The following 5 tips can help you reduce your energy usage without the need to replace your current units.
To prevent warm air entering the refrigerator (causing your unit to work harder than necessary), don’t open your refrigerator door needlessly. Decide what you want to get out before you open it and remove several items at once.
Don’t overstock your fridge! Although it’s best to stock your freezer with food, don’t fill refrigerator baskets and shelves to the point that air circulation around food is blocked. This increases the strain placed on the refrigeration system to keep foods cool and increases energy usage.
Cool hot foods by blast chilling before placing in your refrigerator. NEVER put warm or hot food straight into the fridge or freezer- it will raise the temperature significantly and use more energy to pull temperature down, as well as having serious implications on food safety. Cover all liquids stored in the refrigerator. Besides stopping them picking up taints, this will stop them evaporating away and causing ice and condensation build-up.
By setting the running temperature specifically to suit the type of food stored in your fridge, you can make significant savings. Don’t run you refrigerator colder than you need it. All chilled food must be kept below 8°C in accordance with food safety legislation, with all commercial refrigerators set to a maximum of +5ºC to ensure this is met. If you are storing dairy items, these will need chilling to the usual manufacturers setting of +1/+4ºC. Meat should ideally be chilled to –2/+2ºC, whereas Wet Fish should be stored at -1/+1ºC. However if you are storing only salad or vegetable items, a temperature of around 6ºC will be best, whilst pastry items are ideally stored at +4/+6ºC. By setting the refrigerator to the correct temperature your energy usage should drop significantly.
Install your unit in the coolest part of your kitchen. Avoid placing the refrigerator near cooking equipment or in direct sunlight. If you do, you’re making the refrigerator’s compressor work harder than necessary to keep temperature. Allow adequate space above, behind and on the sides for free air circulation – at least 50 mm at the sides and 200 mm at the top and back but the more the better. Don’t cover your refrigerator with any material that will prevent air flowing around the cabinet sides.
For more information on energy efficiency, download our Energy Efficiency Green Paper today.