The refrigerator: Your home’s biggest energy hog

By Mark Eglington

Right behind your air conditioner, your fridge and freezer can be big guzzlers when it comes to energy consumption. Experts suggest that a traditional fridge eats up about 14 per cent of your electricity bill. Here are seven planet saving ideas from our friends at Liebherr that can both save you money and help protect the environment.

Location, location, location

Try to place your refrigerator away from heat sources such as an oven, cooktop or radiator. Avoid direct sunlight. Regardless of whether you have a freestanding or built- in appliance, always ensure that your refrigerator has sufficient ventilation. That way, the compressor won’t end up running continuously.

Avoid placing hot food in the refrigerator

Never put warm food in the refrigerator. This will heat up the interior, raise the temperature of stored foods and add to energy use. Allow food to cool down to room temperature in smaller containers. In temperate climates you have up to two hours before you need to put it in the refrigerator. In extremely hot conditions bacteria multiply rapidly. In this case you should transfer your leftovers to the fridge as soon as possible.

Defrost the freezer compartment

A thick layer of ice in the freezer compartment acts as insulation: The appliance then has to use more energy to cool the interior. We recommend that you regularly defrost your freezer. Appliances with Liebherr’s NoFrost technology do the work for you—they never need to be defrosted.

“Coldest” is not always best

The recommended interior temperature is 40OF for the refrigerator and 0OF for the freezer. Lowering the temperature by just one degree more will raise electricity use by about six per cent. An accurate temperature setting can directly save you money. For instance, Liebherr’s MagicEye control panel shows the precise temperature and allows accurate temperature setting.

Always close the door without delay

Every time the refrigerator door is opened, cold air escapes and warm ambient air enters. To compensate for the temperature increase in its interior, the refrigerator must then use energy to bring the temperature back down. Make sure that stored items do not prevent the door from closing properly. Our Liebherr refrigerators will give an acoustic signal when the door remains open for more than 180 seconds. Some Liebherr models use world-leading cooling technology to recirculate the cold air and dramatically reduce overall energy consumption.

Defrosting frozen food

When you need to defrost frozen food, place it in the refrigerator. This ensure that the food is carefully defrosted. It also has an energy-saving effect: Its presence cools down the refrigerator interior, reducing the amount of work that the compressor has to do.

Check door seals regularly

The rubber seal is used for insulation purposes. It prevents heat exchange between the ambient air and the refrigerator. Regularly check that the seal is fully intact and seals tightly. Should this not be the case, replace the seal immediately!

For over 15 years, Mark Eglington has been passionate about European-manufactured best- in-class appliances. By day he’s the President of Canadian-owned Euro-Line Appliances; by night he can be found entertaining friends and perfecting his cooking skills.

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