Refrigeration costs are 5% of home energy usage. A few years ago, we quit using our chest freezer. We were down to three people at home, and we weren’t using the space. This fall, my daughter borrowed my mini fridge, which I used for beer, for her dorm room. The only refrigerator we have left is the one in the kitchen.
I decided to go through a checklist from the Mother Earth News.
We don’t clean the condenser coils as often as we should (2-3 times a year).
Our seals pass the dollar bill test.
The refrigerator is set to the normal setting and the freezer to the recommended setting.
We don’t have a “power-saver’ setting.
Our refrigerator is between a heat vent and the dishwasher, which is not an ideal location. However, we don’t have another spot for it in our kitchen.
The freezer doesn’t need defrosting.
We do let foods cool before we place them in the refrigerator.
We do cover our food in the refrigerator.
We don’t mark items in the freezer for quick identification, but we probably should.
We do keep our freezer pretty full, which is more efficient, but could do better.
My freshman year of college I had a dorm room on the first floor. During the winter, I could place food items on the ground outside my window for refrigeration. We live in a climate where the garage reaches refrigerator or freezer temperatures. We could turn off the refrigerator for part of the year and use the garage as a refrigerator. We could also turn off the freezer for part of the year and use the garage as a freezer. I don’t think I want to deal with the inconvenience, but it would be possible.