Keep your fridge-freezer clean and ice-free
Last updated Wednesday 30 April 2008
A clean machine can save on carbon... and cash
Regular defrosting, ideal positioning in the room, keeping lids on liquids and even giving it a once-over with the vacuum cleaner can minimise a fridge-freezer's CO2emissions and save you up to £30 over its lifetime. And an icey fridge means it's working less efficiently - so applying just a little regular TLC could save up to 10kg of CO2 every year, almost ten times less CO2 than you can save by composting the food you keep in it and normally throw away.Read more below
Saves about 10kg of CO2 a year
1021 Bloomers are doing this
In this article:
How do I do it?
- 15p of each £1 spent on food is wasted. This can be reduced by checking in the fridge before shopping and using leftovers instead of binning them
- UK households use £1.2 billion worth of electricity every year on cooling and freezing food and drinks
- Refrigeration and freezing appliances in UK homes use nearly as much electricity as all offices
- Cooling a 2L bottle of drink from room temperature generates ten times as much greenhouse gas as opening the fridge door
- Fridge-freezers work best in cold spaces, so if possible keep them out of direct sunlight and away from cookers
- The coils at the back work better if they're kept at least 10cm from the wall and dust-free. Dust and grime clog them up and increase energy use by up to 30% so vacuum them about every three months. Make sure you unplug the fridge-freezer first to avoid electric shocks
- If it's not of the frost free variety, defrost it at the first hint of an icicle
- Clean the door seals and replace them if they're damaged
- Your fridge works best when it's kept well stocked - but not crammed full
- Vapours from liquids make the fridge work harder, so keep them covered
- Keep the appliance at its optimum temperature - 3-5°C for the fridge and -18°C for freezers
- If your fridge is over ten years old, consider upgrading to a new one
What's the debate?
It's easy to be cynical about how much cleaning our fridges can really do to tackle global warming when you think about the energy used by businesses, but in fact fridges and freezers in UK homes use nearly as much electricity as all offices.