The EnergyGuide label on new refrigerators will tell you how much electricity
in kilowatt-hours (kWh) a particular model of refrigerator uses in one year. The smaller
the number, the less energy the refrigerator uses and the less it will cost
you to operate. In addition to the EnergyGuide label, don't forget to look
for the ENERGY STAR label. A new refrigerator with an ENERGY STAR label
uses at least 15% less energy than required by current federal standards
and 40% less energy than the conventional models sold in 2001.
|Refrigerators with the freezer on the top are more
efficient than those with freezers on the side
Refrigerator/freezer energy tips
Look for a refrigerator with automatic moisture control. Models with
this feature have been engineered to prevent moisture accumulation on
the cabinet exterior without the addition of a heater. This is not the
same thing as an "anti-sweat" heater. Models with an anti-sweat heater
will consume 5% to 10% more energy than models without this feature.
Don't keep your refrigerator or freezer too cold. Recommended temperatures
are 37° to 40°F for the fresh food compartment of the refrigerator and
5°F for the freezer section. If you have a separate freezer for long-term
storage, it should be kept at 0°F.
To check refrigerator temperature, place an appliance thermometer
in a glass of water in the center of the refrigerator. Read it after
24 hours. To check the freezer temperature, place a thermometer between
frozen packages. Read it after 24 hours.
Regularly defrost manual-defrost refrigerators and freezers; frost
buildup decreases the energy efficiency of the unit. Don't allow frost
to build up more than one-quarter of an inch.
Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight. Test them by
closing the door over a piece of paper or a dollar bill so it is half
in and half out of the refrigerator. If you can pull the paper or bill
out easily, the latch may need adjustment, the seal may need replacing,
or you might consider buying a new unit.
Cover liquids and wrap foods stored in the refrigerator. Uncovered
foods release moisture and make the compressor work harder.
$ Long-term savings tip
: Look for the ENERGY STAR when buying a
new refrigerator. Select a new refrigerator that is the right size for
your household. Top freezer models are more energy efficient than side-by-side
models. Features like icemakers and water dispensers, while convenient,
will increase energy use.
Other energy-saving kitchen tips
Be sure to place the faucet lever on the kitchen sink in the cold
position when using small amounts of water; placing the lever in the
hot position uses energy to heat the water even though it may never
reach the faucet.
If you need to purchase a natural gas oven or range, look for one
with an automatic, electric ignition system. An electric ignition saves
natural gas because a pilot light is not burning continuously.
In natural gas appliances, look for blue flames; yellow flames indicate
the gas is burning inefficiently and an adjustment may be needed. Consult
the manufacturer or your local utility.
Keep range-top burners and reflectors clean; they will reflect the
heat better, and you will save energy.
Use a covered kettle or pan to boil water; it's faster and it uses
Match the size of the pan to the heating element.
Use small electric pans or toaster ovens for small meals rather than
your large stove or oven. A toaster oven uses a third to half as much
energy as a full-sized oven.
Use pressure cookers and microwave ovens whenever it is convenient to
do so. They will save energy by significantly reducing cooking time.