Consider this: today’s refrigerators account for about 10% of the average home’s overall energy use. If it’s new, though, it’s approximately half as efficient as freezers made 20 years ago, indicating a century of technological advancement.
Previously, in several Asian countries, farmers built wooden structures with springs to store dairy products using cold water.
Salting or smoking meat and fish was another popular food preservation method. Harvested vegetables and fruits could be dried and soaked before cooking.
People were able to keep food for months using natural preservation methods.
Refrigerator efficiency has remained relatively constant over the last decade, but older refrigerators consume substantially more electricity than newer fridges.
How to maintain the efficiency of your refrigerator
Condenser coils must be cleaned regularly
Heat is released by the coils at the bottom of your refrigerator. When dirt and dust build up, the compressor needs to work harder, thus wasting energy and limiting its lifespan. Wipe dirt from the coils every few months with a vacuum hose attachment or brush.
Examine the gaskets and seals
Rubber (or plastic) strips that seal your refrigerator’s doors are critical to its efficiency.
Wash any dirt off the seal gently with warm water and a light soap. Close a piece of paper in the door halfway into and halfway out of the refrigerator to see if the seal is loose. The paper will fall out if the door gasket isn’t secure enough (and you should probably look into replacing the seal).
Limit how often you open the refrigerator
After the warmer outside air gets in, it takes more energy for a refrigerator to return to its set temperature. It is difficult to determine what to eat while standing in the cool blast from the fridge, but keep those open door times to a minimum.
Factors Affecting A Refrigerator’s Power Consumption
Generally, a two slide door refrigerator uses more energy than a single-door refrigerator. It’s as simple as that: the larger the refrigerator’s volume, the more power it consumes.
Refrigerators with compressor technology spend less energy than refrigerators without compressor technology.
Refrigerators with an impressive star rating are more energy-efficient than refrigerators with the same capacity. If your refrigerator was built before 2005, it is unlikely to have a decent star rating and will be less energy-efficient than newer models.
How full is your refrigerator
It may seem strange, but keeping your refrigerator full can help you save energy. Because an empty fridge has a lot of air that needs to be cooled down compared to a full fridge, the compressor has to cool down a huge volume of air, which uses more power.
Rate of door opening
This is something we’re all guilty of; when you open your refrigerator door, warm air from the outside rushes inside, warming the cooled compartment. As a result, the compressor must work harder to chill the refrigerator’s interior once more.
Refrigerator ventilation is often overlooked. The refrigerator removes warm air from inside and pumps it into the atmosphere, but if it is not adequately vented, the hot air surrounding it will heat the compressor, thereby increasing power consumption.
As a result, it’s a good idea to leave at least 6 inches between the refrigerator and the inside walls of your home.
Optimize temperature settings
The majority of refrigerators are set to a temperature that is significantly lower than what is required. A temperature of 2 to 5 degrees Celsius is optimal for the fridge compartment, while -10 to -15 degrees Celsius is ideal for the freezer. Take care not to overheat.
If your refrigerator does not have a thermostat inside, set it to normal on warm days and cold days by using the regulator inside your refrigerator.
Strategically place the refrigerator
Before deciding on a refrigerator location, consider the following two questions. First, is the area receiving direct sunlight?
If so, look for a different location or find a way to block the sunlight from reaching that area. Second, is there any gap between the refrigerator walls and the house wall after you’ve installed the refrigerator? For adequate airflow, leave 6 inches on all three sides.
Changes in lifestyle
Do not refrigerate hot food. Refrigerate the food after it has cooled. The evaporator and condenser coils should be cleaned regularly. Organize your meals so that air may freely circulate.
Alternatively, avoid overcrowding your refrigerator. For appropriate ventilation, keep it full and organized.
If you do decide to get a new refrigerator, make sure it has a good energy star rating or comes with inverter technology.
Calculating A Refrigerator’s Energy Consumption
The calculation technique becomes quite straightforward if you have a refrigerator with a BEE star rating sticker. Find your refrigerator’s annual power consumption directly underneath the energy efficiency stars on the energy-saving sticker.
To calculate the monthly energy consumption of your fridge, divide the annual energy consumption by 12.
However, if your fridge does not have a BEE star rating, you can determine its electricity consumption in one of two ways.
How to Determine Your Refrigerator’s Wattage
- First, look for a sticker on your refrigerator and see whether it says “wattage.”
- Go to the website of your manufacturer and look for a refrigerator that looks similar to yours or search for your exact model, paying attention to the wattage shown in the description.
- If you don’t know your refrigeration device’s brand and you don’t want to use Google, just use a number between 100 and 300 watts, as most refrigerators have rated power in this range.
To conclude, we’d like to point out that the energy consumption of most modern refrigerators is really low. A 30-year-old refrigerator uses approximately 1500KW of electricity in a year; whereas, the latest model of the same capacity will use just 400 to 500 KW per year, depending on the rating.
Refrigeration energy consumption can be reduced by placing it in a location where it is not affected directly by the sun and there is sufficient space between the refrigerator and the home walls for optimum ventilation.