They help to feed your household, but your fridge and freezer might be eating through their fair share of energy. Upgrade to a more efficient model and put your power consumption on ice.
Because fridges are on all day every day, they’re typically the most power-hungry items in the house. So if you’re looking for some savings on your energy bills, it pays to put these at the top of the list when upgrading to more energy-efficient appliances.
White goods have come a long way in terms of energy usage, so it’s not surprising that by replacing a 10-year-old fridge with a newer version you can lower your cooling costs by 40 per cent.
The first thing to do in the hunt for a ‘greener’ fridge and freezer is to think about size as larger appliances generally use more power.
How full are your current coolers? If there’s space to spare then you should consider downsizing. A good rule of thumb is if either appliance is only two-thirds full, you’re using more energy than you need to .
If you have two semi-full fridges in use or a separate freezer that isn’t packed to the rafters, combine these into a single unit that’ll better accommodate your needs and cost less to run.
The right features
Secondly, choose your features. If you need a combined fridge/freezer, go for a stacked model, ideally with the freezer compartment on top, as these are more efficient than side-by-side versions.
Say ‘yes’ to easy-to-use thermostat controls and a ‘door open’ alarm, but avoid ice-makers and through-the-door dispensers, which will pump up running costs.
Lastly, use Energy Star Ratings to pick between appliances of similar size and features. The more stars, the more energy-efficient and the less you’ll spend in the long run.
Once you’ve upgraded your fridge and freezer, keep them running at optimum efficiency by installing a simple thermometer to check the temperature – aim for between three and five degrees Celsius in the fridge and between minus 15 and minus 18 degrees Celsius in the freezer.
Also, look out for deteriorating door seals. A tightly shut door will stop cool air escaping and lessen the work done by the motor, so you’ll save energy and increase the lifespan of the appliance.
An energy-efficient fridge isn't the only way you can save on your energy bill. Try EnergyAustralia's online energy calculator to make sure you're on the right energy plan for your household.