A refrigerator consumes the most energy of all domestic appliances – approximately 25%. It also represents 11% of total energy consumption in the home. Canadians report drinking more water than any other beverage, but milk, soft drinks, coffee and beer are not too far behind. What’s the connection?
Cutting your energy use is a good thing and so is drinking loads of water to maintain your health. Here’s the simplest trick to help you do both.
Fill a pitcher with water (and a few bottles too) and place them in the fridge. The water will help maintain the cool temperatures of the fridge, just the way an ice pack works in a cooler, and allow your refrigerator to work more efficiently.
With water already cold and ready to serve, you won’t be letting the tap run to get your desired temperature (and wasting water), plus it may discourage you from buying water in plastic bottles since you have some ready to take with.
Myth: Door opening is a significant energy loss factor for refrigerators.
One door opening is roughly the equivalent of leaving a 60-watt light bulb on for ten minutes. The refrigerator and the freezer use less energy when cooling a full unit. If there is a larger volume of cold items inside, the refrigerator is better able to maintain its temperature once all the cold air has escaped with the door opening. Keep it full but not jam-packed, because air needs to circulate.
One last thing while you’re paying attention to your fridge. Check the tightness of the seal on the refrigerator door by closing the door on a piece of paper. If it holds in place, the seal is still good. Replace the seal or align the door if the paper does not hold.
By Cheryl Gudz, Earth Day Canada
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