Refrigerator Savings Tips 
 
  • Look for a refrigerator with automatic moisture control. Models with this feature have been engineered to prevent moisture accumulation on the cabinet exterior without the addition of a heater. This is not the same thing as an "anti-sweat" heater. Models with an anti-sweat heater will consume 5% to 10% more energy than models without this feature. 
  • Don't keep your refrigerator or freezer too cold. Recommended temperatures are 37° to 40°F for the fresh food compartment of the refrigerator and 5°F for the freezer section. If you have a separate freezer for long-term storage, it should be kept at 0°F. 
  • Top freezer models are more energy efficient than side-by-side and bottom freezer models.
  • Features like icemakers and water dispensers, while convenient, will increase energy use. 
  • To check refrigerator temperature, place an appliance thermometer in a glass of water in the center of the refrigerator. Read it after 24 hours.
  • To check the freezer temperature, place a thermometer between frozen packages. Read it after 24 hours. 
  • Regularly defrost manual-defrost refrigerators and freezers; frost buildup decreases the energy efficiency of the unit. Don't allow frost to build up more than one-quarter of an inch. 
  • Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight. Test them by closing the door over a piece of paper or a dollar bill so it is half in and half out of the refrigerator. If you can pull the paper or bill out easily, the latch may need adjustment, the seal may need replacing, or you might consider buying a new unit. 
  • Cover liquids and wrap foods stored in the refrigerator. Uncovered foods release moisture and make the compressor work harder.
  • The Department of Energy estimates that the new standards for refrigerators and freezers, which will go into effect in 2014, will save the typical consumer more than $200 over the lifetime of the refrigerator, compared to refrigerators available on the market today. Learn more on the DOE website.  
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