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Quick Fridge Trips Will Cut Your Energy Use

How many times have you or your kids stood staring in front of the open refrigerator door looking for something to eat?

Those food reveries can be costly: An article in Home Energy magazine says that refrigerator door openings account for 7 percent of your appliance's energy use.

Photo courtesy askamathematician.com

The cold air that keeps your food fresh flows out the door and is replaced by warm air from the kitchen. Then the refrigerator compressor has to work to drive the warm air out and bring temperatures down. All this elevates your monthly energy bills and your environmental footprint.

Worse, the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida says that poor open/close habits—like leaving the fridge door open while  pouring milk in your cereal— waste 50 kilowatt hour (kWh) to 120 kWh a year.

In the long run, 50 kWh of energy saved could run your dishwasher 20 times and 100 kWh could run your washing machine 50 times. That's almost a free load of laundry every week for an entire year.

Refrigerators, which run 24 hours a day, are the most energy-consuming appliance in your house. So when buying one, look for  an Energy Star model to help keep your energy bill lower.

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