Run and maintain your refrigerator and freezer at maximum efficiency:
• For food safety maintain your refrigerator temperature between 36° and 40°F/2-5°C and your freezer between 0° and 5°F/ -18 and -15°C; colder settings than this can waste up to 25 percent more energy.
• When defrosting food, plan ahead and put the frozen food in the refrigerator compartment where it will help keep the fridge cold while it thaws and thus save on electricity.
• Gently brush or vacuum the dust that can accumulate on the condenser coils located on the back of the refrigerator or freezer; this can sometimes save as much as 30 percent in electric consumption. Clean the outer and inner walls regularly with mild cleaning liquid.
• Clean and check the door seals to make sure they are tight. If there are cracks or gaps in the seal, replace it. An easy test for the seal is to close the door on a standard sheet of paper. The paper should not slide around or fall out, and you should feel some resistance when you pull it out. If not, replace the seal immediately; you're wasting at lot of money and energy.
• Leave enough space between your refrigerator and the walls or cabinets so air can circulate around the condenser coils at the back. Trapped heat from the coils and motor will needlessly increase your electric consumption.
• Keep the refrigerator full (but not packed, which prevents air from circulating). This allows the temperature to recover quickly after the door is opened and closed.
• If your refrigerator is more than 5 years old, replace it with a new energy efficient model, showing the EnergyStar label or rated 'A' in energy efficiency. Buying a new high-efficiency model will pay for itself in the long term and carries a big benefit for the environment.
• Get rid of those old refrigerators or freezers out in the garage or basement that you might be using as second appliances. These are energy hogs that waste energy and money-.