Home Features October 23, 2012

Save on your Energy Bill

Did you know that an old fridge or freezer could be costing you as much as $200 a year on your electric bill? A refrigerator typically uses more energy than any other appliance, as it runs more hours a day than a clothes dryer. So as we feel the effect of turning up the heat on our electric bill, it’s a good time to check on the health of your fridge and how much energy it’s using. Older refrigerator models can, in fact, use up to four times more energy than new models.

It’s generally said that the useful life of refrigerators and freezers is anywhere from 9 to 13 years. One funny way I’ve heard it said is that if your refrigerator is old enough to go to junior high, it should instead go to recycling!

Old or new, it’s important to make sure that your fridge has a few inches of space behind it so air can circulate around the condenser coils. Dusty condenser coils cause it to work harder, which leads to using more energy, a higher bill, and a shorter life for your fridge. You also might want to check the temperature inside your fridge and freezer. There’s usually a note inside with the recommended temp. Having it too cold can also be a waste of energy. Refrigerators are typically recommended to be 37 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and freezers are set at 0 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Check out more appliance energy and cost-savings ideas at PSE.com, the Puget Sound Energy website.