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Refrigerator versus your electric bill

Learn how your refrigerator effects your utility bill.
Photo by Joanna Bourne via Flickr

Lowering the amount we pay monthly in utility costs is a lifetime goal for many of us. Studies show that our refrigerators have one of the largest influences on our energy costs concerning our homes. Therefore, let’s take a look at how to reduce your refrigerator’s impact on your electricity bill.

Open door

Whenever a refrigerator door is opened, up to 30% of cold air is released. Therefore, the refrigerator must do its job to restore the cold air once the door is closed.

This is why it is imperative that we discipline ourselves to not stand and stare into the refrigerator with the door open. Instead, we need to have a preconceived idea of what we want and where it is located before retrieving it.

Get a cooler

If you are having a get together where drinks will be served, consider purchasing a cooler and filling it with ice. This will keep your guests from having to continuously open your refrigerator.

Check the seal

Since we know not to continuously let cold out air of our refrigerator, we need to make sure our refrigerator’s seals are working properly. We can check to see if the seal is sealing as tightly as it should by conducting the "dollar bill verification" test.

Dollar bill test

In order to conduct this test, make sure that your refrigerator door is fully closing and sealing. Next, open your refrigerator door. Place a dollar bill at the top between the seal and where the seal grasps the refrigerator when closed. After closing the door with the dollar bill partially hanging out, give the bill a tug. As long as the bill does not slide out easily, your seal is fine. Repeat this test for the side and bottom part of the seal on each door of your refrigerator.

Close containers

Accessible moisture makes your refrigerator work harder to maintain the inward temperature setting. On that note, make sure you keep a tightly sealed lid on all of your refrigerated food and drink items.