Updated: July 6, 2020
Did you know that refrigerators can account for as much as 15 to 20 percent of your home’s electric bill?
That’s what I discovered the other day, when I used an online electric consumption calculator. I plugged in the appliances we have at home into the calculator and checked how close the results will be against our latest electricity bill.
Well it came pretty close to the actual cost we have.
Then, out of curiosity, I removed appliances one by one on the list and checked how the estimated bill would change.
That’s when I discovered that indeed, the refrigerator is one of the top three energy guzzlers in our house – the other two being the airconditioner and our lighting fixtures.
I’ve already pointed this out in my previous article on how to save electricity, and I’ve already provided some tips there on how to decrease the energy use in our refrigerators.
Nonetheless, I’d like to present them again here and furthermore add a few more tips. I hope that these can help you reduce your electric bills in some way or another.
- Make sure that you are using a refrigerator that is appropriately sized for your needs. If your fridge is too small, you may be overworking it. If it’s too large, then you’re potentially wasting energy and home space.
- Refrigerators with ice makers and through the door water dispensers tend to use more energy. It may seem cool to have one of those models but in a broader perspective, it’s not really a necessary feature.
- Frost free refrigerators and models with automatic defrosting features consume more electricity than the manual-defrost types. This is something you should consider when buying a new ref. If you think you’ll be too busy to do manual defrosting once the ice builds up by more than 1/4 inch thick, then it may be more economical for you to get the models with the advanced features.
- Give your unit some room to breathe, place it at least 4 inches away from the wall so as not to overwork the motor. Moreover, move it away from sources of heat such as the stove or oven.
- Do a test on the refrigerator seals. Insert a piece of paper or a bill along the edge and close the fridge. Check if you can easily pull it out. Repeat in several places. Change or fix your refrigerator seals if the suction has become weak or the seal has been damaged.
- Avoid putting hot or warm food inside the ref. Let it cool first before putting them inside.
- Remove frozen food in the freezer and let it thaw inside the fridge. This helps in the cooling. Do this instead of just putting it outside on the kitchen counter or using the microwave.
- Open the fridge as infrequently and briefly as possible. Properly stock the items inside and try to have an inventory list stuck on the door so you won’t waste so much time searching for what’s inside.
- When the refrigerator is almost empty, put in a few bottles of water to help store the cold. Conversely, internal air circulation is important for the fridge so avoid overloading it with stuff.
- Lastly, if your fridge is old, say over 10 years already, do consider getting a new one. Refrigerators nowadays have energy efficiency features and better performing motors that helps you in saving electricity.
You can check out the Watt Matters Consumption Calculator here.
Photo credit: Rich Anderson