Fridge FAQ

We answer your questions about fridges
A high-end fridge from LG.

A high-end fridge from LG.

Look, we know you've got a lot of questions about fridges. Relax — they're all answered here. Read on and you should find out everything you need to know about refrigerators.

What exactly does energy efficient mean?

Fridges use energy (electricity) to keep food cool. If there are two fridges of the same size, the one that uses less energy to keep cool is more energy efficient. The Energy Star rating is a guide to how a fridge is energy efficient; the more Energy Stars the more energy efficient it is.

It's important to remember that the Energy Star Rating does not tell you how much energy a fridge will use. It just tells you how good the fridge is at taking electricity and turning it into cooling. It is quite common for a large fridge to be more energy efficient than a small fridge. However, a large fridge will use more energy (electricity).

Which Energy Star Rating will help decrease my energy bill?

To decrease your energy (electricity) bill you must buy a fridge that uses less energy than your current fridge.

The Energy Rating label provides an energy consumption number in kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. This is the amount of energy a fridge will use under set conditions, and can be used to compare how much energy (electricity) different fridges will use.

The smaller this number, the less energy the fridge will use. The kW-hours used per year will differ based on the size, type and energy efficiency of the fridge.

Your new fridge must have a smaller energy consumption number than your old fridge to decrease your energy bill. To maximise the decrease you should also buy the most energy-efficient fridge by selecting one with more Energy Stars.

Does a fridge with a greater capacity use more energy?

As a rule, larger fridges will generally use more energy than smaller fridges. However, it is possible for a larger fridge that is more energy efficient to use less energy than a smaller fridge which is less energy efficient.

So make sure you look carefully at the energy consumption number in kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year on the Energy Rating label. The fridge with the smaller number will use less energy.

Page Break

Does a side-by-side fridge use more or less energy than an upright fridge/freezer?

A side-by-side fridge will generally use more energy than upright fridge/freezer of a similar capacity. However, it is possible for a side-by-side fridge that is more energy efficient to use less energy than an upright fridge/freezer which is less energy efficient.

So make sure you look carefully at the energy consumption number in kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year on the Energy Rating label. The fridge with the smaller number will use less energy.

Is there a way to reduce running costs and save energy?

Aside from choosing an energy efficient and low energy consumption fridge, there are some simple things you can do day-to-day to reduce running costs and save energy.

Install the fridge away from direct sunlight and away from hot areas like ovens, dishwashers and heaters. Make sure the recommended gaps are left around the fridge.

Try to minimise the number of times the door is opened, and also don't leave the door open for a long time. Refrigerators with a drink hatch reduce the amount of times you need to open the entire door for frequently used items like milk or juice. Refrigerators with door alarms that alert you when the fridge has been left open also help to reduce energy waste. If you have small children who like to raid the fridge, then a fridge with a child lock feature will help to stop kids from getting up to no good in the kitchen.

Keeping the fridge and freezer reasonably full will also help reduce the temperature loss when the door is opened, saving energy.

Can I place my fridge next to my oven or dishwasher?

Placing a fridge next to an oven, dishwasher or another hot appliance is not recommended as the fridge will need more energy to keep cool. This will increase the cost of running the fridge and may cause a fire.

What is a frost-free fridge?

A frost-free refrigerator is one that does not need manual defrosting.

How does an ice cube maker in a fridge work?

Water is added to an ice tray and then frozen over time. The ice tray is then emptied and the process repeated.

How long will my fridge last?

Many years. The actual length of time a fridge will last will depend on the specific model. For normal domestic use, a fridge can last up to 20 years.

Does my fridge require regular maintenance?

Most fridges do not generally require maintenance. If the fridge is not frost-free, it will require defrosting at regular intervals. As a general rule you should clean your refrigerator once a month.

Page Break

Can I use a double adaptor on my fridge? Does it affect my warranty?

Double adaptors or power boards should not be used. They may affect the warranty if it can be shown the fault was caused by these items.

What should the temperatures be in my fridge/freezer?

The temperature should be 2 to 6 degrees Celsius in your fridge, and -16 to -20 degrees Celsius in your freezer.

What is the best way to transport my refrigerator and how long should I leave it before turning it back on?

A refrigerator should be transported upright. Different manufacturers may recommend leaving the fridge off for different times. If the fridge is transported upright and treated gently, this may be as little as an hour.

If the fridge is not transported upright, leaving it off for 8 hours or overnight is advisable. Check your fridge manual for explicit transport instructions.

Does my fridge have to be level?

Yes, your fridge needs to be level so that the door will open and close properly.

Why does my fridge stop and start?

The fridge runs long enough to reach its optimum temperature. It then turns off. When the temperature in the fridge rises slightly it turns back on until the right temperature is reached again.

This stopping and starting will happen more often on hot days, and when the fridge is being opened and closed a lot.

Do I need to leave space around my fridge?

Yes. The amount of space depends on the model. Check the fridge manual before installing.

What is Mastermind electronic control?

Mastermind electronic control is Westinghouse’s name for a technology designed to keep a fridge cool during busy times. According to the Westinghouse Web site, by "recording and memorising refrigerator door opening times, the Mastermind electronic control is able to learn the times of day the refrigerator is used most, and automatically provides additional cooling capacity during those peak times. This keeps food fresher, longer. This feature also includes a door alarm to indicate if the door is not properly closed."

Can I reverse the doors on my refrigerator?

Some models may allow you to reverse the side the doors open from left to right, or vice versa to aid fridge access. Ask the sales person for guidance if you require this feature.

How do I choose between an upright or chest freezer?

Chest freezers are usually more energy efficient; however, it may be harder to load and unload food due to the freezer depth.

What is the best way to clean my refrigerator?

Ideally you should clean your refrigerator once a month. Spills should be wiped up with a cloth and food past its use by date should be thrown away so that bad odours don’t build up. Remove shelving and wash with a sponge or cloth in warm water with a mild detergent, and dry before returning to the fridge. Use vanilla spray or diluted baking soda and a cloth or sponge on the interior of your refrigerator. Do not use harsh chemical sprays like concentrated detergents or the kind you would use in a bathroom or kitchen bench — these will damage the interior of your fridge and if used on the seals will make them lose their grip.

Should I clean my refrigerator condenser coils and how?

Yes, you should. Regularly cleaning the condenser coils every six to twelve months should help save energy. Firstly and most importantly, disconnect the power to the fridge by unplugging it at the wall. Manoeuvre the refrigerator so that you can easily access the rear where the coils are located. Use a vacuum to remove dirt and dust then wipe down any stubborn muck with a cloth. Move the fridge back into place then reconnect the power.

Does my refrigerator freezer warm up during self-defrost mode and will this effect my frozen food?

Yes the freezer will warm up during the auto-defrost mode, but this is completely normal and should not affect the quality of food in your freezer.