Refrigerator Efficiency

Here are a Few Tips to Maximize Your Fridge's Energy Usage

How's your Refrigerator Efficiency?

It doesn't take much to make sure that your refrigerator is not only maximizing its energy usage, but also that you are maximizing it's ability to store food properly which in the long run could save you thousands of dollars.

Your refrigerator is designed to keep your perishables as fresh as possible for as long as possible, but ONLY if you use the features in the way they are meant to be used.

The features we are referring to are crispers, deli drawers, dairy caddies, soda dispensers. Each of these effect the way that your refrigerator distributes cold air. You may as well take advantage of what your refrigerator was meant to do.

Click here for Energy Star Refrigerator Reviews

  • Note: We've tried to make sure that the refrigerators highlighted on this page are Energy Star Compliant.

How Important is Refrigerator Efficiency?

In addition to the energy you'll save, by maximizing your refrigerator's efficiency, you'll also minimize the chance that you or a member of your family will accidentally ingest spoiled or rotten food.

Unfortunately however, many of the types of bacteria that cause serious cases of food bourne illnesses don't cause a noticeable change in the food.

7 Tips to Maximize Your Refrigerator Efficiency

Here are some of the more basic tips to practice every day. What we've learned from all the refrigerators in our Refrigerator Reviews section is it doesn't matter how expensive or inexpensive your refrigerator is as much as whether you are using the appliance properly:

  1. Leftovers: That Duck L'Orange may look appealing from last Saturday's big night out, but if it's been beyond 3-4 days, it's not worth the risk. Leftovers have multiple chances of housing serious bacteria as often they take HOURS to become refrigerated.

    Additionally, people tend to keep their leftovers WAY BEYOND the 'expiration' date. In most cases, this isn't a problem, but if you don't pay attention to it, it can be dangerous.

    • TIP: If you have trouble remembering where your leftovers came from, consider marking the lid with the date and possible more.

  2. Groceries: Anything you buy in the grocery store that needs to be refrigerated or frozen should be brought home immediately. Too much time passing can cause spoilage. Faster than you think.

  3. Dairy: Dairy is one of the more perishable items we keep in our fridge. For EGGS, it's best to store them in the back of the refrigerator. If not already marked, be sure to mark the DATE of purchase. Eggs will typically last about a month, but three weeks is ideal.

  4. Milk: should also be stored in the back of the refrigerator, where it's coldest -- this will also help maximize your refrigerator efficiency because once the milk cools down, it helps to cool down the rest of the refrigerator.

    If the milk is going bad too quickly, there are a number of ORGANIC brands that last for WEEKS instead of days. So, if you plan on keeping your milk a while, you may want to consider one of these brands.

  5. Meats, Poultry & Fish: Store all raw meats on the LOWER shelves of the fridge, unless of course you have a space that is DESIGNED for raw meats (some higher end models have this feature). You want to store them on the bottom to avoid having anything that drips out avoid landing on other food items which could potentially contaminate them.

    Pay special attention to expiration/sell by dates on your meats, poultry and fish. If you don't use them within a DAY OR TWO of purchasing them, be safe and freeze them instead (where they can last up to six months).

  6. Optimum Temperature: The optimum temperature for a refrigerator should be 38 degrees Fahrenheit. Most refrigerators have a built-in temperature gauge, but if yours is lacking, buy an appliance thermometer (available at most local hardware stores).

  7. Freezing: When freezing foods, be careful not to jam pack your freezer. If air can't circulate, then food can't freeze properly leading to freezer burn and ultimately, wasted food and a higher food bill. Lay each item flat until it's COMPLETELY FROZEN. Once frozen, you can store anywhere in the freezer where there is room (and you can stack the items if need be).

Refrigerator Efficiency Related Articles

Energy Star Refrigerator: If you have a refrigerator older than 1991, one of the easiest ways to make it more efficient really is to replace it with an Energy Star rated refrigerator.

Energy Efficient Refrigerators: What truly makes a refrigerator energy efficient? Take a look at this article to find out.

Energy Star Rating: Enough already with the Energy Star stuff, but what does it the rating really mean?

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