How to Reduce Refrigerator Energy Consumption


Refrigerators have become invaluable in the modern home; however, they can also vast energy consumers as they continuously run to maintain their frigid temperatures. While newer and more economical options are being produced, their high cost makes them inaccessible to many individuals. However, with a few easy adjustments, an older refrigerator can be made more efficient. 

First, consider doing some fridge maintenance. Make sure the condenser coils (located either in the back or underneath the fridge)are clean so they can work easily to cool the fridge. Food and dust can quickly build up around these coils, making them struggle to cool the fridge. How are the door seals? Poor seals let cold air out, causing the refrigerator to work harder maintaining a cool temperature. Finally, consider defrosting the fridge, especially if you live in a humid climate where frost can build up. Frost build up can cause the refrigerator or work harder to maintain consistent temperatures. Of course, this is only for older appliances as most new refrigerators and freezers are self-defrosting. 

Once you have done some maintenance on the fridge, think about some reorganization. If your fridge is well organized, you can minimize time with the door opening quickly getting what you need. Double check whether certain condiments need to be kept in the fridge at all, saving you time and space! Additionally, keeping your refrigerator well stocked helps maintain a cooler temperature as the items help maintain a balanced temperature, reducing the amount of air needed to keep cool. However, remember that air circulation is still critical so don’t overfill! While discussing temperatures, make sure your fridge isn’t set at a temperature that is lower than necessary as this will cause your fridge to work unnecessarily hard. If your fridge doesn’t have a temperature gauge, they are easy to pick up at a hardware store. Finally, if possible, organize your kitchen so that the fridge is out of direct sunlight, away from the stove or dishwater, or any other heat source that could cause your fridge to work harder to keep cool. An inch or more of clearance on each side of the refrigerator also allows for better ventilation. 

Once you have done these easy steps, your old fridge can be running more efficiently than ever which not only saves resources but saves your money. With such a necessary part of the modern home, keep its cost low so that you don’t have to pay extra to keep your food temperatures low.