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How to Save Money on Your Energy Bill with Better Refrigerator Habits

The refrigerator is the most utilized appliance in the modern kitchen, but it is also likely the biggest drain on your wallet in terms of energy costs. Following the air conditioner, refrigerators use up more energy in the average home than anything else. Here are some tips for saving money on your energy bill with better fridge habits and key upgrades.

The Costs of Refrigerator Inefficiency

Unlike some household appliances, a household refrigerator must run 24 hours a day to keep everything cool and preserved. The average modern refrigerator uses about 180 watts of power, which adds up to about $160 per year. Many homeowners have reported saving significantly in energy costs each year after upgrading to a new refrigerator, with a payback time of about 2.5 years. The U.S. Department of Energy has an “Estimating Appliance and Home Electronic Energy Use” tool to give you a sense of where your home may be less than efficient.

Change your Fridge Use Habits

Not only are outdated refrigerators to blame for high energy bills, but also your family’s refrigerator habits. You may not even have to replace your old refrigerator if you change the way that you use it.

Clean the coils on the back of the refrigerator on a regular basis to relieve the compressor from excess heat. It also helps to cover your food before storing it inside the refrigerator because covered food makes the compressor work less hard. You definitely need to break the habit of holding the refrigerator door open while trying to decide what to eat. This causes the food inside to warm up enough that the compressor has to kick on again to cool it back off.

If you have a small family, choose an appropriately sized fridge so that you’re not cooling space unnecessarily. The food compartments should be between 37 degrees and 40 degrees. Not only will a fridge that’s too cold waste energy, but it can also ruin food that you have stored inside. Other tips include keeping your fridge well-stocked to help regulate internal temperature and refraining from putting hot items into the refrigerator until they have fully cooled off on a counter.

Budget-Friendly & Eco-Friendly Refrigerators

Once you’ve determined which bad habits you and your family need to break while using the refrigerator, it may be time to look into an upgrade. New refrigerators are far more efficient than older models, so the best way to cut your energy consumption is to buy a new one.

Compared to an old fridge from the 1980s, you’ll see around a 75 percent reduction in energy usage after you upgrade. This is definitely something to consider if your refrigerator is currently more than 15 years old. When shopping for a new fridge, look at EnergyStar models, CEE Tier 3 models, smaller refrigerators with top-freezers, and skip the ice maker and ice dispenser features.

Energy Efficient Plumbing Supplies

But to really tackle your energy losses and make the best choices for your wallet and the environment, you may need to upgrade more than just your refrigerator. For example, it’s important to check the seals around the door of your fridge to make sure they haven’t become torn or warped. Damaged seals can reduce the efficiency of a refrigerator that is otherwise working well.

Central Plumbing Specialties is the best choice for many types of plumbing and heating supplies, including pumps, faucets, and HVAC equipment. Our five Grand Central Showrooms feature fine decorative plumbing fixtures and hardware to complement your new refrigerator in beautiful and functional ways. All of these upgrades involve an initial investment, but you will soon see a significant return on those investments when your monthly energy bills arrive.

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