Refrigeration

Fridges might be cool but using excess energy or spending extra money isn’t. Here are some quick tips for improving the efficiency of your fridge to save you money and power:

1. Give the back of the fridge a good clean

Because we usually don’t see the back of the fridge every day, dust can accumulate and obstruct the evaporator fan or coils, making your unit work harder than it needs to to keep your fridge cool. Regularly vacuuming around the back can help prevent this.

2. Find the right temperature

Just like the three bears, you want to get your fridge and freezer temperatures ‘just right’ According to CHOICE the correct temperature for a fridge should be below 4°C, and freezers around -18°C. This not only helps keep your food safe but can help stop you from using unnecessary electricity powering at a temp that’s hotter or colder than needed. Did you know running your fridge or freezer even just one degree colder can increase the cost by 2-4%? This can add up by the time the bill comes around.

3. Get the seal of approval

Checking your fridge seals is another quick and easy way to find out if you could be optimising your appliance. If you can put a $5 note between the fridge and the door then it’s probably time to upgrade your seals. You might be able to replace these yourself or call out a technician.

4. Defrosting your freezer

While most new freezers have an auto-defrost option, if your freezer doesn’t or the ice is building up thicker than 5mm then you should do a manual defrosting. Walls of ice not only take up valuable real estate in your freezer but also makes it work harder and chews into your electricity. You should aim to defrost your freezer at least once a year or more frequently if it’s prone to ice build-up. Check your owner’s manual for instructions on your specific model.

5. Can you skip the second fridge?

The garage drinks fridge is a staple in many Aussie houses but if you’re not taking full advantage of it, it can be unnecessary. When considering buying, or getting rid of, a second fridge you should think about whether you will use it. If you only need it occasionally for drinks or get-togethers, can you maximise space in your other fridge? Canstar estimates that a second fridge can cost as much as $440 a year.