Follow these 4 tips to save on your electricity bills, avoid paying for expensive repairs or for a new refrigerator and to keep your food longer.

1. Defrost the drip tray

-In frost-free freezers, a pipe transports moisture from the freezer to a drip tray at the bottom of the unit. If the pipe is clogged with algae or food, the defrost cycle will cause the melted ice to overflow and flow into the food area.

-Here’s a tip to keep your drip tray working properly: once a year, unplug the refrigerator and empty the freezer. Remove the bottom of the freezer (to do this, follow the instructions in the instruction manual), find the drainage hole and remove the excess ice from the bottom of the freezer and in the bin. Mix 2 litres of hot water with 125 millilitres (1/2 cup) of bleach and pour the solution into the tube gradually. You will not necessarily need the whole solution.

-Once the ice is melted and flows into the drainage hole, blow into the hole with a small rubber tube to dislodge the remaining particles.

-When air flows freely through the hose, rinse it with clean water.

-Finally, empty, clean and dry the drip tray.

2. Buy an energy-efficient refrigerator

-Modern refrigerators use 40% less energy than those sold in 2001. The Canadian Appliance Manufacturers’ Association claims that a new 20.6 cubic foot refrigerator with freezer up -does not use more electricity than a 75-watt light bulb.

-The models of the last century can represent up to 15% of your electricity bill. To encourage customers to replace their old appliances with energy-efficient models, some utilities offer incentive rebates. A new model could pay for itself faster than you think!

3. Check the seals

-If your refrigerator door seals are not tight, your food may spoil more quickly and your electricity bill will skyrocket.

-Here’s how to save big with a simple $5 bill: twice a year, place a $5 bill between the door and the refrigerator seal and close the door. Try to pull the ticket. (Repeat the test at different places around the door.) If there is no resistance, the seal is not waterproof.

-If the joint appears stiff or cracked, replace it.

-If your joint looks good, coat the flat surface on the hinge side with petroleum jelly to prevent it from sticking.

-If your seal is in good condition but fails the $5 test, the door may be deformed or collapsed. To solve this problem, remove all food from the shelves, loosen the screws behind the seal or on the plate above the door, then grasp the door and bring it closer to the refrigerator until it closes tightly. This is easier to do in pairs. Tighten the screws to hold the door in place.

-Most replacement seals on recent refrigerators snap into place like a resealable plastic bag. Soak the new joints in hot water to soften them and make them easier to install.

4. Changing your filter

-If the ice on your ice maker or the tap water in your refrigerator tastes funny, change the filter. You can buy them online or in appliance parts stores. Installing a new filter will take you about 2 minutes: just remove the old one and put the new one in place.

-Change the filter every year. If your water quality is poor, change it every 6 months.

If you follow these four simple tips, you may notice a decrease in your electricity costs and keep your food in better conditions, which could extend its durability.

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