My room-mate and I rent a pretty cheap house together to save in money. We could be doing a lot worse, but it’s certainly not up-scale. We have some pretty ghetto appliances, including a washer that leaks and the best often that the 1970’s has to offer. Our refrigerator is also on its last legs, and makes some rather interesting noises when its running its cooling mechanism. It’s not as efficient as it used to be, so I thought I’d look for some ways to make the refrigerator last just a little bit longer and maybe run a little bit better.
Here are some tips that you can use to make your refrigerator run more efficiently, but not so efficiently that it runs out of your house and you have to go catch it. I know, bad joke.
The Right Temperature – So that your food doesn’t spoil or become a victim of freezer burn, be sure to keep your refrigerator between 36F and 40F, and make sure your freezer is somewhere between 0F and 5F. If your refrigerator is too cold, some liquids and fruit could freeze.
Keep up Maintenance on Your Fridge – Make sure that your door seals are tight, if they’re not, you’re wasting money. Put a piece of paper half-way inside the fridge and close the door, if you can pull it out with ease, you need to get new seals. Also be sure to brush or vacuum dirty refrigerator and freezer coils, this will improve the efficient of these devices by up to 30%.
Air Flow – Be sure to leave space between the contents of the fridge and the inside walls of the fridge so that there can be plenty of air flow around the condenser coils.
2/3rds Full – You want to keep some stuff in your fridge so that it has an easier time cooling back down when someone opens the door, but you don’t want so much stuff in there that it hinders airflow. If you can, try to keep your refrigerator about 2/3rds full. If it’s really empty, consider putting in a few gallons of water so that it can better hold its low temperature.
Try to Avoid a Second Freezer – If you have a deep freeze, consider storing less food and getting rid of it. Those things can be rather expensive, costing anywhere from $100 to $150 a year to run. If you really need the space, get one large refrigerator instead of two smaller ones.
Buy the right Refrigerator – If you’re buying a new fridge, make sure you buy one where the refrigerator and freezer are spaced vertically, rather than next to each other. Refrigerators that are side-by-side require about 10% more energy to run than one in which the freezer is on top or below the refrigerator. If you’re buying a new freezer, get a chest freezer because they are better at keeping in cold air.
It’s not a lot of work to keep your fridge running in a nice healthy and efficient money saving manner, and you won’t save tons of money doing it, but it’s better than nothing and your fridge will last longer and work better.