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Energy Efficiency

Keep Your Fridge Humming

Follow these tips to help your refrigerator run more efficiently

The refrigerator is one of the home’s biggest energy hogs. But you can help it run more efficiently by:

Keeping it level. A fridge on an uneven floor can lean forward enough to prevent the door gasket from sealing tightly when the door is closed.

Checking gaskets. A refrigerator’s door gasket can wear out over time. If your door isn’t closing tightly, replace the gasket.

Filling it up. A full refrigerator and freezer work more efficiently than a half-empty one. If you don’t have enough food and beverages in the refrigerator, fill it with jugs of water until about two-thirds of the empty space is taken. Same goes for the freezer: Pack bags full of ice and scatter them around in the freezer so it’s at least three-quarters full.

Cooling food before refrigerating it. Putting hot food into a refrigerator or freezer forces the unit to adjust temperature to compensate for the heat.

Covering food before storing it in the fridge. Uncovered food and liquids release moisture and force the compressor to work harder.

Moving it out of sunlight and away from the oven. A fridge has to work harder to keep everything cool when the outside of it is exposed to heat.

Leaving it some breathing room. So it can properly ventilate, the top and sides of a refrigerator need clearance between walls and cabinets around them.

Cleaning it. Regularly wipe dust, dirt and cobwebs from the coils behind or under it.