Is your refrigerator ready for Thanksgiving?

Is your refrigerator ready for Thanksgiving?

If the Thanksgiving celebration is at your house this year, your family members aren’t the only ones who will be stuffed. So will your refrigerator. Is it up to the task?

If your fridge is more than a decade old, it might not be. Today’s models – those bearing the ENERGY STAR label – use at least 15% less energy than federal standards require and 40% less than models manufactured in the early 2000s use, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. 

Yet more than 60 million households have refrigerators that are more than 10 years old, the DOE says. By replacing yours with a new, energy-efficient model, you could save up to $300 in electricity charges over its lifetime.

When shopping for a new refrigerator or freezer, read the EnergyGuide label. It tells you how many kilowatt-hours of electricity the unit will consume in one year of operation. Look for a refrigerator with the freezer on the bottom or the top; side-by-side designs consume more energy. Chest freezers are typically better insulated than upright models. 

Whether you’re buying a new fridge this year or not, follow these tips for more efficient use:

  • Brush or vacuum your refrigerator’s coils regularly to improve efficiency by as much as 30%.
  • Keeping your refrigerator full will help your unit retain cold better. If you have trouble keeping it stocked, fill the extra space with bottles or containers of water. 
  • If your milk is frosty, reduce the temperature. Refrigerators should be set between 36 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Freezers should stay between 0 and 5 degrees. 
  • Put a dollar bill in the door’s seal to see if it is airtight. If the dollar slips out easily, so will cold air. If the door does not seal properly, it may need to be realigned or the seal replaced. Also, the door seal should be periodically cleaned to help prevent odors and to maintain the seal’s flexibility.

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