How to tell if fridge is using too much electricity, is refrigerator causing high electric bill
If there is sudden increase in your electricity bill, then the fridge becomes one of the prime suspects for causing the surge in the electricity bill. Many are not sure how much electricity does a refrigerator use per month in India nor how much does fridge electricity cost. In this page we have tips on how to save electricity with a fridge.
The easiest way to test the fridge current consumption would be to check the difference in your electric meter readings with the fridge kept on for say 3 hours. Then keep the fridge off and pull the plug of the fridge from the socket. Then check the difference in the electric meter for the next 3 hours. You can then calculate the electric units used by the fridge for 3 hours and from that the hourly electric consumption of the refrigerator. During the test period, all other electric equipment usage should remain the same without switching on or off anything else.
From such a test you can get a rough idea of the daily electric usage by the refrigerator. From this you will know for sure whether the fridge is the cause of high electric bill.
How to save electricity used by refrigerator
Here we are going to give you some tips on how to use refrigerator to save electricity, which, in addition, will also make the refrigerator last longer.
The electric consumption of fridges varies a lot, depending on several factors as explained here. We have some tips below on how to use fridge efficiently to reduce the electricity usage by refrigerators. If you follow this guideline on the proper use of a fridge, then your fridge electricity consumption cost per month will be reduced.
Tips to save electricity in refrigerator
These are the refrigerator tips to reduce power consumption and to make the it last longer.
Better Ventilation behind the Fridge
The compressor and condenser coils of a fridge are usually at the back of the refrigerator. Some may have it at the very bottom of the fridge. These parts get heated up, and if there is not enough air circulation to cool these components, then the compressor has to work harder and consume more electricity. So to reduce the power consumption of the fridge, make sure that there is a minimum 4 inch or 10-centimeter gap or clearance at the back of the fridge.
Keeping the condenser coils of the fridge clean
Dust and cobwebs (spider nets) on condenser coil at the back of the refrigerator reduces its heat transfer efficiency and leads to increased electric power consumption. Therefore to reduce electrical power consumption by the fridge clean the back of the fridge once at least every four months. Some fridges may have the condenser coils at the bottom of the fridge. Cleaning can be done with a vacuum cleaner or by an air blower.
Never put hot food in the Fridge.
Whenever any food items are placed in a fridge, it has to be cooled down, and this needs electricity. To reduce the heat load, make sure that food placed in the refrigerator is as cold as possible. Never put hot things in the fridge, hot material should be allowed to cool down to room temperature before it is placed in the refrigerator.
Set fridge thermostat temperature at manufacturer recommended setting
The colder the thermostat temperature of a fridge is set, the more the refrigerator has to work to reach that lower temperature. The thermostat dial of a refrigerator has a manufacturer recommended marking to show the ideal thermostat setting, try not to set the thermostat below it.
Avoid opening the Fridge door too many times.
Each time the door of the fridge is opened, it is losing some cold from inside the refrigerator. So the compressor needs to work to compensate this loss of cold from the fridge. Also each time the door of a fridge is opened, moist outside air gets into the fridge and this leads to frost in the fridge. The more times the door is opened or, the longer it is kept open, the more the electric bill will be.
Buy the right size refrigerator
A bigger capacity fridge means a higher monthly electric bill. A bigger Fridge with more star rating may consume less power than the next smaller refrigerator with a lower star rating. You can select power saving refrigerator models by looking for 5 star fridges or the next best 4 star fridges.
Most select a fridge by just measuring the space available for a refrigerator and buy the biggest fridge that will fit in that space and in their budget. This is a good way to select a fridge, but you should also consider how many persons there are in the house. There are many suggestions on the net regarding the capacity of refrigerator required per person.
How to know what size refrigerator to buy
From my research, this is the conclusion I have come to regarding the fridge size needed per person in India: per adult 75 Litres, per child infants included 50 litres. So for a family of 2 adults and 2 kids an ideal size fridge would be 250 Litres. So go in for a fridge from 250 to 300 Litres. These measurements are for idealistic conditions. If for example, you want to save money by buying more food stuff when it is available cheaply and stock it in the fridge, then go for the biggest you can afford.
Does turning off fridge overnight save electricity?
Turning off the fridge overnight does not save electricity usage by fridge because the food in the fridge will warm up during the night and the fridge will have to work harder to cool it the next morning and thus consuming whatever electricity it saved during the night. It may also be noted that the fridge consumes very little power during the night, because the doors are not opened during the night. Also turning off and on the fridge frequently is not good. How long can a fridge be turned off depends on the food you have in the fridge, if there is nothing in the fridge, then it can be safely turned off for some time.
Why you need to defrost a fridge
The reason why to defrost a fridge regularly is that the frost and ice that builds upon the surface of the fridge freezer cooling coils prevent transfer of heat from the fridge to its cooling coils. Frost and Ice are good insulators and if allowed to build up, will result in higher energy consumption of the refrigerator. Do not let too much frost to build up on the freezer coils of Direct cool fridges.
In no frost fridges, the cooling coils are not visible, but they too have a cooling coil around which air is blown by a fan, and this air circulates in the fridge to cool it down. Frost or ice also build upon the cooling coils of a no frost fridge. This frost build-up prevents heat transfer making the refrigerator consume more electricity.
To get rid of the frost in no frost fridges, they have a heater element surrounding the cooling coils which come on with a timer, usually every 4 to 6 hours. How long the heater stays on depends on the ice build up on the cooling coils. If there is less ice or frost formation, then the heater element has to work for a shorter time. Heating coils consume quite a bit of electricity. So to save electricity usage by a fridge, we must make sure that there is less ice build up on the cooling coils. How to prevent frost in a refrigerator is explained below.
How to prevent Frost or ice build-up in a refrigerator
Water vapour inside the fridge causes the build-up of ice or frost on the cooling coil surface of a refrigerator. To reduce water vapour in a fridge, always keep food and water in closed containers or wrap food with cling film. Any exposed food becomes dry in a fridge, even if it is frozen food. You may have heard of ‘freeze-drying’, an industrial process for drying items like green peas. Water from frozen food sublimes – that is ice directly becomes gas water vapour without the intermediate liquid phase of water. So even in the freezer all food items must be in sealed containers or wrapped with cling film.
Star rating and power consumption of a refrigerator
A higher star rated fridge saves electricity by having the latest, low power consuming compressors like inverter compressors. Fridges with more star ratings will have better insulation to prevent heat from outside the refrigerator from getting in. One of the major spots of heat gain in a fridge is through the door seals of the fridge. Higher star rated fridges will have much better door seals.
Advantage of buying AC, Fridge, Washing Machine, etc. online
Buying online fridges, washing machines, dishwashers and other major kitchen appliances is now the better option in India, just like it is in the USA and other advanced countries. There are several advantages of buying online. First of all, you get unbeatable bargain prices. Secondly, you get new and genuine products. Other benefits include no interest EMI payments, able to return the product for a full refund if not satisfied, etc.
Just to give you an example, below are some of the benefits Amazon India, the leading global online retailer, offered in India during their last sale. The same deals are not always available, but it is a good idea to check this link to the special offers page on Amazon.in India website.