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In addition to considering a newer model, keeping it cool, and reconsidering its location, below are some basic tips to help you keep energy costs down with your refrigerator and freezer.

Keep Up with Maintenance

The most basic step to maintaining your refrigerator is to keep it clean. If you need extra guidance for the steps for cleaning your unit, you can check out this list. Of course, cutting down on food waste will save you money on your food budget, too!

Another important maintenance issue is to make sure that your refrigerator or freezer door can completely seal. You can test your refrigerator door seals by closing the door over a dollar bill, leaving half inside the unit and half outside. If you can pull the bill out easily, you may need to either adjust the latch or replace the seal. You might want to periodically check door seals and gaskets to make sure there’s no air leakage. Gaskets can be lubricated with petroleum jelly to avoid cracking.

Another area that requires periodic maintenance is the condenser coils. Once or twice a year, you’ll want to pull your fridge out from the wall and vacuum or sweep off the coils. With clean coils, your unit will run for shorter periods of time. (Of course, some units have no-clean condensers.)

Many modern units include automatic defrost, but those that don’t require extra maintenance. Refrigerators and freezers that require manual defrosting can cost you extra energy to keep the motor running. A good rule of thumb is to defrost if the frost builds up more than ¼”.

Consider the Contents

You can help your refrigerator run more smoothly by overseeing its contents. A well-stocked fridge or freezer typically performs more efficiently than a nearly empty one. If you wait for hot foods to cool to room temperature before placing them in your unit, you’ll avoid using extra energy unnecessarily. You’ll also want to make sure to cover any liquids or wrap food items, because uncovered items release moisture, requiring the compressor to have to work harder to maintain the temperature.

One more thing you can do is to be conscientious about how long the door is left open while removing items. Part of this process might include discussing with family members the importance of deciding what you want before opening the door instead of standing there “shopping” for a snack with the door ajar.

One way you can help accommodate quick removal of items from your refrigerator or freezer is to label items clearly and keep them organized. You may even want to keep a chart on the outside with contents listed, so you can reduce the amount of time the door is open. You can download a free fridge inventory sheet from this website. As an alternative you could keep track of the contents online with an app, providing the added benefit of giving you a jump start on your grocery list!


D’Amico Electric Company

Since 1994, the D’Amico Electric Company has been offering electrical contracting services for industrial, commercial and residential buildings. From backup generator installation & ongoing maintenance to landscape/accent wiring and home theater systems, our experienced technicians are here to serve you. With our fleet of 10 trucks, we provide emergency electrical services 24 hours a day.

D’Amico Electric is licensed in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties, New York and all of Connecticut. Our founder is Anthony D’Amico, a licensed electrician since 1992, who is a member of the Westchester Licensed Electrical Contractors Association.

When you need electrical help, choose D’Amico. We bring safe & innovative electrical solutions to homes & businesses. For more information on how we can serve you, call D’Amico Electric today at (914) 241-6909.

making Strides Toward Energy-Efficient Appliance Use, Part 3