Fridges are essential appliances in modern life, but not all refrigerators are created equal.
Energy rating stickers can help you in the search for the most energy efficient model on the market, but there are also ways to reduce the amount of power your fridge consumes when it's plugged in at home.
Keep the door closed
Every time you open your fridge door, it uses a little more power. That's because some of the cool air inside is replaced by warmer air from outside. To bring the temperature level back down, the fridge needs to work harder and draw extra power.
Try to avoid opening the door unless you need to. If you're preparing food, take out all the ingredients at once rather than separately.
Keep it well stocked
How full your fridge is can also affect how hard it has to work. If it's too empty, the air displacement is greater and your fridge has to work harder, and use more power, to cool things down. If it's too full, air movement is more limited, which damages the fridge's efficiency.
As a general rule, aim to keep your fridge around three quarters full for optimal cooling and energy efficiency.
Set the right temperature
If you have your fridge set too cold, you'll waste money on power. If you set it too high, then you'll waste money on spoiled food.
3°C as the optimal temperature for a fridge, and between -18°C and -20°C for a freezer.
Maintain your fridge
Many Australians plug in their fridges and keep them running until they stop, but there are a few simple ways you can extend its life and its efficiency.
The most obvious is to make sure the seals are working correctly. Over time, these can become brittle or crack, which allows cold air to escape. By replacing the seals when they're worn or damaged, you'll keep the cold air in and the warm air out.
It's also recommended to turn off your fridge for a short time every six months. This allows you to safely brush the condenser coils, which can attract dust. This layer of dust can cause your fridge to overheat and cause expensive damage if it's not removed regularly.
These simple checks can help reduce your energy bills immediately and also extend your fridge's working life, meaning you can put off an expensive purchase for another few years.