Maintaining your refrigerator unit keeps your appliance running efficiently which saves you hundreds of dollars on your electric bills and on costly refrigerator repairs. A well maintained refrigerator uses less energy and has a longer lifespan. Here are 7 easy energy saving tips to keep your refrigerator and freezer running efficiently for years to come.
1. Check the Floor
Make sure the floor that your refrigerator unit stands on is level. An unlevel surface can cause the doors on the unit to not shut properly or tightly. The best way to make sure the floor is even is to use a carpenter’s level and place it on top of the refrigerator. If the surface is unlevel adjust the feet on the unit as necessary.
2. Check the Door Gaskets
The door gasket is the sealant around the refrigerator and freezer doors. It keeps the unit air tight and your appliance running efficiently. If the sealant is broken or cracked it can cause loss of cold air and higher monthly electric bills. Check the gaskets on both the refrigerator and freezer doors for cracks and tightness. To check the tightness of the sealant, place a dollar bill in the close of the refrigerator and freezer doors. If the dollar bill falls out or you can pull it out easily, then it’s time to replace the gaskets. To clean gaskets use a mild detergent and water, but never use bleach.
3. Clean the Condenser Coils
Dusty condenser coils can cause your refrigerator to work harder which equals bigger energy bills and a shorter lifespan of your appliance. Use a vacuum or broom to remove any dust and debris from the coils. It is recommended to clean the condenser coils 1 – 3 times per month. On most refrigerator units the condenser coils can be located at the bottom or in the back of the unit.
4. Clean the Drain Hole and Drip Pan
The drain hole and drip pan removes excess condensation from the refrigerator and freezer compartments. Locate the drain hole on your unit and remove any food particles or debris to prevent clogging. Then clean with mild detergent and water. The drain hole and drip pan should be checked and cleaned annually.
5. Change the Water Filter
If your unit makes ice or dispenses water, it has a water filter. Water filters should be replaced once every 6 months.
6. Get In and Get Out
Every time you open your refrigerator door 30 percent of its cooled air is lost. To keep your unit running cold and efficiently, do not keep the doors open longer than 3 minutes at a time.
7. Proper Temperature Settings
Keeping your appliance at it’s proper temperature settings helps your unit to use less energy and keeps your food fresher longer. Recommended temperature for your refrigerator should be set at 36 degrees to 38 degrees F. The freezer temperature should be set at 0 degrees to 5 degrees F.