Refrigerators may save your leftovers and produce, but they can spend energy at the same time. Refrigerators typically account for 13 percent of energy bills, the second-highest expense after air conditioners. It’s one of the only things in your house that is never turned off.
According to the FDA, refrigerators should be kept at about 40 degrees and freezers should be kept at zero degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer, make sure your temperature dial is set to its midpoint. Keeping your unit at these standard temperatures can save from paying extra for a temperature that’s just a few degrees cooler. If possible, it also helps to situate your fridge as far away from your oven and dishwasher as you can because the heat from those appliances can impact its efficiency.
Refrigerators release their own heat from condenser coils, where the refrigerant is cooled. When these coils get dusty or are clogged with dirt or pet hair, they’re not able to release heat properly and it must work harder to stay cool. The coils should be cleaned at least twice a year.
Occasionally clean the door gasket using a toothbrush and some mild soap or a baking soda solution to keep dirt and food residue from damaging or weakening the seal. You can test the strength of the gasket’s suction by shutting the door on a dollar bill. It should hold the dollar bill tightly.
A full refrigerator is more efficient than an empty one. Make sure the air can circulate between items though, and don’t block any vents. When you’re saving those tasty leftovers, always let them cool off before putting them into the refrigerator so as not to introduce any warm temperatures to the environment.
An efficient refrigerator will keep your stomach and your wallet happy.