TAKING the time to check over your fridge, of all places, this winter might help you save some money on your energy bills – you may have been using the mega kitchen appliance wrong this whole time.
It's probably a good idea to make sure you're clued up now, before you start ramming the shelves full of festive treats ahead of Christmas too.
A Uswitch energy expert said: "Fridges and freezers are a staple in almost all households these days, but they also make up a huge portion of your energy bill.
"After all, they are one of the few energy devices that are on all the time."
The cost of living has rocketed for many households, with energy bills at all time highs.
It wasn't long ago that households were slamming energy firms for ramping up bills by as much as 80% amid the rising gas prices that have lead to the current energy crisis.
It's no wonder that many are looking to cut costs any way they can.
But were you aware that something like forgetting to defrost your freezer compartment could add as much as £150 a year to your bill?.
In some cases it's the food that's contributing to how much energy your fridge is consuming.
When you have too much food in your fridge or freezer, the appliance struggles to keep the items of food cold, and uses more energy as a result.
Experts at Energyhelpline told The Sun: "Unclutter your fridge, so make sure your fridge isn’t packed to the brim.
"Especially near the ventilating outlets as keeping space at the top and sides of your fridge helps the cool air move around easier."
But with that said you shouldn't leave it empty either.
Keep your fridge and freezer filled with things like bottles of tap water that will slot into the empty space in the fridge.
You can also fill empty space in the freezer with screwed up newspaper – once these freeze over they'll keep the rest of the contents cooler, so the appliance won't have to work as hard.
There are a number of other quirks in your fridge that you might not realise are driving up your energy bills too. Check them out below.
You've been using your fridge wrong – here's how
The energy experts at Uswitch also let us in on the best energy efficiency tips so you can get the best out of your fridge-freezer and save on energy.
To start with, where your fridge sits in your kitchen is important.
The Uswitch experts said that if it's practical, place your fridge away from your cooker and make sure it isn't in direct sunlight.
That's because it's always going to operate better if it's in a cool spot, and doesn't have to battle with outside heat elements.
They also advised that you should also keep the fridge at least 10cm from the wall, as this will allow the coils to work most efficiently.
Check seals are in good order too, this is a bit like when you're plugging up your home from nasty draughts, you don't want either the cool air to escape or hot air to creep in as more energy is going to be needed to counter either scenario.
Then take a look inside.
If your fridge doesn't defrost automatically, keep an eye out for any signs of ice too, and defrost it regularly.
This keeps the temperature low so the motor doesn't have to work as hard.
If you let ice build up it will stop your fridge/freezer from working effectively but it's a fix that won't take long to carry out.
Is there a right or wrong temperature to keep the fridge at?
The energy experts at Uswitch said a good temperature to keep your fridge at is between 3 and 5°C, and for your freezer it's -18 °C.
Those temperatures are recommended to keep your food cool and at a healthy and safe level without before so cold that your fridge has to work any harder than it has to.
That way you'll keep your energy bills down as much as possible.
What you shouldn't do is put any hot food in the fridge – as it takes more energy to cool hot food.
Leave your hot food out in tupperware and wait for it cool first, then put it in the fridge or else you'll be just cooling down the hot air escaping from your dinner, and making your fridge work much harder.
Another tip that the experts from energyhelpline revealed has the added benefit of contibuting to the cooler temperatures found inside your fridge, without it needing to do any work at all.
If you thaw any frozen food in your fridge, it will help keep the fridge at the right temperature while using less energy as the cooler air will come from within.
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