While insulating your loft and walls are among the most positive steps you can take as a homeowner to save energy, it’s important to not to forget about other ways you can reduce your bills too.
Household appliances are one such area, and can make a huge dent in your annual electricity bill if not properly managed.
Over the next few weeks we’re going to be focusing on tips and tricks to reducing the running costs of the most common appliances around. This week we’re focusing on the humble fridge and freezer- because they are plugged in 24 hours, 7 days a week, they can be a huge energy consumer.
• As bizarre as it sounds, pulling your fridge forwards a few inches can save you cash. If your fridge is pushed back as far as possible, pulling it forward one inch can reduce its energy usage by as much as 40%, and you’ll barely notice the difference in your floor usage.
• Don’t leave the door open when taking food out. The longer it’s open, the more cold air escapes, meaning the more energy is needed to reduce the temperature again once the door is closed.
• Check the condenser coils at the back of the fridge for dust – this will reduce their efficiency, so if they are dusty, turn the fridge-freezer off and give them a quick clean.
• Keep it defrosted at all times. With freezers, it’s beneficial to de-frost on a regular basis. If it is frosting up too quickly, check the door seal. Here’s a test: you can fold a newspaper and shut the door on it. If the paper falls out, there’s a faulty door seal and it will have to be replaced.
• Try to keep it as full as possible, without overcrowding. Your fridge or freezer will operate more efficiently the more it has inside it, because keeping air cold uses more energy than refrigerating food.
• Don’t put hot food in the fridge – it takes more energy to cool hot food. Rather leave your hot food out in a tub and wait for it cool first, then put it in the fridge.
• If you’re buying a new one, make sure you get an A+++, rather than an A+ fridge, and you could save at least £100 a year in running costs.
Image credit Ambro, via FreeDigitalPhotos.net