10 simple tips to save electricity on your energy slurping fridge

With electricity costs soaring we’re all looking for ways to cut down on energy consumption, without ending up like cavemen. One of the most power hungry appliances in your kitchen is the refrigerator. But as we actually do need food to survive, here are a few simple things you could do to cut down on your fridge’s electricity costs.

1. Placement is key

The first thing you could do to reduce the amount of energy your fridge uses, is place it in a cool spot. If you place it somewhere where it’s constantly in direct sunlight or next to your oven, your fridge will have to work harder. On the other hand that doesn’t mean you should put the appliance in the freezing cold. Check the climate class of your fridge to determine what temperature it was designed to operate in. If the surrounding area is lower than that, it will work less efficiently.

Something else you should take into account when finding a spot for your refrigerator is that it has enough space to ventilate. You want about 6 cm of space behind your fridge to make sure it doesn’t overheat and uses more energy to cool down. Placing your fridge directly against the wall could eventually also lead to it just downright breaking down.

2. It’s not a freezer

Now that we’ve got the outside temperature sorted, you should also take a look at how cold your fridge is on the inside. You really don’t have to go lower than 3 to 5 degrees celsius. It’s a fridge, not a freezer. Going unnecessarily low uses up electricity for really no good reason at all.

3. Cleanliness is next to godliness (and saves money)

A lot of things can cause your fridge to work less efficiently and one of those things is dust. If you’re able to (and you should, because you left enough space free behind the appliance), try to keep the back of your fridge dust free. Accumulated dust could make it up to 30 percent less efficient, according to some. We’re not sure about the percentage, but going dustfree definitely helps.

4. Marie Kondo that sh*t

Something you might not think of when trying to reduce power consumption is organization. Well organizing your fridge could help in a few different ways. First of all if your fridge is organized, you’ll be able to find things a lot quicker. That means not having to go on a quest with the fridge door open, while you basically throw away money.

Another thing that’s important here is to not overfill the appliance. Air must still be able to circulate and when you organize and fold things neatly, they tend to take up less space.

an organized fridge saves money
An organized fridge saves money

5. Personal defrost station

When defrosting meat and other products, use your fridge as your personal defrost station. Especially in the case of meat and fish, it could help you prevent food spoilage if you tend to defrost things on the counter. Some people prefer defrosting in the microwave, but that just adds to your electricity bills. And in some cases the microwave makes your meat less succulent.

Oh yes but we were talking about saving electricity on your energy slurping fridge. Well the frozen meat temporarily functions as a cooling element, so your fridge doesn’t have to work as hard.

6. No hot headed leftovers

As you might have gathered from the last point, it’s great to put cold things in your fridge. By deduction putting hot things in there should be bad, right? Yes exactly. So if you have hot dinner leftovers you want to store for the next day, wait until they’re cooled down before putting them in the fridge. Wrap them up with clingfilm to prevent them from drying out and from creating unnecessary condensation, which (you guessed it) reduces your fridge’s efficiency.

7. Stuff should stay locked up

Something that might sneakily be siphoning away your hard earned cash, is your refrigerator door. If it doesn’t close correctly, the appliance will have to step it up to keep cooling your food. And we’re not just talking about leaving the door open by accident. Sometimes the door seals get damaged. If that’s the case it might seem like the door is completely closed, but it’s still letting air in and out. So check the seals and repair them if necessary.

8. Your fridge also deserves a vacation

If you’re going to be away for an extended period of time, you know you don’t really have to keep your fridge on. So empty it completely, give it a good cleanse, and unplug it to save electricity. We’re not saying throw your food away. Eat it, bring it along, or give it to hungry friends. Trust us, you don’t want to come back to food that’s been in there unattended for weeks.

9. Defrost freezer compartment

If your refrigerator has a freezer compartment, you’ll want to defrost it when there’s more than about 3mm of ice inside. But why? A freezer should freeze, doesn’t the ice help? No unfortunately that’s not how it works. The icy buildop makes the freezer less efficient and increases power consumption by as much as 10 percent for every 2mm. If you really don’t want to defrost, you could go for a freezer with a No Frost feature. They are more expensive though.

10. If possible: get a more energy-efficient fridge

We know this is a very obvious one and we don’t all have extra money lying around to get new appliances. But when you can, going for an energy-efficient refrigerator is a good way to cut down on costs in the long run.

Ilona Braam

Ilona is a Digital Media Design graduate, content writer/creator and a whole bunch of other things. A few words that would describe her are jolly, creative, nerdy, curious and a bit dark.