Saving Electricity: Be Fridge Savvy

Since fridges and freezers are operated 24 hours a day, every day of the year, they can be significant users of energy in households. Purchasing a more efficient fridge or freezer will save electricity for years to come.

Fridges and freezers being sold must be labelled with a South African Energy Efficiency Label to help consumers understand the relative energy efficiency of different fridges and freezers. 

Below are a few tips on how to save electricty through your fridge/freezer.

  • Choose a refrigerator of a size based on the needs of your family - a refrigerator operates at peak efficiency when filled.
  • Do not overload your fridge, excessive products in your fridge will lower the quality of the food and use more electricity - as much as 10-20% more for each extra product.
  • Do not set freezing temperatures lower than necessary, it wastes as much electricity as excessive heat.
  • Thick frost on chilling panels reduces cooling ability. If you do no t have a frost-free model, defrost your refrigerator when frost is between 0,6 to 1,3 cm thick.
  • Do not open your refrigerator door needlessly. By getting into the habit of removing and replacing several articles at once, you will reduce the loss of cold air.
  • Let hot foods cool down before placing them in the refrigerator. (To prevent bacterial growth allow about 20 minutes standing time).
  • Be sure the seal around your refrigerator door is intact. (Close the door on a piece of paper: if you can pull the paper out easily, the seal should be replaced).
  • Remove all heavy wrapping from food before storing it in the refrigerator.
  • Cover all liquids stored in the refrigerator (especially frost-free models).
  • Foods should be placed slightly apart on refrigerator shelves to allow the cooling air to circulate.
  • Exposed condenser coils/panels (usually at the back of the unit) MUST be kept clean and dust free. When cleaning you must be careful not to damage the panels.
  • Do not place the refrigerator near the stove or against an uninsulated wall that faces the sun.
  • Allow adequate space around the refrigerator for free air circulation. The air carries heat away from the fridge - if air can not circulate, the fridge can not work properly.
  • Switch on the energy saving switch, if one is fitted to the refrigerator.
  • Switch off, empty or clean your fridge, when taking an extended holiday.
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