Keep Your Food Fresh The Green Way

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Among all our household appliances, the refrigerator is the one that is on most, if not all, of the time. The next time you go shopping for a new refrigerator, look for one that is rated with an ‘Energy Star’. Check the labels when you shop for appliances. Each label shows the energy use per year.  A typical refrigerator uses 1,500 kilowatts per year, whereas an energy-efficient one would be 250-600 kilowatts per year. Now that’s a big difference!

If you can’t cough up the dough for a new refrigerator, you can still keep energy use low. Here are some tips to keep your refrigerator green:

– Keep your refrigerator full but not stuffed. Both fridge and freezer can retain their coolness better if they’re full.

– Place your fridge in the coolest part of your kitchen.

– The most efficient temperatures for the fridge are between 35 and 38 degrees and for the freezer at 0 degrees.  Colder temperatures use 25% more energy and aren’t necessary to keep food cool.

– Choose your item before you open the door.  With each door-opening you consume the same amount of power as you’d use to light a 60-watt bulb for 10 minutes.

– Let hot items cool before placing them into the fridge.

– Defrost the freezer regularly.

– Clean the filter and coils annually.  A dusty coil can increase energy consumption by about 20%.

– Check the door for a tight seal.  You can do so by closing the door on a dollar bill and seeing how easy it is to remove it.

– Allow air-circulation around your fridge by keeping a few inches of space between the fridge and cabinets.

– Cover food stored in the fridge.  Uncovered food releases moisture making the compressor work harder.

By following these tips, your refrigerator will not only be more energy-efficient, but will also last longer, helping you stretch your ringgit. Remember, a green refrigerator makes for a happier you.

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