By Jan Herbert
Rockford Park District
Whether you were “green” before the color was fashionable or whether you’re just ready to find the “shade” that works best for you, here’s information about doing just “one green thing.”
The first eco-confession comes from friends because of their 35-year-old freezer. Past the guilt, however, she’s busy filling it up with fresh frozen green beans from the garden. Can you blame them for not wanting to replace the unit?
With that, the conversation moved on to refrigerators. We all enjoy having an extra one in the garage to keep beverages cold. If that fridge is more than five years old, it is probably using about 40 percent more electricity than the Energy Star-certified units today. A new unit could save $70 or more per year, and reduce your home’s carbon footprint by 1,000 pounds per year. If the timing isn’t right, here are some ways to help improve the efficiency of the one you have.
1. Check your door seals by putting a piece of paper in the door. If you can pull it out, cold air is escaping. Check on replacement seals or try some silicone spray on the seals to renew them.
2. Clean the coils on the back of your refrigerator (and do it once or twice a year). Be sure to unplug it first.
3. Move your refrigerator if it is in direct sunlight, under a heating duct, or next to your stove.
4. Be sure to leave a few inches of clear space all around (so the warm air coming off the coils has somewhere to go.)
5. Use a thermometer to make sure the temperature is 35 to 38 degrees fahrenheit in the fridge and 0 degrees Fahrenheit in the freezer.
6. Be sure to keep the freezer defrosted. A quarter of frost is too much!
7. Keep the freezer full, but avoid crowding things in the refrigerator.
8. Don’t leave the door hanging open for ANY reason. Remember your mother telling you that?
For more information, e-mail Jan Herbert at JanHerbert@RockfordParkdistrict.org.
From the September 2-8, 2009 issue