Set your refrigerator's temperature to 38°F
In most households, the refrigerator is the one thing that is always on—24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In the average home, the refrigerator consumes the most energy of all kitchen appliances. Make sure your refrigerator is not too cold in order to minimize the annual costs of running the appliance.
Step by step:
- Find and check the dial:
- Older models have a dial inside the refrigerator that indicates the temperature setting in terms of increasing numbers or a "low, medium, high" setting. Some newer models have digital temperature displays on the exterior.
- If you don't have a thermometer to measure the temperature, adjust the temperature to the middle of the range, or to the recommended mark.
- Measure the temperature:
- According to the Department of Energy, your refrigerator should be between 35°F and 38°F. Your freezer should be between 0°F and 5°F. Setting your refrigerator ten degrees colder than necessary can use up to 25% more energy.
- Use an appliance thermometer specially designed to measure the temperature in a refrigerator or freezer. They are sold at hardware stores or where refrigerators and freezers are sold.
- Place the appliance thermometer in a glass of water in the center of the refrigerator or between frozen packages in the freezer. Then read it after 24 hours.
- Adjust the dial accordingly.