Forking out for a new fridge when your old one is still doing its job may seem extravagant, but replacing a power-hungry fridge with an energy-efficient model could reap big savings in the long term.
All new fridge freezers are labeled with an energy-star rating to help you identify the most efficient models; more stars out of six translates as less power consumed over a year and fewer greenhouse gas emissions – good for your wallet and the environment. Some fridges carry an additional four-star crown above the normal star banding, so that super efficient models can display up to 10 stars.
The label will also state the kilowatt hours (kWh) per year too, which tells you how much electricity you can expect the fridge to use in a year based on an Australia average.
As a rule, the bigger the fridge the more it will cost to buy and run. A single door upright fridge with a freezer on the top or bottom will be cheaper to buy and run than a large side by side or French Door models. Extra features on these larger styles such as an in-door water and ice dispenser will add to the initial cost and power consumption. However, you’ll find that many of the top of the line fridges now offer additional energy saving features that reduce their overall power usage, which could make them a better investment in the long run.
How to boost the energy efficiency of your fridge
- Don’t buy a bigger fridge than you really need – it will only end up costing you more to run and will waste space in your kitchen.
- Choose a cool spot to position the fridge – not beside the oven or in direct sunlight.
- Make sure there’s plenty of ventilation all the way around your fridge (aim for a minimum of 5cm).
- Dirty coils mean that your fridge has to work harder to run properly – vacuum the coils at the back of the fridge every six months or so.
- Check the door seals regularly to make sure they are in good condition and no cold air is escaping.
- Avoid opening the fridge door more than necessary.
- Allow hot food to cool before putting it in the fridge.
- If you’re going to be away for a few weeks, remove everything from the fridge, switch it off and leave the door ajar.
For more information visit Equipment Energy Efficiency.