Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Energy Saving Tips - Refrigerator/Freezer

fridgePhoto credit: Frinkster

At the end of every month, I dread receiving a bill from an electric company.  The amount we are paying for electricity is simply horrifying.  

One of the biggest reasons for our high electricity bill is that a coin-operated dryer in our apartment complex is somehow hooked up to our unit.  Off course, I am not happy about this arrangement, but we found out about it after we moved in.... :(

Unfortunately, we cannot prevent our neighbors from using the dryer :), so we are trying everything else we can to reduce our electricity bill.  

Today, I am going to write about how to save energy on refrigerators & freezers.  

The energy use of refrigerators & freezers is among the largest energy consumers in the home - approx. 500 kWh (for a newer Energy Star Model) per year.  At $.25/kWh (a rate in Hawaii (Oahu)  for Jan 09), a monthly cost is about $10.42.  WOW!

Here are 10 tips to save energy on Refrigerator and Freezer: 

1.  Prevent a Door Leak - check the door seals by putting a bight flashlight inside the refrigerator (try every shelf).  If you see the light through the crack, you have a door leak.  You may need to install new seals - check out how.  I am thinking of adding a see-through vinyl curtain to a refrigerator.  I will upload a picture when I do it. 

2.  Maintain Temperature for the refrigerator compartment at 36 to 38 degrees & for the freezer compartment at 0 to 5 degrees.  

3.  Place the Refrigerator at a Cooler and Well-Ventilated Location & away from heating appliances (e.g., oven, dishwasher etc.). 

4.  Clean the Condenser Coils - you can find them in the back or bottom of the refrigerator.  Be sure to unplug the refrigerator before cleaning. 

5.  Pack the Freezer Compartment Full.  If you have empty space, place bottles of water.  

6.  Not Overfill the Refrigerator Compartment to allow cold air to freely circulate. 
7.  Cover Foods (esp. liquids) - moisture increase the energy consumption.  

8.  Thaw Foods in the Refrigerator Overnight - Help cool the refrigerator.  Menu planning has made it easier for me achieve this.  

9.  Cool Hot Foods before putting them in the refrigerator or freezer. 

10. Keep the Doors Closed as much as possible.  Labeling foods in the freezer helps a lot. 

Do you have any tips for saving energy on refrigerator/freezer?  Please let me know. 


Abigail's_Mommy said...

Wow! That's not right about the dryer. Have you talked to your landloard about it?

Coco said...

Thank you for your concern, Abigail's Mommy. Is it outrageous? I did talk to our landlord & he deducts some small amount from our rent as reimbursement (for some reason, he calls it "allowance"). In fact, I talked to & wrote him letters so many times without going anywhere, I got quite sick of it & accepted my defeat.

Victor Wetherbee said...

I understand your pain, Coco. It's truly horrific to see your electricity bills go sky high, even though you think that you're doing well. But you can't do anything due to that coin-operated dryer wired to your place. And you shouldn't admit defeat when you're doing things right, since deducting a small amount from your bill won't cut it.

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