Eco Friendly Home Maintenance

Published on May 5th, 2014 | by Peter Young


Setting the Temperature in Your Fridge/Freezer for Maximum Efficiency

One of the easiest and quickest ways to save money on your monthly utilities is to set your fridge/freezer to the appropriate temperature. Having your fridge/freezer set just 10 degrees fahrenheit too cold, will cause your unit to use 25% more energy every month! Note that if your fridge condenser coils are not cleaned regularly, it will make your refrigerator work harder than it has to (unnecessarily using more electricity, wasting your money, and polluting the world). If you clean your coils, odds are, you can reduce the temp settings on your fridge. Here’s how to clean your refrigerator’s condenser coils if you think it needs doing. Once that’s done, simply follow these steps to ensure you’re not over chilling your food.

1. Place a thermometer in both your fridge/freezer.  Place them roughly in the middle of the unit, and give the thermometers about 20 minutes with the doors closed before checking them. This will allow them time to accurately gauge the temperatures in your fridge/freezer. The ideal temp for a fridge is between 37-40 degrees F, and 4-5 degrees F for the freezer.

2. Adjust your settings either up or down to the desired level. Unfortunately most fridges/freezers won’t have a setting that coordinates to an exact temperature. However most will use a scale system, usually ranging from 1-10. Based on how far above or below the ideal range you are, adjust your settings and leave the thermometers in your fridge/freezer for another 20 minutes. Some fridges/freezers will feature a built in digital thermometer, but it’s best to check its accuracy using an independent one.

3. Check your thermometers again. If you’re still not in the ideal ranges, repeat the process over until both the fridge/freezer are set to the appropriate temperature.

4. Verify your temperatures every 3-4 months. More than just your temperature setting will have an impact on how efficient your fridge/freezer is at cooling, but having your temperatures properly set is one of the best ways to start saving money!

If you’re looking for more ways to save energy around your home, try installing and using a smart strip. These types of power strips will help to reduce the amount of phantom power in your home, thus saving you money on your monthly electric bill.

Be sure to check out some of our other green home improvement projects: Green Living Ideas, after all, is a top 20 home improvement website!


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About the Author

graduated from Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) with a degree in journalism and has made sustainability and eco-conscious living mainstays of both his professional and personal life. It was during his time at PLU that he began his journey with sustainability and it's what has led him to writing for Green Living Ideas. He currently resides in Honolulu and works for Pono Home, an energy efficiency company focused on reducing carbon emissions and promoting a healthier, greener lifestyle.

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