This guest post is by Rob Jenkins of plrpanda.net.
You may not realise it but your freezer is one of the worst things for the environment in your entire house, partly because it takes a lot of energy to keep things frozen and partly because in order to function properly it needs to be running all the time (i.e.365 days a year). Typically you freezer will cost $246 per year to run in terms of electricity which as you can imagine is a huge amount of power, which of course will have been produced with environmentally unfriendly fossil fuels. To put this in perspective your average dishwasher will cost just $32 per year.
So what can we do about this problem? There are a few things that you can do to help reduce this gargantuan power consumption; the solution begins when you start looking at new freezers to buy. If you are conscious about your impact to the environment you absolutely must find a freezer which matches the following specification:
An eco-friendly freezer: – there are several manufactures who specify in producing efficient freezers, an easy way to identify them is by the Energy Star or Energuide stickers.
Don’t get a freezer with an ice cube maker: – As useful as they are in hot countries they actually add 1/5 to the energy consumption of any given freezer. Ask yourself is it really necessary that you have one, as an alternative you can invest in some ice cube trays, which would produce ice cubes without adding to the freezer’s energy consumption.
Fridge don’t freeze: For smaller households a freezer may not actually be needed, it could mean a few extra trips to the market but things like ready meals are still safe to eat when chilled in the freezer. The only difference is that they won’t keep for years. On the other hand this will also encourage you to prepare fresh meals which will inherently be much healthier for you.
Once you have your freezer…
In addition to the above considerations before buying there are also things which you can do if you already own a freezer.
Clean the coils: – The coils which are responsible for the temperature can often become grubby, which of course means more energy is needed to keep the freezer at a constant temperature. For the best results do this every three to four months.
Clean the seals: – If your freezer’s seals are dirty it can cause a leak letting the cold out, which again means the freezer needs to harder to produce the same temperature.
Don’t leave the freezer open for a long time: – It goes without out saying that your freezer will have to work harder if it open for any length of time. Same is true if you setup the freezer near something warm.
Defrost the freezer: – Although it may seem odd that more ice can be bad for your freezers energy consumption, trust me it is so make sure you do this every six months or so.
If you enjoyed or found this post useful why not check out another of my posts where I ask: How cold is a freezer?
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