advised against.

Keep Food Covered

Not only will covering any leftovers or other food products help to maintain their freshness while stored away, it will also improve the efficiency of your fridge by reducing the moisture content of the air inside. Moisture is known to force the compressor to work harder to maintain the same level of cold and thereby push up costs, but something as simple as a sealed container can substantially help in alleviating this problem.

Allow Hot Food to Cool before Storage

I mean, think it through… Placing an item at a high temperature into an appliance specifically designed to create a cool environment will obviously have a negative effect, raising the overall temperature of both the appliance’s interior and any other items already stored within. Your fridge or freezer will then have to expend extra energy to quell this heat; extra energy that will cost you money.

Off the Wall

Decorators have long advised against placing furniture and appliances directly against the wall, and this advice does extent to fridges and freezers also. Pulling your fridge forward slightly, say to around 1 inch distance from the wall, can increase its efficiency by as much as 40% and save you a fortune in the long run.

Close that Door!

Another rather obvious one for you here, but standing in front of the fridge with the door held wide open will result in everything inside warming up, with this effect becoming more pronounced over time. It is advised that the contents of your fridge and freezer should be well organised so as to allow quick access to required items, reducing the amount of time spent with the door open and thereby lessening the strain placed on the appliance’s cooling systems. In a crowded house this can easily become the biggest drain on energy and finances to stem from such appliances, but it should be easy to counteract with a little forethought and conscious effort.

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.