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REFRIGERATOR REPAIR TIPS
Washer Repair Tips  |  Dryer Repair Tips  |  Refrigerator Repair Tips | Main

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Refrigerators and Freezers

Leave enough space between your refrigerator and the walls or cabinets so air can circulate around the condenser coils. Trapped heat increases energy consumption.

For food safety keep your refrigerator between 36° and 40° F and your freezer between 0° and 5° F. A refrigerator that is colder than safety dictates uses up to 25 percent more energy, and will freeze your milk and lettuce.

As your food budget permits, keep your freezer and refrigerator full-but not so full that air can't circulate. The mass of cold items inside will help your refrigerator recover each time the door is opened. Here's a hint: If your refrigerator is nearly empty, store water-filled containers inside.

Check door seals regularly to make sure they're airtight. To test them, close the door on a dollar bill and try to pull it out. (Larger bills are harder to come by, but work just as well!) If the dollar slides out easily, you're wasting energy and money.

Unless it has untold sentimental value, get rid of that older, energy-hogging second refrigerator in your garage! It's costing you about $120 a year to operate. One large refrigerator is cheaper to run than two smaller ones. (Warning: If you get rid of an older refrigerator or freezer, please dispose of it properly, and make sure the door is removed so children cannot be trapped inside.)

If you're thinking about purchasing a new refrigerator-freezer or a separate freezer, check the annual energy cost on the Energy Guide label to find the most economical buy.

Side-by-side refrigerators use approximately 7 percent to 13 percent more energy than similar-sized models with the freezer on top.

Chest freezers are typically more efficient than upright freezers, because they're better insulated and cold air doesn't spill out when the door is opened.

Brush or vacuum dirty refrigerator or freezer coils. You'll improve your appliance's efficiency by as much as 30 percent.