It sounds wild, but here’s why filling your freezer can save you both money and energy.
For the last little while, I’ve been sharing easy energy-saving tips that anyone can do, regardless of whether you own your home or not.
Many energy-saving tips focus on the big stuff. Things like insulating your walls, or switching to double or even triple glazing. These are very valid energy-saving tips. However, as someone who rented for many years, I remember the frustration at having ambivalent landlords who didn’t care that my energy bills were sky-high. I also remember the frustration of lacking the autonomy to be able to make these improvements. Hence my focus is on more accessible energy-saving tips.
The other week I spoke about the importance of dusting your fridge to help save energy. So, today, let’s get right back to your fridge freezer with today’s tip.
Why Filling Your Freezer Will Save Energy
Is your freezer looking a little bit on the empty side? Perhaps it’s a few days before you do a food shop and all you’ve got in there is a bag of frozen peas and an unlabelled tub of indiscriminate contents? We’ve all been there. Or maybe you never really have much food in your freezer, to begin with. Well, you could be pouring energy down the drain.
You see, freezers work best when they are full. This is because freezers expend most energy when they have to cool down the warm air that gets in when you open the door to take food out. A packed to the brim freezer means there is less room for warm air to get in. What’s more, the frozen goods in the freezer cool down any warm air that does make its way in, meaning your freezer doesn’t have to work quite so hard. So go wild and start filling your freezer to the brim!
What If I Can’t Afford to Fill My Freezer?
The good news is you don’t have to spend a fortune on food to fill your freezer. Filling your freezer can mean adding non-food items. Empty plastic bottles filled with water will do the trick, as will freezer bags filled with ice cubes. Styrofoam packing blocks will also do just the job – and it’s a good way to recycle this otherwise unrecyclable material.
If you are filling your freezer with non-food items, then my top tip is to keep your frozen food near the front of your freezer, so it’s easy to hand. Having to rummage through your freezer, past styrofoam, and water bottles to find your food, will quickly negate any energy-saving benefits. The key to maximum energy efficiency with your freezer is to get in and out as quickly as possible.
A handy bonus is that if your freezer is filled with frozen water bottles, then if you have a power-cut it will take much longer for your food to defrost.
I’d also recommend defrosting your freezer on a regular basis, for maximum efficiency. You might be able to save up to £200 a year!
A Word On Fridges
Fridges are slightly different beasts. If you pack your fridge too tightly then you’ll over-work your fridge, using much more energy than you need to. Your food will cool too much, and perhaps even freeze. Trust me, nobody wants frozen lettuce. Other food might not be cool enough, and nobody wants a tummy bug either. Especially not frozen lettuce and a tummy bug at the same time! So make so you don’t overpack your fridge and that air can circulate easily.
You won’t save hundreds of pounds filling your freezer. But if you change your habits and implement little energy-saving steps here and there, like the ones that I’ve mentioned throughout this series (tips that don’t take too much effort), then these savings will soon add up. Things like not charging your smartphone overnight, setting your boiler at the right temperature, and using a lid whilst you are cooking all help. Which is no bad thing in the face of spiralling energy bill increases in 2022.