Refrigerator maintenance requires only a small investment of time and money, but it can potentially save you lots on energy bills. It helps to keep your food fresher and at the proper temperature, meaning less spoilage and waste. But maybe the best part about keeping your appliances well-maintained is that it extends their life and significantly reduces the frequency of equipment failure.
Why Your Refrigerator Guzzles Energy
A refrigerator and freezer need to keep running 24 hours a day to keep food at the right temperature. The required fans, coils, condensers and moving parts make it a power hog. In fact, it uses about 13 percent of all the energy consumed by most homes. Certain practices when storing food can make it work even harder, driving up energy use. Here is a look at how you can save:
Tips for Effective Refrigerator Maintenance
- Fill it Up. The fuller your freezer and refrigerator are, the more efficiently they run. Keeping the fridge well loaded also lets you keep more food fresh and cold. If you experience a power outage and your refrigerator and freezer are full, your food will stay safe for twice as long than if it was half full. Just make sure that you leave room for air to circulate.
- Keep it Away from Heat. This sounds logical, but the number of refrigerators that are positioned next to stoves, heaters or large windows is surprising. That can cost you plenty, because for every degree above 70 your kitchen is, your refrigerator will use 2.5 percent more energy.
- Keep it Sealed. Check the seals and gaskets around your refrigerator and freezer regularly. They deteriorate with age, and if they are dirty, the seals simply don’t work. You can test how tight the seal is by shutting the door on a single piece of paper. If you can pull the paper out without pulling hard, you know your seal needs attention. Though you will have to pay a refrigerator repair person to do the job, it is well worth the price. Damaged seals and gaskets let cold air seep out, which adds significantly to your energy costs.
- Clean the Coils. Dust and grime cause the coils on the back and underside of your refrigerator to become inefficient. By vacuuming them every four or five months, you can reduce the amount of energy used by as much as 6 percent.
- Cool Your Food. Most food can safely be left on the counter to cool for up to two hours. Do this with hot food before putting it into your refrigerator for storage. If foods are close to room temperature, your refrigerator won’t have to work as hard to chill them.
- Use Glass. Glass storage containers are the best conductors of cold, keeping the food at a cooler temperature for a longer period.
- Cover Food. When food is not covered, it can release moisture into the interior of your freezer or refrigerator, making the compressor work harder and use more energy.
By following these six tips, you can keep your refrigerator-freezer operating with peak efficiency. Regular refrigerator maintenance will also save you money on your energy and grocery bills. Contact Complete Appliance Repair of Salt Lake City for all of your appliance needs, including regular refrigerator maintenance.