Tips and Tricks to reduce your refrigerator’s power consumption
Are you aware that the refrigerator, a home appliance, that runs day in and day out on energy could amount to almost 20 percent of your monthly electricity bill!! Now wouldn’t you like to reduce your power consumption? Here are some simple precautions if taken while maintaining your fridge/ freezer would help you save up to 30 percent of electricity consumed by your refrigerator!
Advantage of energy efficient model: Refrigerators are graded by the Indian Bureau of Energy Efficiency also known as BEE rating. The energy efficiency of a model is indicated by a star sticker or a label on the product, user manual or catalogue depending upon its gradation. A model with a 5 star rating is highly energy efficient as it consumes about 15 percent less energy than a 4 star rated unit which in turn is better than a 3 star graded unit and so on. Therefore it is advisable to buy a better star rated appliance.
Top or Bottom mounted Freezer: This unit would consume 20 percent less energy as compared to two door side by side refrigerator. As an automatic ice maker again consumes double the electricity try and avoid one if you don’t need it!
Location of refrigerator/freezer: Place your appliance in a cool place. Exposure to unwanted heat from an oven, sunlight etc would require the unit to use more energy in order to remain cool. For proper circulation of air, place refrigerators at least a couple of inches from the walls of your kitchen so that the heat generated by the refrigerator’s cooling system can escape into the air.
Storage: Fill the fridge / freezer to maximum capacity but leaving enough room for air to circulate. This will enable it to hold the temperature for a longer period of time during power cuts too!
Temperature of the food to be stored: Always cool hot food to room temperature before storing in the fridge/freezer as hot food would take in the cold air from the fridge/freezer causing the unit to work harder in order to maintain its temperature.
Optimize opening of refrigerator: Fridges consume more electricity if they are kept open for longer periods of time. If possible, train yourself to decide what you need before opening the door and reduce the amount of time the refrigerator door is open. It is also a good idea to label food items. This will help you to easily and quickly identify them thus preventing the door from remaining open for a longer time.
Coil Maintenance: Unless cleaned regularly, dust and dirt accumulates around the coils at the back or bottom of the appliance causing the compressor to work harder and affecting the efficiency of the unit.
Checking for air leakage: Carefully look for air escaping through damaged refrigerator door seals and gaskets. This could cause the unit to constantly use so much more power in order to maintain the temperature. To check for air leakage place a piece of paper and close the door over it. If there is a leakage you will be able to pull out the paper easily. Lubricating door seals with petroleum jelly is an easy way of maintenance.
Defrosting Freezer regularly a must: Frost built up is not good as it increases the power consumed by the unit in order to keep its motor running. In case of manual defrost refrigerators, frost has to be removed normally twice a year.
Maintain an ideal temperature: We have found that 37 – 40 degrees F are ideal for the refrigerator and 0 – 5 degrees F for the freezer.
Advantage of automatic moisture control: This helps prevent the moisture from accumulating on the exterior of the cabinet without the requirement of a heater.
How to store food: All liquids and foods should be covered to prevent them from releasing moisture which would otherwise cause the compressor to work harder.