FRIDGES AND FREEZERS are some of the biggest power consumers in households (especially when used inefficiently), accounting for about 17% of all domestic energy used in the UK. EcoFrenzy show you a few simple methods to save money, energy and the environment when using your fridge freezer.

Condenser grills behind your fridge or freezer should have plenty of ventilation space around them. Keep them dust free and working efficiently by cleaning twice a year.

Place an appliance thermometer in a glass of water in the centre of your refrigerator for 24 hours. Then check the freezer temperature by placing the thermometer between frozen packages for the same time. Ideally the fridge should be 4°C and the freezer -18°C.

Chest freezers tend to be more energy efficient because less cold air escapes when the lid is opened. Opening the door of an upright freezer allows cold air to flow out in abundance.

One large refrigerator is cheaper and more efficient to run than two smaller ones. Ridding yourself of an old refrigerator is one of the largest single contributions you can make to lowering your electric bills and to conserving energy and resources.

Regularly defrost your freezer because ice deposits considerably reduce the efficiency of cooling and increase power consumption.

Don’t leave the fridge door open! Leaving it open for 10 seconds can result in the time taken to return to its original temperature of up to 40 minutes.

In the 1980s fridges and freezers used chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) a refrigerant that was destroying the ozone layer. One of the substitutes for CFCs are HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons), a super-greenhouse gas which can be up to 22,800 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Larger, American-style fridge-freezers with features such as ice makers, frost-free and water chillers consume more energy. These additional features are discounted when the appliance is tested for its Energy Label which can lead to a misleadingly good rating.

At London’s Park Plaza Westminster Bridge hotel, over 120 of the kitchen and bar fridges are fitted with new regulators, giving more accurate temperature readings, saving energy by determining when additional chilling is needed to keep
the right temperature. Seems like something we should all have!

A Greenpeace campaign on refrigerants promoted Greenfreeze hydrocarbon technology (a mixture of propane and isobutane for the refrigerant and cyclopentane for blowing the insulation foam). Greenfreeze hydrocarbons are entirely free of ozone-depleting and global warming chemicals.