This year has been tough on everyone's wallet. Energy bills have risen steadily in recent years, and with the cold weather, it is more important than ever to find ways to save energy (and money). A fridge is one of the biggest energy guzzlers in the home, so we give some tips to make your fridge more energy efficient.

1. Check the seals

You can make your fridge a lot more economical with these 9 simple tricks

A worn or damaged seal on your fridge door can cause cold air to escape, making your fridge have to work harder (and thus use more energy) to keep everything cool. If you see light escaping from near the fridge door, or if it feels warm when you put your hand on it, it's time to replace the door rubbers.

2. Set the temperature wisely

You can make your fridge a lot more economical with these 9 simple tricks

At how many degrees is your fridge set? Most experts recommend setting the fridge to 4 degrees and the freezer to -18 degrees. Why? Because that is the ideal temperature to keep food fresh without your fridge working overtime.

3. Let hot food cool first before putting it in the fridge

If you immediately put hot food in the fridge, the internal temperature rises and your fridge has to run more often (and use more energy) to get back to 4 degrees. So instead of putting that red-hot casserole in the fridge, leave it on the counter first until it reaches room temperature.

4. Keep it full (but not too full)

A full fridge is more energy-efficient than an empty one because the compressor needs to cool less air. But resist the temptation to stuff your fridge so full that the air cannot circulate properly - this also reduces efficiency.

5. Defrost regularly

You can make your fridge a lot more economical with these 9 simple tricks

When ice builds up on the coils of the freezer or fridge, they are insulated and work less efficiently. Fortunately, most newer fridges have an automatic defrost cycle. However, is yours a bit older? Then you may have to do it manually by unplugging it and using a soft brush or a low-temperature hair dryer to remove the frost.

6. Give your fridge some space

Never put the fridge completely straight against the wall. It should have at least 15 cm of space on all sides to allow air to circulate well around it and keep it working efficiently.

7. Vacuum the coils

You can make your fridge a lot more economical with these 9 simple tricks

About every six months, vacuum the coils at the back of your fridge. Dust and pet hair can accumulate on these, making it harder for your fridge to dissipate heat.

8. Replace an old appliance with a new model with energy label A

If your current fridge is more than 10 years old, chances are it is not as energy-efficient as the newer models on the market today. We're even talking about those without fancy features like digital control panels and ice dispensers through the door. On average, refrigerators with energy label A are about 9 per cent more efficient than conventional models, so replacing an old scrap can save you a lot of money on your energy bills every year.

Tip from our expert: Purchase a smart plug
With a smart plug with a consumption meter, you can measure how much power the fridge uses. This way, you can investigate whether it is interesting for you to buy a new fridge. But it is also interesting to check your energy consumption on other appliances in the house with this Smart Plug.

9. Use these tips all year round

You don't have to wait for winter weather to think about saving energy - with these tips, you can reduce your energy consumption (and bills) all year round.

By following these nine simple tips, you can make your fridge more energy efficient and save yourself a lot of money on energy bills. So what are you waiting for? Implement these tips today!

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