Is Your Fridge Efficient?

A few minutes spent on basic refrigerator maintenance can trim your electric bill by $50 a year.

Here are some easy ways to ensure that your refrigerator is working at its most effective.

Test the Seal

1.    If you fridge won’t stay tightly shut, it may be that it’s overcrowded and your shelves just need some reorganizing. However, it may also be that the door gasket has deteriorated over the years, leaking warm air into the interior and forcing your compressor to work harder.

To check the seal, close a dollar bill in the door frame and tug it gently to see if it is held firmly in place. If it slides right out, contact your service provider about installing a new seal.

Check the temperature

2.     Keeping your fridge too cold is a waste of energy and can ruin your food. The ideal internal temperature is between 38 and 40 degrees F. To check, place an appliance thermometer in a glass of water on the middle shelf and let it stand for five to eight hours. If the reading isn’t in the ideal range, alter the temperature control and check again in another five to eight hours.

Check the Coils

3. Condenser coils tend to get dusty and covered in pet fur over time, making them less efficient. If the coils are on the back of your fridge, pull it away from the wall and unplug it. Turn it and clean the coils thoroughly with a sponge or vacuum.

If the coils are at the base of the fridge, move the unit to unplug it (or leave it place and flip the circuit breaker). Remove the coils with a wand attachment until clean. You may also need to use a condenser cleaning brush to reach coils farther back. Do this every three months.

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