Keeping refrigerators at their optimum temperature can help cut down on energy waste.

Photograph by Huw Jones/Photolibrary

Usage Tips

  • 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.

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