How to improve the energy efficiency of your fridge

Wanting to improve the energy efficiency level of your refrigeration appliance but not sure how? Perhaps you have received a hefty electricity bill or maybe you are just wanting to be proactive and ensure you are achieving the most out of your appliance? Either way, take a look at our recommendations on how to improve the energy efficiency of your fridge. 


Allow your food to cool before storing it in the fridge 

Avoid placing any hot food into the fridge, instead allow it to cool down to room temperature first (be mindful of how long you are leaving your food out though for food safety reasons). Why? Well even that little bit of additional heat forces your fridge to work harder to avoid that heat affecting the overall temperature of the fridge. Another factor to consider is to ensure that your food is properly protected (in food wrapping or within a container) as this too can assist in keeping some of the heat contained.


Don’t store your fridge near high heat sources

The fridge compressor will kick into overdrive if it is situated near sources of heat. Not only will this result in your fridge having to work harder, it will also consume a higher amount of energy than needed and potentially may even shorten the total life span of the appliance. In order to avoid this issue entirely, it is quite simple, just arrange your kitchen in a way so that the refrigerator is kept in a position away from the oven / stove / dishwasher (or any other appliance which may omit heat, including a heating vent). Furthermore, try and keep the fridge out of a spot which gets direct sunlight for the same reason. 


Organise your fridge (so you spend less time searching for food)

Every time you open your fridge, cold air escapes and room temperature air enters, which as a result means that your fridge has to work that extra bit harder to regulate the temperature. In order to shorten the time spent with the fridge door open, the best way to do so is to organise your fridge so that every item / food category has a designated area. By doing so, this will reduce the time spent searching throughout the fridge. 


When organising your fridge keep the following food safety tips in mind: meat (raw food) should always be kept on the bottom shelf to reduce the risk of meat juices / liquids from spilling over and contaminating other food items. Another tip is to place all dairy together (butter / cheese / yoghurt) and keep your milk and drinks in the fridge door for easy access. 


Routine temperature checks

Not only are routine temperature checks important for food safety reasons, it is also a great way to monitor the health of the fridge. A fridge should sit below 4 degrees (celsius) in order to be considered as safe and within the FSANZ (Food Standards Australia New Zealand) regulations. Most new fridges have a ‘smart tech’ feature which allows you to monitor and check the temperature of the fridge via an app on your mobile phone, which eliminates the need to open the fridge door (and allow cold air to escape as we explained earlier). If your fridge is running above 4 degrees even after you have set it to the correct temperature, then it would be best to contact your local refrigeration services Auckland who will be able to diagnose what the issue is. 


Reduce frost accumulation 

Depending on the year and make of your fridge, it may need to be manually defrosted. A buildup of frost can form on the coils that are located within the freezer which forces the appliance to work overtime. If this build-up is not defrosted regularly, not only does it make the machine work harder (and therefore consumer a higher amount of energy) but it also can affect the health and lifespan of the appliance. 


If you live within an area that has a hot and humid climate and the refrigerator is situated in an area that does not have air conditioning, it is even more so vital that routine defrosting occurs. 


Does your fridge have an energy saver mode?

If you have a relatively new fridge it may be worthwhile to check whether it has an energy saver mode. Many new fridges have been designed with a built in feature that allows the fridge to operate whilst using a lower consumption of energy.


Check the rubber seal and coils 

One of the first places to look when it comes to reducing your electricity bill and implementing energy efficient practices is to check the seal of your refrigerator. This seal (also referred to as a gasket) protects any unwanted air seeping into the fridge as well as preventing any cold air from escaping. The fridge seal / gasket can be subjected to normal wear and tear over time which is why it should be inspected every few years. 


If you are experiencing any issues or need assistance with your refrigeration appliance, reach out to the Auckland refrigeration experts, Bens Refrigeration. Bens Refrigeration are the leaders in heating and cooling and cover all aspects of refrigeration; commercial refrigeration Auckland, Auckland Industrial refrigeration and domestic refrigeration

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