Sun Frost RF-12 refrigerator pictured above was The National Georgraphic Green Guide's choice for greenest product: with an energy star rating of 51% and an annual operating cost of just $17.78, it is well worth the $2,279 asking price. If a new fridge isn't in the cards, here are some usage tips from The Green Guide to help make your existing fridge a littlle more energy efficient:
- Don't keep your fridge too cold. Refrigerators should be kept between 37 and 40 degrees and freezers at 5 degrees. Colder temperatures waste energy. To test the temperature, leave an appliance thermometer in a glass of water in the middle shelf for 24 hours. In the freezer, place a thermometer among packs of frozen food.
- Clean the coils annually.
- Cover food and drink to avoid evaporation in the fridge, which can force the compressor to work harder.
- Keep your freezer filled. Frozen blocks of food keep freezer temperatures more stable.
- Don't clutter the fridge top; it can hamper the compressor's proper air circulation.
- Don't put your refrigerator in direct sunlight or next to an oven or dishwasher.
- Check the door seals. They should be able to hold a piece of paper in place.
- Defrost the freezer regularly and avoid frost build-ups of more than a quarter-inch.