Start by unplugging that older extra refrigerator in the garage or basement. Older-model refrigerators cost you an average of $150 per year to run. Is it really worth it to you? As for the one that's in your kitchen, be sure it's in a cool place, away from direct sunlight and heat-generating appliances that can make it work harder. Keep it no colder than about 35 to 38°F, with plenty of air circulation behind it. Don't stand with the door open; grab what you need quickly and shut the door. Make sure the door seals fit tightly against the doorframe.
- Skill level: Basic
- Almost everything you can do to keep your refrigerator running as cost-efficiently as possible can be done in minutes.
- Cost range: $10 coil brush
- Keeping your refrigerator properly maintained only requires a coil-cleaning brush (if you have an older model fridge with exposed rear coils), available at most hardware stores, and checking and replacing door seals if they're not airtight.
- Savings: Varies
- Keeping your fridge running efficiently not only saves energy, but it can increase its life span.