STANFORD UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF EARTH SCIENCES - EARTH SYSTEMS PROGRAM

Sustainable Choices

Clean Refrigerator Condenser Coils Twice a Year

Simplicity:
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Carbon Impact:
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Money Savings:
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Health Helper:
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Overview
This is one of the less intuitive and lesser known opportunities for energy savings: refrigerator coils. For starters, where and what are refrigerator coils? Condenser coils in your refrigerator cool a refrigerant liquid, which is then use to cool the air inside the fridge. They are markedly less efficient at doing their job when they are covered with lint, dust, and other kitchen floor crud. While it may sound like a hassle to pull your fridge out from the wall to clean the coils, it’s really not such a big deal if you only do it once or twice a year. And hey—it could cut 6% off your fridge’s energy use.

Tips & Tricks
Invite a friend. It’s a good idea to ask someone to help you with your fridge, since it is probably big and heavy. Set up a trade with a friend—start by cleaning one fridge and then move  on to the other. The work will get done quicker, and you’ll have fun doing it!

Web & Print Resources
How to clean refrigerator coils:
www.hometips.com/home_probsolver/hps03/09_refrig/hps_refrig04.html

General information about efficient refrigerators:
www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=refrig.pr_refrigerators

Fun Facts

Cleaning your refrigerator coils can result in an energy savings of about 6%. Source

Condenser coils cool refrigerant liquid, which is used to cool the air inside the fridge.