15 Tips To Reduce Refrigerator Power Consumption

The refrigerator is one of the few appliances that serve us 24X7. So it is obvious that it will have an effect on your electricity bill. But do you know that by following some simple steps you can Reduce refrigerator power consumption?

It’s true that earlier generation refrigerators were power suckers. They used to consume power like anything. But the story of new generation refrigerators are all different.

With different advanced technologies, nowadays refrigerators do not consume that much electricity. But how about saving more electricity. It’s not a bad idea. Right?

See, modern refrigerators have done enough so that it consumes less power and we can follow some practices to reduce that power consumption further.

1. Don’t Turn Off The Refrigerator Frequently

My father used to turn off our refrigerator at night thinking that by doing so he is saving some electricity. Well, I can’t say that he is wrong but for modern refrigerators, this is definitely a wrong practice.

Let me give a simple example. Did you notice that when you turn on your smartphone, it consumes about 5-10% battery? Right? Why it is so? Because every machine, when it starts, has to start all required processes and that is consuming more power.

Similarly, if you start and stop a refrigerator multiple times a day, it will consume more power and you will get more electricity bills. So stop this practice if you are doing so.

2. Don’t open and shut refrigerator door frequently

When you open the refrigerator door, hot air goes inside. The refrigerator then has to do more work to keep the cabinet cool. Extra work means more power consumption. So stop doing that.

Some people forget to close the door. That is why most refrigerators nowadays come with auto-closing doors. What that means that the moment you release the door it will close automatically.

3. Don’t keep hot items inside the refrigerator

Many people do this mistake. Trust me, this is the worst thing that they can do with a refrigerator.

The refrigerator consumes a lot of power to cool it down. Not only that, the hot items can damage the glass shelves as well. Glass shelves are not designed to withstand extreme temperature variations.

The best practice is that, keep the items outside until it cools down to the room temperature and then keep it inside the refrigerator.

4. Don’t overload the refrigerator

Every refrigerator is designed to cool a certain amount of load. If you dump more items than its capacity, it can not cool the items.

Due to that, the refrigerator will consume more power. So always check the manufacturer’s recommended load and accordingly dump items.

5. Don’t block vent holes

Vent holes are those holes insides the fridge cabinet through which cold air circulates. If you block those holes then the refrigerator has to do more work and thus consume more power.

Unfortunately, many people don’t even know what is vent hole is and where those are located. So unknowingly they place items in front of the vent holes and blocks air flow circulation.

6. Check the door gasket for air leakage

If you see carefully, there is a gasket attached to the refrigerator door. The purpose of that gasket is to create a sealed environment so that cold air can not escape outside.

For many reasons the gasket may go bad or may become loose. If that happens, cold air gets leaked outside and the refrigerator has to do more work to keep the temperature low. That extra work costs more power.

7. Keep sufficient space around the refrigerator

See, refrigerators can not produce air. What it does is that it conditions the air. It takes the heat from inside the cabinet and dump it tooutside. That is how it cools the inside cabinet.

Now if there is no space around the refrigerator for the heat to escape, the inside of the refrigerator won’t be colling properly. That is when the fridge has to do more work and more work means more power consumption.

8. Change refrigerants frequently

Refrigerant is the liquid that flows through the refrigeration system, sucks the hot air from inside, and dumps it outside. Without refrigerant, a refrigerator can not work. R600 and R134A are the two most common refrigerants used in refrigerators.

A general thumb rule is that you need to change the refrigerant every year. If you don’t do that, the refrigerator won’t cool properly. That is when the fridge starts doing more work and consumes more power.

9. Set the right temparature

Refrigerators are meant for cooling items but that does not mean that you should set any temperature. For example, if you keep some water bottles or cold drinks in the fridge, no need to set the temperature before 10 degrees. Right?

Many people does this mistake. Listen, the more low temperature you set, the more power the refrigerator will consume. So set the best and optimum temperature.

10. Buy an inverter refrigerator

No, your refrigerator won’t run during a power cut if you buy an inverter refrigerator. However, an inverter refrigerator consumes 40% less power than a normal refrigerator.

Basically, inverter refrigerators use a variable speed inverter compressor that adjusts the speed of the motor based on the load. That is how it uses the optimum amount of power to cool the fridge cabinet.

The initial cost of an inverter refrigerator is more. But the running cost will be low. So sometimes it’s a trade-off between initial investment vs running cost.

To know more about inverter compressors, you can read this article.

11. Clean the condenser coils

Condensers are meant for dissipating the heat outside. If there is dust on the condenser coils, it can not dissipate heat and the refrigerator will consume more power. So clean condenser tubes regularly.

Also, check for any leakage or rust on condenser tubes. Always try to get a refrigerator with a copper tube condenser as copper is good for heat dissipation and does not rust easily.

You can read this article if you want to learn more about Copper coil vs aluminum coil

12. Defrost the refrigerator every week

Many of us do not have an auto defrost refrigerator. Especially if you own single-door refrigerator chances are there that it won’t come with auto defrost. In that case, make a habit of defrosting the interior every week so that the refrigerator has to do less work and consume less power.

13. Keep the refrigerator in room temparature

I see many of us keeping the refrigerator next to the oven. This is a very bad and dangerous habit. The refrigerant used in refrigerators is very high flammable. It can catch fire from the oven.

On top of that, the heat from the oven will surround the refrigerator. That will require the refrigerator to do more work and thus more power consumption.

14. Use the freezer section efficiently

The freezer section is where we keep the meat, ice cream, and other similar items that need to be kept frozen. If you don’t eat those foods, then don’t use that section. There are many refrigerators that come with convertible options where you can convert the freezer into a fridge. You can buy those refrigerators.

15. Arrange food properly

See, the refrigerator is a dump box, that does not mean that you just keep on dumping items. Arrange the items in such a way that there is a sufficient flow of air in between them. Otherwise, you will block the air movement and that will shoot up the power consumption.

Conclusion: Tips to reduce refrigerator power consumption

I hope I have shared enough points here to reduce the refrigerator power consumption. These rules can be used in any type of refrigerator, be it very basic or feature-loaded premium refrigerators.

Do you have any points to share? You can share it through the comment section and I will be happy to include that in the post.

You may also like to read:

Factor that contributes to refrigerator power consumption
Refrigerator buying guide


Rajib is the Co-Founder and the Lead Product Analyst of RiansTech. A BTech in Mechanical Engineering and a veteran in the Home Appliance industry with over 17 years of experience in designing appliances for industry leaders like GE and Whirlpool. He also runs a successful niche blog (RiansClub) on Mechanical Engineering

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