7 Ways to Make Your Refrigerator More Energy-Efficient

Woman looking for food in refrigerator

Major appliances account for nearly 25 percent of your home’s energy use, with refrigerators being the biggest culprit. Modern refrigerators are far more energy-efficient than old-school ice boxes, but as they say — there’s always room for improvement!

1. Allow dishes to cool before placing them in the refrigerator.

Let hot dishes cool for around an hour before placing them in the fridge. But be careful not to leave them out for too long, since bacteria can begin to grow on food after about two hours of sitting out.

2. Don’t keep the temperature too low.

Remember, the colder your refrigerator is the more energy it uses. Refrigerators should typically be kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit, while freezers are kept at 0 degrees.

3. Location, location, location!

Real estate isn’t the only place where this phrase matters. When deciding where to put your refrigerator, choose an area that’s away from your oven, stove top, and radiator.

4. Stay up-to-date with routine maintenance.

Dusty coils and air vents cause your refrigerator to work harder. Luckily, a quick swipe of the vacuum will eliminate any dust that’s lurking behind the unit.

5. Don’t be afraid to stock up.

The more food in your refrigerator, the less space there is to keep cool.

6. Know what you want before opening the door.

We’re all guilty of blindly staring into the refrigerator from one time to another, but try your best to know what you want before opening the fridge door and rummaging around.

7. Update the rubber seal.

That small rubber lip around your refrigerator door is more important than you think. If you want your food to stay cool and fresh, and your refrigerator to work efficiently, that seal needs to be tight.

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