Maybe it's time...

For a new fridge!

Though it may not look like it at the moment, summer and hot sweltering days are on their way. And with the heat will come thirst and numerous trips to the fridge to quench it. Perhaps it's time for a more energy efficient model?

Refrigerators and freezers eat up a lot of the energy we use in our homes during the warm months. With summer on its way, replacing or repairing your fridge now makes good sense.

If your fridge is more than five years old, it can be using up to 40 percent more electricity than the EnergyStar certified units being sold today. That can add up to lot of cold, hard cash each year.

If you're not ready to upgrade yet, here are some suggestions that can improve the efficiency of your current model...

  1. Shut the Door! The less your refrigerator is door is open, the less energy you will waste. Organize your fridge so you can locate things quickly.
  2. Lower the thermostat. EnergyStar recommends a setting of 2°-3° C (35° to 38° F) for the fridge, and 0° C (32° F) for the freezer. Double check these temps with a household thermometer.
  3. Check the door seals. If a piece of paper closed in the fridge door falls out or can be removed easily, your door seal needs attention. If it isn't too severe, try applying a little silicone spray to renew the rubber enough to seal properly. If that doesn't work, buy a new seal and install.
  4. Keep the freezer defrosted. Any more than 1 cm (0.5 in) of frost is too much. Leave room around the sides and back. At least 5 cm (2 in) will allow the warm air coming off the coils to dissipate more quickly.
  5. Get it out of the sun. The warmer your fridge's environment, the harder it has to work! Consider moving your fridge if it's in direct sunlight, near a heating duct, or next to your range or oven.
  6. A full freezer is a good thing, but leave room for air circulation in the fridge area to minimize energy consumption.
  7. Keep coils clean. Vacuum or dust the coils on the back of your refrigerator at least once a year. Dust acts like insulation on the coils, hampering the heat transfer process.

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