Refrigerators with the freezer on top are more efficient than those with freezers on the side.
To avoid rasing the temperature of a freezer, freeze no more than one-tenth of the appliance's capacity of food at one time. Also, be sure to cool foods brefore storing in the freezer. To cool hot food quickly, sit the base of the container in a sink half-filled with cold water.
Look for a refrigerator with automatic moisture control. Models with this feature have been engineered to prevent moisture accumulation on the cabinet exterior without the addition of a heater. This is not the same thing as an "anti-sweat" heater. Models with an anti-sweat heater will consume 5% to 10% more energy than models without this feature.
You know that old freezer "Uncle Harry" gave you to use in the basement so you could save money by storing on-sale food items? Well, it costs more to run that freezer for a year than you'll ever see in returns on food savings. If you're looking to save energy, and money, it makes more sense to have only one, well running, efficient refrigerator/freezer.
Don't keep your refrigerator or freezer too cold. Recommended temperatures are 37° to 40°F for the fresh food compartment of the refrigerator and 5°F for the freezer section. If you have a separate freezer for long-term storage, it should be kept at 0°F.
To check refrigerator temperature, place an appliance thermometer in a glass of water in the center of the refrigerator. Read it after 24 hours. To check the freezer temperature, place a thermometer between frozen packages. Read it after 24 hours.
Regularly defrost manual-defrost refrigerators and freezers; frost buildup increases the amount of energy needed to keep the motor running. Don't allow frost to build up more than one-quarter of an inch.
Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight. Test them by closing the door over a piece of paper or a dollar bill so it is half in and half out of the refrigerator. If you can pull the paper or bill out easily, the latch may need adjustment or the seal may need replacing.
Cover liquids and wrap foods stored in the refrigerator. Uncovered foods release moisture and make the compressor work harder.
Move your refrigerator out from the wall and vacuum its condenser coils once a year unless you have a no-clean condenser model. Your refrigerator will run for shorter periods with clean coils.