Our Northern readers might appreciate this tip from Apartment Therapy's green living experts at Re-Nest: When the temperatures outside are below freezing, instead of spending cash to chill a metal box inside your warmed-up home, harness some of that outside energy—in a way that won't void the warranty.
Some winter refrigerator efficiency tips suggest actually drilling holes to let the chilled outside air flow inside your refrigerator. That's an absolute no-go for most of us renters, and probably a bad idea even if you own.
So how can we take advantage of the winter temperatures to chill our cooled box inside of a heated box inside of cooled surroundings?
Re-Nest re-prints a suggestion from a "Mr. Electricity" reader to unplug the fridge in the winter months and fill it with ice and plastic bottles of water that were frozen outside. It's a high-maintenance suggestion to say the least, but a lot of people will go a long way to keep money in their pockets.
But Re-Nest points out that you don't need to unplug your fridge to make good use of this tip. If the ice inside is providing enough cooling power, the refrigerator's compressor won't kick on. And on the off-chance you forget to replenish the ice? The fridge will do it's duty and keep your food from spoiling!
Another easy tip to take advantage of outside cold? Locate your fridge on an exterior wall and make sure you allow 2" of space on all sides for proper air circulation.