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Our best tips for saving energy with your fridge

Author

Charissa Duisters

In our previous blog post we briefly mentioned that you can save a lot of energy and money by using your refrigerator sustainably. Since the ever increasing energy costs are an important topic these days, more and more people are looking for smart saving tips.
That's why we're sharing our best energy-saving tips today.

1. Take a good look at the energy consumption of your current refrigerator
2. Make sure your fridge stays cool
3. Let your frozen food thaw in the fridge
4. Make sure your fridge is well stocked
5. Clean the refrigerator in time and completely

1. Take a good look at the energy consumption of your current refrigerator

A new refrigerator is quite an investment and not immediately affordable for many people, but if possible, this is the tip that can make a big difference in energy consumption.

Do you have a refrigerator that is 25 years old? Then it quickly consumes 500 kWh of electricity per year. With the current energy prices (€0.885 per kWh) you quickly spend 442.5 euros per year. Compared to a refrigerator that is about 8 years old and consumes about 350 kWh of electricity, you save 132.75 euros per year. If we look at the most energy-efficient refrigerator currently available on the market, we see a fridge freezer from Samsung that consumes 108 kWh annually. This amounts to 95.58 euros per year. Quite a difference from the older models!

If it is possible to spend such a large sum of money in one go, this is certainly a good investment that you can make, because as you can see, you quickly earn it back.

2. Make sure your fridge stays cool

This may sound obvious, but there are a number of factors that come into play.

Consider, for example, closing the refrigerator door immediately. The difference between the room temperature and the temperature of the refrigerator differs enormously so the refrigerator quickly starts to compensate. As soon as you have taken out what you had to take out, it is best to close the refrigerator immediately.

Another thing that is often done is putting hot food in the fridge immediately. As a result, the temperature inside the refrigerator rises, which means that the fridge has to work even harder to bring down the temperature. It is therefore also smarter to let it cool on the counter, for example. 

3. Thaw your frozen food in the fridge

We’ve just talked about the fact that keeping warm things in the fridge isn’t ideal, but you CAN put frozen food in it!

Have you frozen your meat (substitutes) and would you like to have them for dinner? Then move them from the freezer to the refrigerator before you go to work. This way you come home with thawed food for your dinner and a refrigerator where the heat has been drawn out by that thawing piece. A real win-win situation!

If we want to put this in numbers, we can assume that the food has moved from -18 degrees to +4 degrees. This means that about 390 KJ of heat is extracted from the air, which would normally cost 43 Wh. You can compare that to burning a light bulb for an hour.

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4. Make sure your fridge is well stocked

When a refrigerator is only half full, the rest of that space is filled with air. When the door opens, that air is quickly replaced by warm air from outside. As a result, your refrigerator has to work a little extra to bring the temperature down. So if your refrigerator is completely full, there is less air to replace.

Especially if you live alone and in these expensive times it seems difficult to fill your fridge. But you can also, for example, fill bottles with water and put those in the fridge. This way you always have cold water at hand and a refrigerator without too much air.

5. Clean the refrigerator in time and completely

Keep the cooling element clean and dust-free, which you can find at the back of your refrigerator. If this is blocked, the refrigerator can’t lose its heat that easily, so it constantly has to work overtime. Do you have everything clean and dust-free? Then your refrigerator will immediately work about 30% more efficiently.

Do you have a fridge-freezer combination? Then make sure that your freezer remains ice-free. Your freezer already works a lot less efficiently from 3 mm of ice formation. An ice layer of about 2 mm already provides a 10% increase in energy consumption! Therefore, defrost your freezer if this is the case.

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Do you have any tips for sustainable use of the refrigerator? Let us know!

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