Fridges and Freezers - Efficient Food Storage

We’d all like to keep the cost of our energy bills down. One of the ways we can do this, is to make sure we’re using our electrical appliances as efficiently as possible.

Almost every household nowadays will own a fridge/freezer, with some also having a chest freezer for extra frozen storage. But just how much power do these appliances actually use? And are there some clever tips to help reduce how much they cost to run?

Let’s take a look.

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How much power do fridges and freezers use?

Obviously all devices are different, so the actual amount of power your appliance uses will depend on a number of factors, such as:

  • The energy rating of your fridge

Fridges and freezers are rated according to their energy efficiency through an ‘EU energy label’ grading. This ranking system scores appliances from A++ for the very best fridge or freezer, right through to G for the worst. The rating is calculated by looking at the amount of energy used per litre or cubic foot of space, thereby allowing large and small appliances to be compared.

  • How well you use and maintain your fridge/freezer

As we’ll see later, how you use your appliance will have a bearing on how much energy it uses. We’ve put together some top tips to help you maximise the energy efficiency of your appliances.

The cost

Here’s a rough idea of how much energy your fridge or freezer will use, and how much this could cost:

Appliance

Average Consumption

(kWh / year)

Average Running Cost

(£ / year)*

Fridge

162

16.20

Fridge/Freezer

427

42.70

Upright Freezer

327

32.70

Chest Freezer

362

36.20

*based on indicative price of 10p per kWh. 

fridge

How can I improve the efficiency of my fridge or freezer?

Here are a few tips to improve the energy efficiency of your appliances.

  • Pay attention to where you position your fridge/freezer – if your fridge/freezer spends much of its day in direct sunlight or has an oven as a neighbour, it could add to your electricity bill. Your appliance will have to work harder to keep cool than a fridge/freezer that’s in a shady position away from heat sources.
  • Vacuum the back – we recognise that this isn’t necessarily the most practical advice given your appliance is probably heavy and in a corner, but keeping the condenser coils on the back of your appliance free from dust will help to keep it more efficient. This is because it will be a lot easier for it to get rid of the heat. Dragging it out every few months for a spring clean may be a pain, but it could help reduce your electricity bill!
  • Make sure the seals are good – make sure your door seals are kept clean and that they function well. A good seal is essential for the operation of your fridge/freezer, so keep an eye out for wear and tear.
  • Don’t put hot food in the fridge – if you’re saving some hot leftovers, don’t pop them straight in the fridge. Though it might be convenient, your fridge will have to work doubly hard to try and compensate for the heat that you’ve introduced. This will increase the amount of electricity it uses. Instead of doing this, put the food in an airtight container and only put it in the fridge when it’s cool.
  • Try and keep your fridge or freezer filled – an empty fridge or freezer is using electricity to simply cool air; not particularly efficient! If you keep a cold bottle of water in the fridge though, it will assist in keeping the temperature down. Filling space with bottles of tap water or even screwed up newspaper, will help it use less energy. Bear this in mind though when buying a new appliance; only buy one that’s just big enough for your needs.

For other tips on how to save energy in your home, have a look at our tips today or if you want to save on your energy costs in other ways, why not see if you can switch to a better deal?