Week 41 – Set fridge to correct temperature and clean condenser coils

ImageOne of the biggest energy expenses in our apartment is our refrigerator.  Unlike the router and other electronics, we never unplug our fridge.  Although some people go fridge-less, I will just minimize the energy used by our fridge.  In order to do this, I looked up the correct temperature settings for a fridge and freezer. 

I measured the temp in my fridge and found that it varied between 33 – 38 degrees F based on where the thermometer was located.  The sources say that anywhere between 32-40 degrees is acceptable, so I will not make any changes to my fridge.  Now for the freezer: multiple sources recommended 0 degrees F and a few sources even said up to 3 degrees was fine.  Our freezer was at -2.  Therefore, I happily went to look at the temperature controls.  Hmmm.  Now I had a problem.  There’s only 1 temperature knob for the whole thing!  No separate knobs for the fridge/ freezer.  What kind of engineer designed that?  

Since the temperature change was a flop, I also decided to follow a few other tips to make my fridge more efficient:  Keep the fridge and freezer pretty full so cold air is retained when the door is opened, but still leave room for air flow.  Also, I dusted the condenser coils on the back of the fridge.  If those are clean, they will be most efficient at exchanging heat with the surrounding air.  Even though I wasn’t able to save energy with my freezer, at least I know that my fridge is the proper temp and I’m following a few other tips to use less energy.


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