The only electrical appliance that is switched on continuously is the Fridge and it takes around 50% of the total current consumed in a day. That means, if your daily consumption is 4 units, the Fridge alone takes 2 units. Even the most modern Energy Star type consumes 1.5 units in a day. You can check this easily. Note the meter reading and take another reading after 24 hours. The difference is the Units in a day. Then unplug the Fridge for one day and use other devices as usual. Take the reading after 24 hours. You can see how much unit is consumed by the Fridge in a day. If it is more than 2 units, it is time to replace the Fridge. So to reduce the electricity bill, the only way is to monitor the Fridge. A 10 year old Fridge consumes double power than a new one. By doing some tricks, we can save around 0.5 units per day.
1. The compressor in the Fridge is the most current hungry one but it is not always on. The Fan on the other hand is switched on frequently and consumes power.
2. The temperature adjustment and the air temperature in the room determines the duty cycle of Fridge. Most Fridge are designed for 30-40% duty cycle at 70 Degree F and the duty cycle increases to 90% when the room temperature rises to 100 degree F. This means, current consumption in the Fridge will be high in summer season and if it is kept in Kitchen.
3. The Compressor consumes around 200-500 watts while running and the daily defrost cycle takes more than 600 watts for 5-30 minutes. The Fridge has two Fans. The Evaporator Fan inside continuously takes 10-40 watts and the Condenser fan (if present) along with the compressor takes 30-60 watts. In addition to this, the Defrost timer, Heater, light, other accessories also consume power.
Now these are the current saving tips
1. Use a double door Fridge because, the Freezer compartment is not opening frequently. When it opens frequently, there will be more power consumption. Keep the Freezer clean and remove the old food items from it. Spread a plastic sheet on it, so that not much ice accumulates on the food. If automatic defrosting is not available, defrost once in a week by turning off the Fridge.
2. Set the temperature wisely. There are mainly 3 temperature adjustments for the seasons. Normal, Cold and Summer seasons. Set the knob accordingly. If you keep the knob in summer position during winter or rainy season, it leads to unnecessary wastage of power. As a rule, a general temperature settings for Freezer is 0 degree and for Fridge 36-39 F.
3. Check the Gasket. It is the rubber lining on the door. If it is loose or Broken, fridge will switch on continuously because the temperature inside rises. A minor crack can be sealed with a cello tape. Verify the door after its closing. No gap should be there.
4. Keep the Fridge in a well ventilated area with minimum 30 cm gap from the wall. Avoid keeping the Fridge in the Kitchen, because the room temperature is high there. Also do not use, Microwave oven, Heater etc near Fridge. All these increase the room temperature.
5. Clean the compressor and coil once in a month. Unplug the Fridge, and turn it. You can see the compressor and coils on the back side. Use a vacuum cleaner or brush to remove dust that accumulated. A clean coil will cool easily. Also check the wall socket and plug. Corrosion and dirt causes loose contacts and sparks which increases the power consumption.
6. Voltage drop is the most common cause of increased power consumption in Fridge. When the voltage drops current use increases. So check the line voltage. It should be between 200-230 volt without many fluctuations. If the voltage drops during Peak hours between 6-10 pm, switch off the Fridge. This considerably reduces the bill.
7. Don’t open the Fridge frequently. Open 2-3 times in a day. Take all the required items from the Fridge before cooking.
8. Do not place Hot materials in the Fridge. It will increase the inside temperature and the Fridge will remain on 1-2 hours to reduce that temperature. That means if hot food is in the Fridge, it consumes power unnecessarily for 1-2 hours.
9. Do not Jam Fridge with food items. If the space inside decreases, air circulation also decreases. This takes more time to cool and the Fridge turns on frequently.
10. Keeping the vegetables in polythene bags will reduce the job of Fridge because, there will be some cold air inside the bag which keeps the vegetables fresh.
11. Even though Stabilizer is a must for Fridge, it also takes current considerably.