Your refrigerator uses a lot of electricity. In fact, this device is one of the biggest consumers of electricity in your Washington home, especially if you have an older model without an Energy Star rating. So, you want to do everything you can to reduce the energy consumption rates and save some money. Here are a few of the simple ways homeowners cut back on their refrigerator’s energy consumption and how you can do the same.

  • Food in the Fridge- When you have less food in the refrigerator, there is more air and air is harder to cool than mayonnaise or carrots, especially because you open and close that door so often. So, keep your refrigerator full. Additionally, don’t leave anything uncovered as it will release moisture which increases humidity and forces the system to work harder.
  • Regular Maintenance – Regular maintenance on your refrigerator will keep it working at peak efficiency and therefore save you money on electricity. Simple things like cleaning the condenser coils and the drain hole will reduce stress on the device. Make sure your door seals properly too – if it doesn’t, you’re leaking air and that costs even more money.
  • Temperature Settings – Your refrigerator has multiple settings and 99% of the time, the coldest settings are way too cold. So, instead of setting it so low, aim for 37-40 degrees F (and 5 degrees F for your freezer). If the refrigerator gets too close to the freezing mark, you will spend significantly more on your energy bill.
  • Location – The actual location of your fridge will impact how much energy it consumes. For example, placing it too close to the window during the summer or near a stove or oven will cause it to work much harder. The device also needs to have enough air flow moving behind it to maximize cooling efficiency.

A good refrigerator will already use less energy than units created just 10 or 20 years ago, but even with that in mind, regular maintenance, attention to how you use the device and proper placement in your home are all necessary to minimize how much energy you use beyond what’s necessary.