Defrost the fridge properly and save energy in the future

GORENJE RB4092ANW refrigerator

If the energy consumption of the refrigerator is unusually high, this could be due to a too thick layer of ice inside. Therefore, defrosting should take place regularly, especially with older devices. With modern models, on the other hand, the manufacturers take precautions. Nevertheless, defrosting is also a good idea here, as the refrigerator can then be properly cleaned.

Why the layer of ice in the refrigerator costs energy

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The fridge and freezer should be defrosted at least once a year.

Image: © Saturn/Gorenje 2019

It’s good practice to defrost both the fridge and freezer once or twice a year – this reduces energy consumption and saves money. Because the constant opening of the door allows warm air to enter the household appliance. This condenses and is deposited as droplets. Ultimately, the liquid freezes and turns into an insulating sheet of ice, driving up electricity consumption. Regular defrosting counteracts this, but nowadays it is more necessary for older devices. Because the manufacturers have already reacted to this phenomenon.

More and more devices with automatic defrosting or no-frost technology

Many refrigerators are now available that rely on automatic defrosting or the so-called no-frost technology. Since the 1980s, there have been refrigerators with automatic defrosting, which can be found on the back of the appliance. An integrated heating option melts the ice so that it is drained into a channel as water and can evaporate.

Refrigerators with no-frost technology start a step earlier – this invention prevents thick layers of ice from forming in the first place. This is achieved with a fan that lowers the humidity level. It starts during the cooling phase and blows the cold air into the freezer compartment. There it circulates through the individual compartments and prevents moisture from condensing and turning into a layer of ice. The optimal refrigerator temperature should be around 7 degrees.

Winter is the perfect time for a big clean-up

The process of defrosting a refrigerator is fairly simple. Winter is a good time – during the cool season, perishable food can be temporarily stored on the balcony. An alternative is to use cooler bags, or have a friendly neighbor store the groceries in their fridge for a few hours. Then you have to unplug the fridge. Otherwise the thermostat would react to the heat increase and possibly overheat.

Tips for defrosting the refrigerator

AEG RTB91431AW refrigerator
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There are a few things to consider when defrosting a refrigerator.

Image: © Saturn 2021

To defrost the refrigerator, all you have to do is open the door and wait until the ice slowly melts. Tip: If that takes too long, you can also put a pot of hot water inside the kitchen appliance. The defrost water can be caught with a towel on the bottom of the refrigerator.

Once all the ice has melted, the refrigerator can be thoroughly cleaned, for example with a mild detergent or vinegar-based cleaner. The latter is particularly recommended because it not only cleans and disinfects – it also eliminates unpleasant odours. Once the work is done, you have to wait until the fridge is dry. Then the device can be reconnected to the power supply and the food can be loaded.

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