January 15, 2019 | Refrigerators

Ideal Refrigerator Temperature for Energy Efficiency

If you’re concerned about conserving energy in the kitchen, you need to know how to properly configure the settings of your kitchen appliances.

In this article, you will discover what the ideal refrigerator temperature for energy efficiency is so you can cut back on wasted energy.

Ideal Refrigerator Temperature

Ideal Refrigerator Temperature for Energy Efficiency

Going green is very important.

We waste so many resources without giving a second thought. And, many times, we may not even realize it. For instance, did you know that keeping your appliances running efficiently has a great impact on how much energy they use? Not only does this benefit your pocket over time, but it also reduces the number of resources being used to provide your home with energy.

Both freestanding refrigerators and undercounter refrigerators can be set to the ideal refrigerator temperature for energy efficiency, so be sure to take a look at your configuration and make changes necessary.

Where You Position Food Matters

Where you place your food inside the refrigerator makes a difference. It is easy to stuff things in until you find where they fit. Unfortunately, that is not always the best method. The door, for example, is an area of the fridge that is exposed to warmer temperatures every time you open it. For some homes, this happens a lot, leaving a greater chance for food in the door to spoil faster. The place that maintains the coldest temperature is the back of the refrigerator.

Your freezer will benefit more when it is full. The more frozen items it contains, the easier it is to maintain its temperature. The items packed in close together work to keep each other cold. However, when it comes to your refrigerator, the opposite is true. Having too many items crammed in on the shelves can cause a disruption in the delivery of air. The refrigerator requires air to circulate throughout. If it is too full, then there is no way for the air to flow through. This will result in some food items being too warm, others too cold, and some even freezing.

Keep Your Refrigerator Set at the Right Temperature

The proper temperature is important in keeping your refrigerator and freezer working as efficiently as possible. Buy two inexpensive digital thermometers, and place one in the back of your refrigerator and the other in the back of your freezer. Then, close the door tightly and wait at least two hours with the doors shut before checking the thermometers.

So, what is the ideal temperature you are looking for? Your freezer should fall somewhere between 4 and 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Your refrigerator should range between 37 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once you check your thermometers, adjust your refrigerator and freezer settings accordingly. If the thermometer reads the proper temperature, then you are in luck. If it does not, you will need to make some changes. Move the dial between 1 and 10, whether you need it cooler or warmer. Then, wait another two hours – or longer – before checking the thermometer again. Continue this process until the desired temperatures are reached.

Keep in mind that some refrigerators offer digital tuning for the temperature. Some newer models even come equipped with a digital thermometer. Sometimes, however, it is best to also use your independent thermometer to make sure the refrigerator and freezer are running properly.

Because climate changes and things get bumped or moved around, you will want to repeat this process 3 or 4 times each year. This is the best way to ensure your appliances are running most efficiently.

Regularly Maintenance Ensures Your Settings Work Properly

Your refrigerator and freezer are both wonderful inventions. They are meant to keep your food chilled without you having to lift a finger. However, sometimes you may want to help out and keep your refrigerator running well. Doing so can increase the efficiency of your appliance – and even increase its lifespan.

One of the best pieces of routine maintenance you can perform is cleaning the coils. These are most often located in the back of the refrigerator (or underneath) and they work hard to keep things running cool. Because of their location, they are often subject to a lot of dust. You will want to clean them on a regular basis to keep them working their best.

Pull out your refrigerator and use your vacuum extension (or something similar) and run it on and around the coils. The more dust you take off, the more efficient these coils can cool.

Make Sure the Doors Close Properly

It is easy to open your refrigerator door and stand there with it open, checking out your food options. Deciding what you want to eat is difficult sometimes, but holding the doors open too long make cooling difficult for your refrigerator. Instead, open the door, see what is there, then close them. Once you decide, open them back up and grab it.

The longer the doors are open, the more energy you are wasting. Remember that the next time you find yourself staring off into the chillness.

Simple Energy Saving Tips

We’d like to leave you with a few simple energy-saving tips that can both extend the life of your refrigerator and save your money.

  • Make sure the seals of your refrigerator are sealing properly. If they aren’t, your refrigerator will be working double time trying to keep things cool. To test the effectiveness of the seal, place a dollar bill between the seal and close the door. Then, pull the dollar bill. If the refrigerator is sealed correctly, this should be a difficult task. If the dollar bill comes right out, you may want to have a closer look at your seals.
  • Always keep food and liquids covered while storing them in the refrigerator. Any extra moisture makes the refrigerator work harder.
  • Avoid keeping your temperatures too cold. Too cold is not better than too warm – they both cause issues. Follow the instructions above to maintain the proper temps.


Your refrigerator and freezer are both an investment and a necessity. It is important that you do your part to care for them as best as you can. Doing so can increase the life of your refrigerator – and save you money.