Use appliances efficiently: Fridges & Freezers

What to look for when buying:

  • a minimum of three stars when buying a two door fridge, chest freezer or upright freezer
  • the right size for your household’s needs; one that is regularly less than two-thirds full is probably too big
  • a model with a door alarm, inverter technology and adjustable defrost
  • thermostat controls that are easy to read and use
  • Consider a chest freezer, as they are more efficient than upright models
  • Consider choosing a model with the freezer on top, as they generally use less energy than those with the freezer at the bottom

Efficiency Tips

  • Don’t position your fridge in direct sunlight or near other heat sources like ovens, heaters & dishwashers. Reducing the exterior temperature of your fridge means that it doesn’t need to work as hard.
  • Keep the fridge well ventilated with at least 7.5cm of space at the top, back and sides. Restricting ventilation around the back of the fridge can add 15 per cent to the fridge's operating costs.
  • Set the fridge temperature at 3 - 5°C, and the freezer between -15 and -18°C. Don't set the temperature too low - a change of one degree can affect energy consumption by up to 5%. Check temperatures with a fridge thermometer. You can find these online or at most quality kitchenware stores.
  • Don’t open the fridge door too often or leave it open longer than needed – know what you are getting before you open it.
  • Don’t place hot items in the fridge.
  • Keep the fridge as full as possible. If your fridge is empty, fill up bottles of water and leave them in the fridge – an empty fridge uses more energy.
  • In freezers, food packages should be scattered and should never be grouped or stacked together until they are completely frozen.
  • Make sure the door seals are airtight. Test them by closing the door over a piece of paper so it is half in and half out of the fridge. If you can pull the paper out easily, the hinge may need adjustment or the seal may need replacing.
  • Remove dust from the coils at the back of the fridge every six months.
  • Defrost your freezer when the ice is 5mm thick
  • When away for longer periods, turn off, defrost, empty and clean the refrigerator and leave the door ajar.
  • If you have a second fridge, switch it off when it's not needed and leave the door ajar.
  • If you need it, consider a bigger, more efficient main fridge instead of a second fridge.

If you have a 2nd fridge but don’t use it often, consider recycling it though the Fridge Buyback program

Last Updated: 
Wed 09/03/2016

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