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Knowledge Base

How can I save energy on my refrigerator and freezer?

This pictures shows three different models of refrigerators with freezers.If you’re like most of us, chances are your refrigerator or freezer is one of the largest energy users in your home. They consume up to 8% of your home’s annual energy costs. Because they are on all the time they use between 100 to 200 kWh a month.

At Vera’s 2017 rates, the cost to run your refrigerator/freezer generally costs between $6.58 to $13.16 monthly or $78.96 to $157.92 annually.

14 ways to save – refrigerators and freezers

  1. Proper maintenance
    Inspect the door seals. If the seals are damaged or cracked, or if air is leaking out, replace the seals.
  2. Unplug
    Do you have an extra frig or freezer in the garage? If it’s not completely filled, unplug it. You could be wasting energy.
  3. Set your temperature
    The most efficient temperature for your refrigerator is between 38°F and 40°F and for the freezer, 0°F.
  4. Buy high-efficiency units
    New, high-efficiency refrigerators use half as much energy as older units, so they cost half as much to operate. The EnergyGuide label can help you with your decision.
  5. Defrost
    More than ¾ inch of frost makes your freezer work harder, so defrost regularly.
  6. Clean those coils
    When the condenser coils are dirty, the frig must work harder and uses more energy. Coils, found on the back or bottom of the refrigerator, need to be vacuumed and checked at least twice a year.
  7. Keep it level
    The door gasket may not seal properly if the refrigerator’s not level. You can set a glass of water on the top and adjust the legs until it looks level.
  8. Keep it cool
    Keep your refrigerator in cool, dry place. Never place it next to the oven, stove, water heater, clothes dryer, or other warm places where the frig must work harder to keep cool.
  9. Keep it closed
    The unit works most efficiently when you open the door as infrequently as possible.
  1. Keep food covered
    Covering food will reduce moisture build-up on the inside of the refrigerator. Also, wipe moisture from bottles and other containers before placing them in the refrigerator.
  2. Keep the heat out of your refrigerator
    Before you store leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer allow them to cool slightly. Your refrigerator or freezer won’t have to work as hard to cool them.
  3. Flip that switch
    You can save energy by keeping the EnergySaver switch turned on.
  1. Keep it full
    Refrigerators operate most efficiently when they are full, but not overloaded. It’s true that frozen foods help to keep the air cool, but too much food in either compartment can prevent cold air from circulating properly.
  1. Don’t cool it if you aren’t going to save it
    Why cool something you’ll probably throw out anyway? If you’re going away for a few days, get rid of foods that are likely to spoil. If you are going to be gone for more than a month, consider cleaning out your refrigerator, unplugging it and leaving the doors open. Some older models are impossible to open from the inside and are a hazard for children and pets. Also, older models may have difficulty restarting.
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