4 ways to make your Refrigerator more efficient
When you're mindful of maintaining all of your appliances, you'll improve their efficiency and avoid hefty repair bills. Keep in mind golden rules such as: reading the manual, regular cleanings and performing basic maintenance duties like replacing filters.
Try these quick and easy DIY hacks to increase your refrigerator efficiency:
1. Don't forget to check the back
The condenser coils behind your refrigerator keep the unit from getting too hot. When dust and debris build up behind your refrigerator, these mechanisms have to work harder to maintain air flow, which reduces energy efficiency and can lead to future issues with the appliance. Try to dust or vacuum the coils at least once a month to prevent any dust buildup. If a lot of grime has built up over time, a bristle brush will help remove the layers of dirt.
2. Fill the freezer more than the fridge
Your refrigerator is actually happiest when it's full. It requires less energy to maintain temperature when there are more things inside, and it can cool down at a much faster rate after the door is opened. It is a good rule of thumb is to pack your freezer with more than the fridge. The fridge needs more air circulation to work efficiently, so aim to keep it about three-quarters full.
3. Pay attention to temperature controls
To keep food from spoiling at the most cost-effective level, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends keeping your fridge at or below 40 degrees and the freezer at zero degrees. To check the temperature of your fridge, you can use an appliance thermometer, which is available at stores like Walmart, Target, Amazon, Home Depot and Lowes. You can also put a standard thermometer in a glass of water in the fridge, leaving it for 24 hours before checking the temperature. For the freezer, leave the thermometer between two frozen foods for about eight hours. Check temperatures regularly to make sure both are at their most effective degrees.
4. Use all compartments wisely
Never forget: an organized refrigerator is a more efficient one. Take advantage of the proper compartments for produce and cheeses, as the temperatures are more closely controlled in crispers and other drawers. Plus, when food is easy to find, you'll spend less time staring into an abyss of a refrigerator. The less time the door is open, the better your unit will maintain its cool temperature. Another tip is to store larger items on a lower shelf, as items on the top shelf can trap heat inside the unit and restrict air flow.
When you do have an issue with your fridge or other appliance and the DIY fixes aren't doing the trick, don't hesitate to call a professional. If you wait too long, the problem may result in an even more expensive repair or replacement, especially in the case of an old refrigerator. Plus, when you have a repair plan, you'll have help covering emergency costs.
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