A refrigerator can use about 19 percent of a household’s electricity. To that end, Southern California Edison (SCE) is offering solutions to help manage energy usage and keep energy bills lower.
That old, inefficient refrigerator in the garage keeping a six-pack of soda cold can cost an extra $330 a year. Some electricity companies like SCE will pick up the unit at no charge, recycle it in an environmentally responsible manner, and may even pay you for upgrading your appliance. Rebates may also be available when upgrading to a new ENERGY STAR-qualified refrigerator.
Here are some general guidelines that will help every refrigerator run more efficiently, resulting in less energy consumed and lower electricity bills:
- To reduce strain on the refrigerator’s or freezer’s motor, position the unit away from a heat source such as an oven, dishwasher, or direct sunlight. Allow air to circulate around the condenser coils, keep the coils clean, and leave a space around the unit.
- Make sure the door seals are airtight. Test them by closing the door on a piece of paper, so that it is partly inside the refrigerator or freezer. If you can pull the paper out easily, the door’s seal should be checked.
- Keep the refrigerator between 35 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit and the freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit, and keep the doors open only as long as necessary.
- A full refrigerator runs more efficiently than an empty one. Keeping the fridge stocked with bottles of water will do the trick; empty freezers can be packed with bags of ice.
- Regularly defrost manual-defrost refrigerators and freezers; frost build-up increases the amount of energy needed to keep the motor running. Do not allow frost to build up more than one-quarter of an inch.
Source: SCE and AZoCleantech