Photograph by Huw Jones/Photolibrary
- Don't keep your fridge too cold. Refrigerators should be kept between 37 and 40 degrees and freezers at 5 degrees. Colder temperatures waste energy. To test the temperature, leave an appliance thermometer in a glass of water in the middle shelf for 24 hours. In the freezer, place a thermometer among packs of frozen food.
- Clean the coils annually.
- Cover food and drink to avoid evaporation in the fridge, which can force the compressor to work harder.
- Keep your freezer filled. Frozen blocks of food keep freezer temperatures more stable.
- Don't clutter the fridge top. Clutter can hamper the compressor's proper air circulation.
- Don't put your refrigerator in direct sunlight or next to an oven or dishwasher.
- Check the door seals. They should be able to hold a piece of paper in place.
- Defrost the freezer regularly and avoid frost build-ups of more than a quarter-inch.
More Buying Guides
Green Living Video
Find out with our footprint calculator, then pledge to cut it!
The Great Energy Challenge
An initiative to help you understand our current energy situation.
See how you measure up against others, and how changes at home could do tons to protect the planet.
Special Ad Section
The World's Water
NG's new Change the Course campaign launches. When individuals pledge to use less water in their own lives, our partners carry out restoration work in the Colorado River Basin.
A special series on how grabbing water from poor people and future generations threatens global food security, environmental sustainability, and local cultures.