Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Is your freezer too cold?

To continue this week's Earth Day special Green Your Kitchen series, let's talk about refrigerator and freezer temperatures.

Your refrigerator and freezer account for about 5 percent of your household's energy usage. By setting them to the optimal temperatures, you can save substantial amounts of energy.

Recommended temperature settings:
Freezer   0ºF   5ºF   
Refrigerator   35–38ºF42ºF
1.7–3.4ºC   5.6ºC
1 Best temperature settings for energy efficiency
2 Highest temperature allowed for food safety

How to measure the temperature
To measure the temperature in your refrigerator or freezer, follow these instructions:
  1. Place a refrigerator thermometer in the center of your refrigerator or freezer, between two packages or food items.
  2. Close the door and wait for at least 20 minutes until the thermometer stabilizes.
  3. Read the temperature as soon as you take the thermometer out of the cold.
If you change your temperature settings, wait 24 hours before performing a new measurement.

Other tips for saving energy
The best way to keep the temperature constant is to keep your refrigerator or freezer always full. Fill it with water jugs when there is no food. (This is also a good way to keep emergency water handy.)

If you use two fridges, try to see if you can combine their contents and unplug the oldest or least energy-efficient one (you know, the one in the garage that you seldom use anyway).

Buying guide
The following recommendations from ENERGY STAR can help you improve the energy efficiency of your refrigerator and freezer:

  • Choose an ENERGY STAR model.
  • Choose a top-mounted freezer.
  • Purchase an appropriately-sized refrigerator.
  • Avoid ice-makers and dispensers.

(You must have noticed that the picture I took in my freezer tonight is a counterexample of what I just described—the thermometer is hanging in the void and the temperature is too high. Do as I say, not as I do...)


Gites in France said...

Some very handy tips for saving money in here! Kudos to you.

Best wishes, Alex.

Tina Marie said...

Great Post, loved it will be waiting for your future posts,the internet would be a much better place. Please keep it up!

cryogenic freezer said...

Keep us posted. Great information.