You know what the obnoxiously large box of leftover pizza on the bottom shelf of my fridge reminds me of? It reminds me of my buddy’s two-year old daughter, Reese, perched on the floor in her tie dye jumper trying to eat a piece of pizza twice her size. I can see her irresistible cheeks covered in greasy bits of cheese and pepperoni now. But the memories don’t stop there. Located in the left corner on the top shelf of my fridge, sits a jar of my mom’s homemade pepper jelly. This reminds me of her visit last Christmas, when she made her spicy spaghetti sauce using what is now a severely outdated and half-empty jar of peppery goodness.
I could go on and on, but you get the point. If you’re looking for a story in your fridge, you can find one — just peek past the pickles or look over the last night’s linguini. For now, let’s not allow the nostalgia of leftovers to divert us from the true topic at hand.
You see, refrigerators manufactured 16 or more years ago use twice as much energy as today’s ENERGY STAR® models. However, whether your fridge is new or was new when Ross and Rachel were dating, you can still operate it more efficiently. And understanding how might be as easy as listening to what it is trying to say.
- Give me some shade. If your fridge is exposed to sunlight it will cause it to work harder to keep cool. Shield sunlight and keep your fridge from heating up.
- Dust bunnies are bad. Remove dust and filth from fridge coils to allow heat to escape so your fridge stays cooler.
- I really need space, now and forever. Overcrowding your fridge doesn’t allow for air to circulate, thus causing your fridge to work harder to keep cool.
- Closure is good. Keep the number of times you open your fridge and freezer to a minimum and keep its operating costs down.
- I’m kind of in between. Set your fridge thermostat between 36°F and 38°F and the freezer between 0°F and 5°F.
- Please, fill me up. Keep your freezer full and it won’t have to work overtime to keep cool.
You see, having a healthy relationship with your fridge and freezer is about paying attention. Sure, it’s easy to reminisce over last week’s roast, but sometimes you have to pull it together and part with the past to really see what your refrigerator is trying to say.