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Cheap Electricity – Tips for Energy Efficient Refrigerator

May 7, 2014

One of the biggest energy hogs in your home is your refrigerator. According to the Department of Energy, a 16 cubic foot, frost free refrigerator consumes about 725 kilowatt hours (kWH) of electricity. Your oven consumes about 1200 kWh, but that only runs for less than an hour per day, and isn’t always used every day. Your refrigerator is always running, 24/7. Even with cheap electricity rates, your fridge could be eating a hole in your bank account. We’ll give you some tips to help cut energy costs for your refrigeration needs. Before implementing these tips, if your fridge is from before 2001, upgrading can start you off with up to a 40% energy savings.


  • Placement — Make sure your refrigerator is away from heat sources like ovens, heaters, direct sunlight, and dishwashers. The added heat makes your fridge work harder to stay cool.
  • Leftovers — After finishing a meal, if you have leftovers, let them cool to room temperature before placing them in the fridge. If they’re still warm, it will take more energy for the refrigerator to cool them down.
  • Doors — Keeping the doors on your fridge shut is the best way to avoid wasting electricity. Don’t linger while looking for a snack or leave the door open while sorting groceries to put away. If you have a water and ice dispenser built into the fridge, use it rather than opening the doors to get water or ice.
  • Temperature — Set your fridge to between 36° and 38°F and set your freezer between 0° and 5°F to ensure efficient cooling.
  • Organization — Keep your fridge organized to reduce the amount of time it takes to look for something. Fill up unused space with jugs of water, but don’t make it crammed. These will retain the cold temperatures and reduce the time your compressor needs to run. Keep stuff off the top of your fridge as this reduces the appliance’s ability to radiate its heat.
  • Cleaning and Maintenance — Keeping your refrigerator clean will improve its efficiency and prolong its life. Clean any spills and moisture inside the fridge to prevent mold and mildew. Through out any food that has or is about to spoil. Dusting the condenser coils behind your refrigerator will also greatly improve its effectiveness and life.


If you’re looking to replace your refrigerator, be sure to look into energy efficient Energy Star certified models. Energy Star places their label on appliances that are 20-30% more efficient than comparable models. This gives you the power to choose an efficient model that will more than make a return on the investment. Combined with cheap Texas electricity rates, energy efficient appliances will save you a lot of money.

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