Purchasing a smart or energy-efficient refrigerator, such as an ENERGY STAR® appliance, is one way to cut costs on your electric bill. These pricier units not only use energy more efficiently, they often feature energy monitoring features to track your actual energy consumption. But if you’re not in the market to purchase a new refrigerator, there are still ways to make your unit more efficient and save money.

  • Clean your condenser coils. Allowing dirt to build up on your refrigerator’s condenser coils forces the fridge to work harder to keep food cold. This results in increased energy usage, a higher electric bill, and a reduced lifespan.
  • Follow the three-fourths rule. A good rule of thumb is to keep your refrigerator three-fourths full to help with efficiency. It’s less work for your fridge to maintain the temperature when there’s more food to take up space, but you still want to ensure good air circulation. But keep in mind, food waste is no better than energy waste!
  • Encourage airflow around your fridge. Your refrigerator should have at least one inch of space around the exterior to allow air to circulate. If there isn’t enough room for adequate airflow, your refrigerator must work harder to keep things cold, resulting in increased energy usage.