The refrigerator is one of the few appliances in our house that work all the time, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Almost all of us use it, but often we do not realize that the refrigerator is the biggest consumer of electricity. The good thing is that the amount of electricity consumed by our fridge can be reduced with proper use.
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How to use the refrigerator in an effective way?
The refrigerator is responsible for generating around 25% to 30% of the annual energy costs, and in some households, it can be even more than 50% of the energy costs.
First of all a big impact here, it has the kind of energy efficiency of your fridge. Classes are from G to currently the best A +++. The higher the energy efficiency class, the lower the energy consumption. But it is normal for the best class refrigerator to cost more money.
However, no matter what type of refrigerator you have, there are some rules that are able to reduce the cost of using your refrigerator. In my case, with a large refrigerator and a large freezer, with the optimal use of them, I save $ 50 a year.
Here I collected 20 tips and divided them into two groups:
- The first group refers to the optimal use of the refrigerator,
- The second group refers to the things we can consider before buying a refrigerator.
The recommendations to optimize the use of the refrigerator:
- Set the right temperature in the refrigerator – do not chill the products more than necessary, because you will not increase the durability of your products, you only use more energy:
- The temperature of the refrigerator should be set at 5 ° C – the higher the temperature, the lower the energy consumption. In general, it is assumed that the optimum temperature inside the refrigerator should be 4-5 degrees. This is important because reducing the temperature by 1 degree increases the energy consumption of the refrigerator to a small percentage.
- The temperature of the freezer should be set at -18 ° C – this is the optimum temperature for storing food in the freezer.
- Never put hot food in the refrigerator – wait for food to cool on its own, so the refrigerator will not have to consume energy to do so. When you put the hot food inside, it could take 2 to 3 times more energy to cool it.
- Place the products in the refrigerator always in the same places – this way you will use less time in your search and less cold will escape the refrigerator when you open the door.
- Decide what you want to take from the refrigerator before opening it – do not stand in front of the refrigerator with the door open thinking about what you want to eat. Keep the refrigerator doors closed as long as possible.
- Take the products from the refrigerator for a short time – if you take a product out of the refrigerator and then want to put it back again, try to do it as soon as possible before this product gets hot.
- Wrap well the food you put in the refrigerator – the water in the products increases the humidity inside the refrigerator, which makes the cooling air higher, costing you more money. Also, cut inedible leaves from fruits and vegetables before putting them in the refrigerator. These leaves also contain a good amount of water.
- Wrap well the products that you put in the freezer – this helps reduce the deposition of ice. Too much ice makes it difficult to keep a low temperature in the freezer.
- Keep your freezer full – the freezer works more efficiently when it is full and if there is not much air inside. That is why it is better to pack the products as close as possible inside the freezer.
- Do not saturate your refrigerator – unlike the freezer, the refrigerator should not be completely full, because it works more efficiently when there is some air around the food. But it is also not a good idea to keep the refrigerator “empty” because cold air escapes quickly each time the door is opened. Find an intermediate.
- Thaw food in the refrigerator – It will take a little longer to defrost, but it will help cool the refrigerator and thus reduce energy use. It is worth doing if you can plan ahead and have enough time to thaw the food.
- Defrosting the freezer regularly – it is important because the ice buildup greatly increases the amount of energy needed to keep the engine running. You should do it before the ice is 0.5 cm (the energy consumption from the 0.5 cm ice accumulation is 30% higher than without the ice).
- Test the door seals of the refrigerator – for example, at night you can put a lamp on and when you close the door check if there is no light anywhere from outside the refrigerator. If the seals are destroyed, more heat enters the interior of the refrigerator.
- Clean the condenser of the refrigerator regularly – this way the refrigerator will work more efficiently.
What to do when we buy a refrigerator?
If you are thinking about buying a new refrigerator there are some things you should consider to save your money:
- Choose a refrigerator with high energy efficiency – the optimal choice is a refrigerator with energy efficiency class A ++. You can consume up to 40% less energy than in low-class refrigerators. You can also consider choosing a first class A +++, but first, examine if the purchase price is not too high in relation to the lower energy consumption (sometimes the refrigerator has to work for more than 10 years before this investment is returned).
- Buy a refrigerator with Automatic Moisture Control System – this way you will not have to worry about manually defrosting the refrigerator. As I mentioned before, the thicker the ice sheet, the higher the energy consumption.
- If you need a large amount of space in the refrigerator? Consider buying a large refrigerator – energy is more efficient if we buy a large refrigerator instead of two smaller ones.
- If you are thinking of buying a refrigerator and freezer, buy the two in one – similar as in the previous case, this way you can save on energy consumption.
- Do not overdo the size and buy the refrigerator you really need – the best way to buy a good size refrigerator is to adjust it to the number of people living in the house. This will avoid a situation where the refrigerator is empty. If you do not know what size to choose, you can apply these general rules:
- If you live alone, buy a refrigerator of approximately 100 liters.
- If you live with more people, the refrigerator should be approximately 50-60 liters for each person living in the house.
- Put the refrigerator in a cool place – once you buy a refrigerator, look for the right place, preferably fresh. It should be away from the stove, the heating, the dishwasher, and direct sunlight. The reduction in temperature around the refrigerator by just 1 degree Celsius is up to 5% less energy consumption. So, it’s good to plan it well.