Save Big With Energy Star Refrigerators and Government Appliance Rebate!

Refrigerators and freezers consume considerable electricity. In fact, next to an air conditioner or pool pump, a refrigerator is often a home’s heaviest electricity user. The recent government appliance rebate program will give purchasers of home appliances an opportunity to not only save energy, but receive up to a $200 rebate starting October 2009. A brand new Energy Star refrigerator will often pay for itself in a few years through energy savings. Did you know? Many refrigerators manufactured before 1993 can cost more than $100 per year in electricity—twice as much as a new ENERGY STAR qualified model. And fridges from the 1970s cost four times more to operate.

Whether or not you are able to afford a new energy efficient refrigerator now or later, you can take advantage of the following tips and tricks to boost efficiency:

·         Lower the temperature of the freezer, and raise that of the refrigerator. You can keep the freezer as cold as 0 degrees F, but it may take a long time to thaw foods. Keep the refrigerator at 38 degrees F or colder (any warmer will allow foods to spoil). You can check temperatures by placing a thermometer between frozen food items in the freezer or in a glass of water in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

·         Give your refrigerator some space. Maintaining about 2 inches of space around your refrigerator allows enough room for heat generated by the condenser coils and compressor to escape. This means your appliance will not have to work as hard to keep cool.

·         Position your refrigerator as far away from significant heat sources as possible. This includes direct sunlight and heat vents, as well as heat-generating appliances such as stoves and ovens.

·         Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. Of course, the “don’t stand with the refrigerator door open” rule has been around as long as refrigerators, but now it is more important than ever. The cold air that escapes when the door is opened is replaced by warm air that must be cooled all over again.

·         Be sure the refrigerator and freezer doors seal tightly. You can test the seal by closing the door on a piece of paper. If you’re able to remove it easily with the door closed, it’s probably time to replace the rubber gasket around the door’s perimeter or adjust the door.

·         Don’t over-stuff your refrigerator. A full refrigerator has to work harder to stay cool than a moderately full one.

In the end purchasing a new refrigerator will pay for itself overtime, and you can use the energy and money savings towards something else you have planned such as purchasing that new energy star television. Just like the “cash for clunkers” automobile program we don’t know how long the government appliance rebate  “cash for refrigerators” program will last . Don’t be left out! 


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