Ken's Weekly E-Tip: Refrigerator Savings
Refrigerators use energy whether members are sleeping, away for work, on vacation or watching television. And most homes have more than one. Here are some helpful maintenance tips to save some cash:
Upgrade to Energy Star
Central Electric Cooperative (CEC) offers a $100 rebate on refrigerators that are certified Energy Star. Energy Star certified refrigerators typically use 15 percent less energy than a typical refrigerator. Energy Star certification can be found by visiting www.energystar.gov. Enter a refrigerator's model number in the "Filter Your Results" box and click the search symbol. Only certified models will appear in a search.
Go With A Top Or Bottom-Mounted Freezer
Refrigerators with the freezer section on top use about 20 percent less energy than a side-by-side refrigerator. Try to avoid automatic ice makers as they can use as much energy as the freezer itself.
Recommended refrigerator compartment temperatures range between 37 and 40 degrees. Keep the freezer section zero to five above.
Use Glass For Storage
Glass stays colder longer than other materials. The more items contained in glass that are stored in the fridge, the less the compressor has to run.
Keep refrigerators away from unnecessary heat sources such as ranges and windows. Kitchen temperatures above 70 degrees cause the refrigerator to use 2.5 percent more energy.
Reduce energy consumption up to 6 percent by cleaning the coils twice a year. Purchase a cleaning brush with a long wire handle to reach under the unit. A shop vacuum with a narrow extension tool also works great. Make sure to leave a full 3 inches of space between the back of the unit and the wall for proper air circulation over the coils.
Keep Door Seals Tight
Leaky door gaskets on both the refrigerator and freezer section waste energy. Close the door on a piece of paper. If the paper can be moved easily, the gaskets need to be replaced. Petroleum jelly makes an excellent lubricant for door gaskets.
Buy A Refrigerator With Automatic Moisture Control
Refrigerators with automatic moisture control prevent moisture accumulation without the addition of a heater in the door. An "anti-sweat" door heater can consume five to 10 percent more energy than those that do not have them.
Here is a great link that covers much of what I discussed above that can help you keep your refrigerator running energy efficient.
Earn $50 Bill Credit
Let CEC install a load control device on your electric water heater and earn a $50 one-time bill credit and a monthly $2.50 bill credit. Call 800-521-0570 x2195 to learn more. Members having a water heater installed by the cooperative are not eligible for the credits.
Twitter and Load Control
Participants in our load control program for electric heat and water heaters can find out when and how long control periods are predicted by logging onto www.central.coop and clicking our Twitter logo. Please remember that these are only predictions and actual times may vary.
If you have any ideas for future E-Tip topics, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.