Saturday, 24 February 2007

Make Your Fridge More Energy Efficient

IN these days of concern about global warming and carbon footprints, here are a few things you can do to make your fridge more energy efficient:

  • One of the best tips for the foodies among you is to keep the fridge full. An empty fridge uses more energy as there's nothing to hold the cold. Here's even more good news .... beer makes an excellent fridge filler. If, however, that's not an option, plain water in a container works too.
  • Cover liquids and wrap food stored in the fridge. Uncovered foods release moisture, which makes the compressor work harder. Of course, wrapping your foot also prevents it from drying out.
  • Defrost your fridge as soon as there is any frost build-up.
  • Do you really need your automatic ice maker? It's more energy-efficient to make ice in ice trays.
  • If possible, move the fridge away from the cooker or dishwasher.
  • Don't leave the fridge door open.
  • Make sure the fridge seals are clean. Replace if they are damaged. One way to check is to close the door on a thin piece of paper about the size of a £5 note (or use the £5 note itself). If you can easily pull it out, the seals need replacing. If you have magnetic seals, put a torch inside at night and switch off the kitchen lights to see if any light is leaking out.
  • Move your fridge out from the wall and vacuum its condenser coils at least once a year. Some models have the coils under the fridge. With clean coils the waste heat is carried off faster, and the fridge runs shorter cycles. Leave a couple of inches of space between the coils and the wall for air circulation.
  • Some fridges have a power-saving switch or a summer/winter switch. If your has, use it.
  • Check to see if you have a power-saving switch or a summer-winter switch.

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