Woman looking into the fridge

Energy efficient fridges and freezers

Your fridge and freezer are always switched on, so they’re always using up energy.

As such, looking at how your fridge and freezer can operate in the most energy-efficient way can help you to cut the size of your electricity bill.

Below are some of the best tips in relation to fridge and freezer energy efficiency, as well as the criteria to consider when selecting a new one.

Steps to maintaining a more energy-efficient fridge or freezer

  1. Place your fridge/freezer in a cool spot. This will help it to run more efficiently. Try to keep the fridge/freezer out of direct sunlight and away from appliances which generate heat, such as the cooker.
  2. Leave space between the fridge/freezer and the wall and maintain the coils. There should be a minimum of 10cm between the fridge/freezer and the wall, as this will aid the efficiency of the coils. You should also keep the coils free from dust - using the hoover on them every few months will suffice. 3.Leave your fridge and freezer at a steady temperature. The temperature of your fridge should be between 3 and 5°C, while your freezer should be at -18 °C.
  3. Allow food to cool before putting it in the fridge. Placing hot food in the fridge uses up more energy as the fridge attempts to cool the food down.
  4. Keep the fridge seals clean. Ensure that the seals are clean and working properly, and make sure you always check that the fridge and freezer doors are properly shut.
  5. Defrost your freezer regularly. This helps to ensure there is no build-up of ice and keeps your freezer working efficiently.

Time for a new fridge or freezer?

There’s no strict rule to this, and obviously buying new appliances means a significant outlay of cash. However, you should think about replacing your fridge if it is 10 or more years old.

New models can reduce running costs, because of improvements in insulation, and greater accuracy with regards to temperature and defrosting, as well as utilising compressors that are very efficient.

Read more: Energy efficient cooking essential tips

Advice on selecting a fridge or freezer that is energy-efficient

It’s easy to tell which are the most energy-efficient fridges and freezers because of EU energy label grades.

For white goods, A is the highest grade, while G is the lowest, but, for fridges and freezers, ratings can be as high as A++. The products that perform the best can be identified by the blue logo, which symbolises Energy Saving Recommended.

Remember, a bigger fridge/freezer will use up more energy than a smaller one - so if you only need a small fridge you should stick with that. Even a B-rated small fridge will likely cost you less to run than a large A-rated fridge.

If you want to get an idea of the the yearly costs, you can check the annual consumption figure in kWh, which can be found on the energy label. The lower the figure, the cheaper the fridge or freezer will be to run.

Read more: Energy efficient laundry tips for washing and drying