How can we save electricity in the refrigerator?
Does it use less energy when full?
Will I save money by turning off my fridge and freezer at night?
If you’re finding the best ways to save more in your monthly electricity bill, here is the right address. In this article, I’m going to guide you on how to use a fridge more efficiently and cost-effectively. Read on!
How much power does a fridge consume?
Find inside your fridge the compliance plate where there are all of its basic information, including the wattage to make some quick calculations.
The formula is:
Fridge’s wattage x Hours of usage/day = Wh/day (but it’s usually converted into kWh/day) (1)
For example, mine is 150 watts and I use it averagely 10 hours/day, so the total energy it has consumed is 150 x 10 = 1500 Wh/day = 1.5 kWh/day.
Total cost = 1.5 kWh/day x 30 (days) x $0.25/kWh = $11.25/month
The calculator (1) isn’t 100% accurate because there are, in reality, many elements that make your fridge not use its rated wattage.
For instance, when there are some faults happened to make it work harder than usual. Instead of 10 hours/day as noted above, it now has to works up to 15 or 20 hours, implying for extra usage and extra power consumption.
So, what affects a fridge’s power usage?
Well, here they are:
Condition: A fridge will work less efficiently if its seals are in poor condition
Age: Old fridges will eat up more power than the new, high start-rated models
Temperature set point: The fridge cooler might be kept cooler than needed if you set improper factory setting
Usage: The more the fridge’s door is opened and kept opening, the more the compressor to work. It’s the same as when your fridge is empty. Your fridge has to work harder because when you open it, there will be more “cool air” is replaced with “warm air”.
Season: Ambient temperature does effect your fridge’s power consumption. According to that, it will eat up more electricity during the summer months than in the winter.
Location: Similarly, if you place it in a warm or poorly ventilated place, it will consume more power
Size: The larger the capacity of a fridge, the more electricity it consumes
Type: A bar fridge is considered using 10x less than a commercial display model
The better calculator of a fridge’s power consumption
Use a power meter!
This device will help you measure your fridge’s power consumption rather than estimating. By plugging in your fridge for 24 hours, it will let you know how many kilowatts it has used, therefore, you’ll find a better way to save more.
How to cut the power consumption of a fridge?
Proper daily use
Consider if the current fridge’s capacity is suitable for your needs.
As mentioned, a too-large fridge’s volume will result in much empty space inside and more wasted power consumption. Change to a more suitable model will help you save more in the long term.
If you can’t afford to replace the current fridge to a more suitable one, using polystyrene blocks to fill all empty space is a good idea.
On the contrary, don’t overload it because air must be able to circulate.
When you have some leftover or pre-made food for the whole weeks to use, wait until they’re all cool down then carefully wrap up before storing them in your unit.
Try to open the fridge’s door as less as possible and keep it open as little time as possible.
Choose the right setting
A standard fridge normally includes two main compartments – the freezer and the cooler.
Each should be set in proper temperature for optimal usage. Namely, set the temperature of your freezer to -18 degrees C or -0.4 degrees F and your cooler to between 4 and 5 degrees C or 39 and 41 degrees F.
Know that every 1-degree C colder, the total energy consumption will be increased by 5% to 10%.
In case that your fridge features a boost function that allows the temperature to lower to -24 degrees C to frozen bigger food faster, remember to reset it back to -18 degrees C 2 or 3 hours later.
Find the right location
Keeping your fridge away from heat sources, such as direct sunlight, radiator, and oven is another way to help it consume less power.
It’d better be located in cool positions but don’t be below 10 degrees C.
Besides, ensure it is well ventilated to avoid overheating, unwanted breakdown or any issues leading to increased power consumption.
Always comply with the recommended distance away from the wall and avoid blocking any opening designed for this purpose. Also, take into consideration your fridge’s climate class as well. This feature is namely the room temperature it’s designed for.
|The letter it starts with||Your fridge’s climate class||The temperate range it’s designed for|
|“T”||Tropical||18 – 43|
|“ST”||Subtropical||18 – 38|
Check if the door seals are securely and correctly closed. When they’re not close anymore, repair it or replace it if the repairing cost is too costly.
Every three months, check the radiator positioned in the back of your fridge. Dust it if needed.
Regularly check if the fridge’s freezer is built up with ice, defrost it every 6 months or at least once/year. As a matter of fact is, every 2mm of ice equals 10% increased power consumption of your fridge.
If you have to go away from home for weeks to months, before going, remember to empty and clean it. Then turn the unit off and leave all doors open.
Aside from 4 golden tips I’ve mentioned above, reorganizing your fridge will shorten the amount of time you have to open it. The good news for you is, I posted a separate article about “How to organize a French door refrigerator” on my blog, read it to learn more.
I’m James J. Decker, a hobbyist and DIYs and also a big of home improvement and gardening tools. I immensely enjoy how these amazing products improve productivity and efficiency, and allow me to do jobs for which I would’ve otherwise needed professional help.