Eco-Friendly Fridges – Choosing a Green Refrigerator
There are plenty of fridges around carrying the label ‘green’. These are supposed to be energy efficient and less harmful to the environment.

 There are plenty of fridges around carrying the label ‘green’. These are supposed to be energy efficient and less harmful to the environment.

The idea of an environmentally friendly kitchen appliance is appealing to most people. Reducing electricity bills and helping the environment at the same time is a great incentive for many. When you consider that running a fridge can take up nearly 20% of your electricity consumption every year, it’s easy to see why people want more energy efficiency. 

So is it worth buying a green fridge? Or is there a way to green up your fridge on your own?

 

Buying a Green Refrigerator

The obvious first thing most people check is the Star Rating on a fridge. All appliances show the energy rating in terms of stars. More stars means more efficiency; fewer stars mean less efficiency.

While this tells you about power consumption, it doesn’t tell you much about the ‘green’ factor of the fridge.

 

Increasing Your Fridge’s Energy Efficiency

Some things you can do increase your fridge’s efficiency include the following:

 

Check Temperature

Running a fridge that is set too cold can increase your energy consumption by up to 5%. Set your fridge temperature to 4°C.  Your freezer should be set at 16°C.

 

Clean the Coils

The coils at the back of your fridge accumulate dust and dirt. Keep these clean by using a vacuum at least twice a year. If you have a brush attachment for your vacuum, use this to move more dust from grooves.

 

Ventilation

Fridges do generate heat as the motor works to cool down things inside. If your fridge is squeezed into a space that is too small, this reduces ventilation. You risk overheating your fridge and making it work harder to do its job.

 

Placement

Your fridge should be set away from ovens, stoves or dishwashers. An increase in temperature around the fridge can reduce efficiency. Your fridge can use nearly 2% more power to keep cool if you place it near appliances that generate heat.

 

Keep Freezer Filled

Your freezer should be at least ¾ full at all times. Large frozen items spread around the freezer evenly help keep the temperature even. This means the fridge won’t have to work so hard to keep things cold.

 

Cover Food Properly

When you store food in the fridge, keep it covered properly. This will reduce evaporation, which in turn makes the fridge work harder to stabilise temperatures.

 

Choose Glass

Most people use plastic storage containers to store food, such as Tupperware. Yet glass is greener. Glass retains cold, which keeps food cooler and means your fridge doesn’t need to work so hard. Besides, glass is a recyclable material. Plastic manufacture harms the environment.

 

Keep Water in the Fridge

Fill a glass bottle with water and keep it in one of the door bins in your fridge. A bottle of cold water acts a bit like an ice pack does in an esky and helps to regulate the temperature in the fridge. Glass also retains the cold, so it helps even further. 

 

Multi-Task

Every time you open the fridge door, you let out cold air and let in warm air. This makes the fridge work harder, using up more energy. Instead, work out what you need to take out for a recipe and grab a couple of things at a time.

 

Each of these tips will help you create your own green fridge. However, the best tip of all is to update an older fridge when you can afford it. Old fridges are less efficient than new fridges. Updating to the new models will be far more efficient.