Frozen Solid: How to Pack Your Freezer

Energy-efficient appliances can help you reduce your home’s environmental…

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Pack it full.
An empty freezer is a wasteful freezer. The less food in your freezer, the more you’re paying just to keep empty space cold. And every time you open the freezer, cold air is exchanged for warm air, causing your freezer to work harder.

Take full advantage of all the energy your freezer is using by keeping it stocked full. That way, it’s easier for your freezer to maintain a constant temperature because less cold air is lost when you open the door. It’s also a great opportunity to save money by buying in bulk. If you don’t have enough food to fill the freezer, freeze water bottles to fill the empty space. They’re handy to throw in your lunchbox or cooler to keep food cool too!

Think boxes, not bags.
To use the space in your freezer more efficiently, store smaller items in boxes or resealable storage containers. It’s much easier to fill the space with stackable boxes or containers than it is to stuff it with loose bags or individually wrapped items. Plus, it will be easier to move items around when you need to consolidate the space.

Label everything and keep an inventory.
The easiest way to reduce energy usage is to avoid having the freezer door open for long periods. That can be difficult when you’re searching for that frozen chicken you want to cook for dinner. Avoid that dilemma by clearly labeling everything you freeze, including the date, and by keeping an up-to-date freezer inventory sheet with notes about where the items are stored. That way, you know exactly where to look, and you’ll be able to easily identify items by name.

Maintenance matters.
Make sure your freezer condenser coils are kept clean to ensure optimum efficiency, and keep an eye on the gasket that runs around your freezer and refrigerator doors. It should be clean and undamaged. A dirty or cracked gasket will leak, driving up energy usage.

To test your seal, close the door onto a piece of paper. If the paper is held firmly in place, your seal is good. If it slips, try cleaning your gasket and then apply a thin coating of petroleum jelly to help create a tighter seal.

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