Standing in front of an open refrigerator door while you decide what you want wastes a lot of energy. The refrigerator and freezer account for eight cents of every electric dollar. Look for energy-efficient models with features like power-saver switches and improved insulation.
Place refrigerators and freezers away from heat sources (like the range).
Keep the temperature between 37 and 42 degrees in the refrigerator and zero and five degrees in the freezer. If you're away for more than a couple of days, turn your refrigerator up two or three settings.
Cool foods to room temperature before placing them in the refrigerator unless the recipe specifies otherwise. Cover all stored liquids - they release vapors that increase the compressor's workload.
Make sure your refrigerator door closes tightly. Close it on a dollar bill. If you can pull it out, you may need a new gasket.
Clean condenser coils (located on the back or bottom of your refrigerator) at least once a year to increase efficiency.
Don't overcrowd your refrigerator. It can interfere with air flow and create "hot spots." On the other hand, most freezers work better fully loaded.
Side-by-side refrigerator/freezers use about 45% more energy than over-under two-door models. Upright freezers use more energy than top-loading freezers.
Defrost manual-defrost refrigerators or freezers before the frost becomes one-quarter inch thick.