Keep your refrigerator or freezer at
the following temperatures: 37-40°F for the fresh food compartment of
the refrigerator, 0-5°F for the freezer section. Use a thermometer to
check inside temperatures.
Regularly defrost manual-defrost
refrigerators and freezers; don't allow frost to build up more than 1/4
Make sure your refrigerator and
freezer door seals are airtight. Check the seal on door gaskets
periodically by closing the door on a dollar bill. If it pulls out
easily, you may need a new gasket.
Keep the doors closed as much as
possible and make sure they are closed tightly.
To ensure proper cooling of its
contents, don't crowd food items. Too many dishes obstruct air
Cover liquids and wrap foods stored
in the refrigerator. Uncovered foods release moisture and make the
compressor work harder.
Replace paper wrappings on food items
with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Paper is an insulator.
Consider turning off the butter
conditioner since it is a little heater inside your refrigerator.
Experiment with the "energy saver"
switch in your refrigerator - it allows you to adjust the heating coil
under the "skin" of the refrigerator (the purpose of the heating coils
is to prevent condensation on your refrigerator).
Placement of the refrigerator is very
important. Direct sunlight and close contact with hot appliances will
make the compressor work harder. More importantly, heat from the
compressor and condensing coil must be able to escape freely, or it will
cause the same problem. Don't suffocate the refrigerator by enclosing it
tightly in cabinets or against the wall. The proper breathing space will
vary depending on the location of the coils and compressor on each
model--something important to know before the cabinets are redesigned.
Regularly brush off or vacuum the
refrigerator coils on the back or bottom of the unit.
Because most refrigerators reject
heat from the bottom and/or back, they need adequate clearance to allow
sufficient airflow. While no specific studies have been done to
calculate the optimum clearance space, one general rule-of-thumb is to
double the space recommended by manufacturers for refrigerator
installation. Another rule-of-thumb is to allow 2 inches of air flow
around the refrigerator.
Don't keep that old,
inefficient fridge running day and night in the garage for those few
occasions when you need extra refreshments. A 15-year-old refrigerator
could cost $100-$150 per year.