Appliance expert on how to make fridges & freezers efficient

Money saving: Expert reveals freezer tip

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This month’s energy bill is set to be the most expensive yet, so it’s a good time to check the appliances in your home are working as efficiently as possible. Fridges and freezers run constantly, and Omar Idrissi, a specialist at ADK Kooling has shared his tips to make sure you’re not paying more than you need to keep your food cold and frozen. 

Refrigerator appliances have doubled in energy consumption over the past 40 years, and even though advancing technology is helping to make them more energy efficient they still tend to use around 20 percent of all household electricity usage. 

To minimise the amount of energy being used and costing you, it helps to know how to use them effectively. 

Omar said: “Our fridges run for 24 hours a day, every day, making them one of the most costly appliances in our homes.

“With energy bills on the rise, households up and down the country are looking for savvy ways to save money and the first place we recommend to look is their fridge and freezers.” 

The expert provided several do’s and don’ts to make sure the appliances are energy efficient. 

Do’s 

1. “Make sure fridge feet levels are even,” he said. “If there is a tilt the coolant in your fridge can pool in the pipes, making the pump work harder and making the refrigerator less efficient. You may not even realise it, but a tilted fridge could mean that your refrigerator is using more energy than it needs to.

2. “Do allow a gap for ventilation,” Omar remarked. “Make sure that your refrigerator can breathe. Without proper ventilation, you can damage the fridge and cause it to consume more energy. 

“You’ll need at least a quarter-inch gap for ventilation on the sides of the refrigerator as well as one inch on the back and top.” 

3. “Do check the fridge drain,” he added. “Over time, debris can accumulate inside your fridge freezer and end up blocking the drain. This will cause the water to overflow from the gutter and trickle into your fridge. 

“If left untreated the problem can become so bad that it can destroy your fridge and damage all of the food inside it.” 

Don’ts 

1. “Don’t put your fridge freezer in a garage or shed,” Omar said. “Most modern fridge freezers now come with a built-in ambient temperature sensor. 

“Ambient temperature is usually the room temperature or the temperature of the air surrounding equipment under consideration such as a commercial fridge or freezer. 

“When using a refrigerator where the temperature is not maintained, the ambient temperature can affect the refrigerator’s performance. 

“If placed in an outdoor area such as a shed or garage in the winter, and the temperature falls below 4°c the freezer will stop working,” he continued. 

2. “Don’t overfill your fridge freezer,” the expert commented. “If you fill it up, the air won’t flow through the unit and some contents may not stay chilled. This could lead to food spoilage or food poisoning and can be constantly. 

“For best results, your appliance should be well-stocked without being too full.” 

3. “Don’t assume expensive fridges work better,” he said. “You shouldn’t assume that a pricer fridge freezer means a better one. 

“Price is no indicator of performance, and you can pay premium prices and still get a mediocre fridge. 

“If the performance of your fridge freezer is poor you may find yourself replacing prematurely spoiled food and paying excessive energy bills,” Omar explained. 

Other tips: 

A fridge should ideally be kept at a temperature of about three to five degrees whilst your freezer should be set around -18 degrees.

These temperatures allow the fridge and/or freezer to slow down the growth of bacteria, making sure your favourite food is kept fresh without using unnecessary amounts of additional energy. 

Just try not to open the door too often as it will release the cool air and force the appliance to work harder.

By keeping the temperature at optimum, not only are you saving energy and the planet, but you are also cooling down those future energy bills. 

Note: If you have made changes to temperature settings, it often takes about 24 hours for your appliance to adjust, especially fridges.

Size matters – the bigger the appliance, the bigger the energy costs.

Ensure door seals are clean – Regular maintenance will prevent faults with your fridge freezer. Be sure that any faulty doors and seals are not leaking that all-important energy. 

Check the label – Now that all fridge freezers contain European Energy labels, it’s good practice to check these labels to see what the fridge and or freezer’s energy rating is to see how much energy is used. 

If you’re in the market for an upgrade, then this is particularly useful – you will want to choose an energy-saving fridge freezer that will cut costs and do its part for the environment.

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