When it comes to conserving energy, how you handle your refrigerator can make all the difference–according to Home Energy Magazine, keeping the refrigerator door open accounts for 7 percent of household electricity use per year. In fact, the Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida alleges that bad open/close habits waste 50 to 120kWh a year.
Home Energy Magazine shares:
Every time you open the refrigerator door, the cold air that keeps your food fresh is running out the door and the warm air from the room is taking its place. This is a problem because now your refrigerator’s compressor is going to work hard to drive all that warm air out and bring the temperature back to normal, elevating not only your monthly energy bills, but also your environmental footprint.
Now, Chinese designer Changhong has created the S.Home Refrigerator which can help eliminate the need to keep the refrigerator open. The innovate fridge, which appears white from far away, becomes transparent like glass as you approach it allowing you to see the contents. The fridge is seemingly perfect since it doesn’t expose a cluttered fridge all the time–only when someone walks in the fridge’s proximity. According to Digital Trends, there is no tentative timeline on when Changhong plans to distribute the product in the international market or how much the S.Home Refrigerator would set a customer back.
This idea is a step up from the 2010 fridge idea called the Sodge . The Sodge refrigerator used plastic doors which detach (instead of hinged doors) and in turn, saves both energy and space. The doors are transparent, and thus allow you to look at and choose the food before you even open the door. The only caveat: Most people do not have organized and impeccably clean fridges making plastic doors undesirable.
Whether you’re waiting for Changhong’s fridge to hit the market, don’t want your fridge exposed or are looking for a ways to conserve energy via your fridge, then consider these helpful tips:
- If your refrigerator door does not shut tightly, check the door seal to see if it needs to be cleaned or replaced. A door leak allows cool air to escape, forcing your refrigerator to use more energy to keep food cold.
- Cleaning the condenser coils found in the back or bottom of the refrigerator will maximize its efficiency. A brush or vacuum can be used. Be sure to unplug the refrigerator before you start cleaning.
- Keep the refrigerator away from heating appliances (ovens and dishwashers), windows, and heating ducts. Direct exposure to heat forces the unit to work harder and use more energy.
- Although automatic defrost refrigerators are convenient, their defrosting features use a lot of electricity. A manual defrost refrigerator typically uses 36% less energy.
- Another good idea is to allow warm foods to cool to room temperature before moving them to the refrigerator. That way energy won’t be required to do work that can take place naturally.