Getting the most out of your fridge/freezer

Although the domestic appliance repair experts at TK Garnham are always on hand to undertake maintenance of cookers, dishwashers, washing machines, and so on, we also want to help you get more out of them by giving you advice on how to maintain your domestic appliances. And the fridge/freezer is perhaps the most important of all the domestic white goods.

Extending the life of foodstuffs, chilling drinks, and helping to increase the kinds of food we can stock in our homes, the fridge/freezer is the one domestic appliance that every member of the household is familiar with and depends on like no other. It sees a lot of action, but even though the family is regularly in there grabbing a snack or a drink, it’s easy to forget how indispensable the fridge/freezer is.

To ensure that your fridge/freezer serves you well and for many more years to come, all that’s needed is a simple bit of care and thought. Essentially, what you need to do is make it use less electricity and minimise the amount of food we dispose of.


Clean your coils
There are coils at the back and bottom of your fridge and these have a tendency to collect dust, reducing the efficiency of your fridge/freezer. The result is, the condenser has to operate more frequently and has to make greater efforts to bring down the temperature of the fridge/freezer. Not only does this use up more electricity, but it also shortens the life of the condenser as it has to work so hard.

A modest bit of annual maintenance is all that’s needed. Simply remove all the dust from the coils with a duster or vacuum cleaner. It’s a five minute job that could save you a small fortune.

Fill milk cartons with water and freeze them
Fridges and freezers generally work most efficiently when they are full. Cold items keep other items cold and keep the temperature down. Of course, it would be ridiculous to fill your fridge/freezer with more food than you can eat so why not simply fill all that empty, energy-chomping space with water?

Rather than throw away empty milk cartons, just fill them three quarters full with water and store them in your fridge and freezer compartments. The ones in the fridge are handy if you want a delicious drink of ice-cold water, while the ones in the freezer can be cut open and the contents smashed up if you ever need a chunk of ice for your cocktail.

Stick a veg box in the freezer
If you’re one of the many people who throw away leftover cooked vegetables, a veg box could save you money in several ways. Just put a small plastic container with lid into the freezer and whenever you have leftover vegetables, simply put them into the box and freeze. When you’ve collected enough, throw the leftovers into a casserole dish with diced meat and stock for a cheap and hearty stew or soup.

You’re saving money by not wasting food and by keeping your freezer stocked up, thus conserving energy.

Don’t get too close!
To the wall, that is. As space is often at a premium in many kitchens, it’s common to push the fridge/freezer as close to the wall as possible. However, by putting it too close, you can increase your energy consumption. By pulling the fridge/freezer just one inch away from the wall, you could reduce energy usage by as much as 40%.

Place a thermometer in the fridge
The optimal temperature for the fridge should be around 3 to 5 centigrade or 37 to 40 fahrenheit. Operating your fridge within these parameters is the most efficient in terms of preserving food and use of energy.

To get an accurate temperature reading for your fridge, take a thermometer and put it in a glass of water. Place the glass of water with the thermometer into the fridge and leave for 24 hours. If the reading is too high or too low, adjust the fridge temperature accordingly.

Freezers should be set to about -18 to -15 centigrade or 0 to 5 fahrenheit. To take a freezer reading, simply place the thermometer between two frozen items and check the reading 24 hours later.

Throw away old leftovers
It may seem to go against what we just told you about the veg box in the freezer, but now we’re talking about stuff in the fridge. If you leave fresh food in the fridge for too long, there’s a good chance it will develop mould and bacteria that will make your fridge smell and could contaminate other perfectly good food. Keep an eye on what’s in your fridge and if it’s past its best, get rid. You’ll save money by protecting the other stuff.

If you’d like to know more about getting the most out of your white goods, or if you’d like advice and information about domestic appliance sales and repairs, please contact us without delay.

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