Sunday 25 September 2016

Does it really make a difference which fridge I have?

By investing in an efficient fridge, you can not only cut-back on your energy usage, but keep your fruit and vegetables fresh for twice as long. We look at how purchasing the right cooling appliances can make all the difference

Published 08/04/2015 | 02:30

A young woman looking for something in her refrigerator
A young woman looking for something in her refrigerator

As fridges and freezers need to be on 24 hours a day, 365 days a year they use a lot of electricity. In fact, research shows that they are responsible for approximately 7% of the average energy bill. So it makes sense to look at the energy credentials of your current model.

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The fact that a modern fridge uses between 40 and 60% less energy than models sold before 2000 means that by replacing your old model you could make substantial savings.

But how do you choose the most energy efficient model for your spend?

Today, that task is quite easy. All appliances are now required to have an EU energy label. This label indicates the appliance's energy consumption and makes it easier than ever before to compare models. Fridges, freezers and fridge freezers are rated from A+++ to G, with A+++ being the most efficient and G being the least efficient.

The energy label will also display the yearly consumption figure in kWh. The lower the figure, the cheaper the fridge or freezer will be to run.

It's worth noting that every fridge, freezer and fridge freezer model in the Bosch range has been awarded at least an A+ in the EU Energy Efficient rating scheme.

An A+ model uses as much as 20% less energy than the equivalent A-rated models, and their range of super- efficient models with A++ ratings use up to 40% less energy than an equivalent A-rated model.

That said, when it comes to upgrading your fridge, freezer or fridge freezer, the energy label is not the only factor you should take into account. New models to the market offer a host of features that make your appliance work a lot harder for you.

For example, models that offer MultiAirflow Cooling, greatly improves the circulation of air around the fridge, regulates the temperature and humidity levels, and eradicates condensation build-up, so that your food stays fresher for longer. That means less food ends up in the bin. With it being estimated that 30% of the food we buy is thrown away, that's a welcome addition to any household.

Frost free is another feature that can make light of household tasks. While few people like defrosting their freezer it's a necessary chore. When frost builds up in your fridge or freezer, the fridge or freezer needs more energy to run appropriately. With frost free settings this no longer needs to be a problem. This innovative system eliminates the formation of ice on food and the freezer interior, meaning you never have to worry about defrosting again.

Have you ever heard that the temperature of your fridge should never be too cold? The colder you set the temperature, the harder the fridge has to work to maintain that temperature. For optimal food storage and energy efficiency it is advised to keep the temperature of your fridge at around 2.5°C and your freezer at approximately -17°C. By choosing a model with electronic temperature control this couldn't be easier. You can control the temperature of the fridge and freezer at the touch of a button.

How to make your fridge more efficient

1 Place it in a cool part of the kitchen - A fridge will operate at its maximum when in a cool location, so keep yours away from direct sunlight and your cooker.

2 Fill it up - Stock your fridge well or consider investing in a smaller model. That way your appliance is not using energy just to keep the air inside of it cool.

3 Don't place your fridge too close to the wall - It needs approximately two inches of space at the back to aid ventilation.

4 Only store cold foods in the fridge - Make sure your food has cooled down completely before storing in the fridge. This is because if your fridge has to cool warm items, it needs to work twice as hard to maintain a cold temperature.

5 Choose a stacked fridge freezer - Did you know that models that have the fridge and freezer stacked on top of each other are 20% more efficient than side-mounted units?

6 Vacuum the coils - Your fridge pulls out all of the hot air from the inside. That energy is released slowly into the kitchen through the refrigerator coils. If dust forms around the coils, the heat will be retained and shorten the life of your fridge.

Irish Independent

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