- Check and clean the door seals-these gaskets keep the cold air in your refrigerator. If they are not tight you are not only wasting energy but are them down with warm water and a sponge, or if they contain food residue or are sticky, use baking soda and water. Do not use harsh cleaning chemicals.
- Clean the condenser coils-these coils are either located in the back of the refrigerator or at the bottom, and should be cleaned twice a year. Coils -clogged with dirt, dust and animal fur will cost you in higher energy use and shorten the life of your refrigerator. Easy to clean with a coil cleaning brush and a vacuum. Note: Always unplug your refrigerator when cleaning coils.
- Keep the thermostat in the middle setting-temperatures are easily adjusted and you should periodically verify that the thermostat is set in the mid-point to keep the temperature between 38 and 42 degrees for the refrigerator and 0 to 10 degrees for the freezer.
- Clear foods away from vents- airflow will keep your freezer running more efficiently. Clear away food crumbs, twist ties and other items that can obstruct the ventilation.
- Keep your freezer full-when you open the freezer door, warm air enters, and full freezers allow less air to enter and don’t have to work as hard to keep cold.
- Change your light bulb when needed-no light means you leave the door open longer and warm up your refrigerator. A simple fix that saves you money.
- Let leftovers cool before refrigerating-warm food place in the refrigerator makes the condenser work harder.
- Consider replacing old refrigerators-refrigerators over 20 years old are not as energy efficient as the newer models. It’s easy to place these items in your garage or basement but remember that they can use up to 3 times the electricity. Check with your energy company to see if they have a rebate program for getting rid of your old refrigerator. Many of them will pick it up and pay you to get it out of your home.
Once of the most important items in your home needs minor care to keep it running efficiently. Make your refrigerator last a long time by keeping it in great running order.