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Consumer Tips: Keeping your cool

Consumer Tips: Keeping your cool

Aug 17, 2014

With the cost of electricity on the rise, consumers need to save money wherever they can. Take a look at your fridge. If it’s very old, chances are it’s not very efficient and will use more electricity than those that are currently rated for their energy-saving performance.

Here are some tips for keeping your cool when it comes to refrigeration costs:

  • Never overload your fridge, as too many goods in it can raise your electricity usage by 10 to 20% per extra item.
  • Smaller family, smaller fridge: A fridge operates at peak efficiency when filled, so if you live alone or with just one other person, opt for a smaller fridge.
  • Only open your refrigerator door when you know what you want, and take everything you need out at once. Opening and closing the door often – or leaving the door open while you decide what you need – means the fridge has to work harder to get back to temperature.
  • Check the manufacturer’s advice on the best temperature to set your fridge/freezer on – most people set it lower than necessary, using more electricity than they should.
  • Check your chilling panels for thick frost/ice build-up – if it’s between 0,6 to 1,3 cm thick, it’s time to defrost.
  • Don’t put steaming hot foods into your fridge – let it cool down first; but remember that to prevent bacterial growth, only allow about 20 minutes standing time.
  • Check that your fridge door seal is working properly by placing a piece of paper in the door, then closing. If you can pull the paper out easily, you should have the seal replaced – cool air may well be escaping, costing you more in electricity.
  • Remove all heavy wrapping from food before storing it in the refrigerator.
  • Place items slightly apart on the shelves to allow cooling air to circulate.
  • Keep the condenser coils/panels (usually at the back of the unit) clean and dust free, by wiping gently with a soft, dry cloth.
  • Your fridge should not be placed next to an over or an uninsulated, sun-facing wall.
  • There should be enough room around your fridge for air to circulate and carry heat away from your fridge, or you may cause damage and incur higher costs to run the fridge effectively.
  • If you’re going on a long holiday, turn your fridge off, clean it and take all the contents out. Leave the door slightly ajar to ensure a flow of fresh air into the unit.

If you have any consumer hints and tips you’d like to share with us, visit us on Facebook  and post your message. You could help others save too.

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