About this blog

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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Save energy: Clean the fridge

I'm not talking about the cleaning the inside of the fridge, here, but the back. A fridge is a heat exchanger; it takes transfers heat from the inside of the fridge out into the room. The part that sends the heat out into the room is a radiator type attachment on the back. If this is coated with an insulating layer of dust, it's going to have to work harder to get the heat out there, so the fridge is less efficient, overall.

Cleaning it is such a no-brainer that I shouldn't need any prompting to do it, but... well, I'm rubbish at housework at the best of times, and out of sight is out of mind, so this job tends to get neglected. I am therefore very grateful to Small Footprints for this week's nice, easy Change the World Wednesday challenge: Check your fridge. This gave me the nudge I needed to go and do that small job.

It really is a very small job; move fridge away from the wall, dust back of fridge, move it back. Of course it wasn't quite that easy. I used a cloth duster first, and though that removed some of the dust, there was obviously still quite a lot left. I then tried a fluffy kind of duster, which wasn't much better. I decided that what I really needed was a paintbrush to get into all the little gaps, and wondered where I'd left the brushes after the last time I used them. A bit of poking about revealed one brush on the kitchen windowsill (not sure what happened to the others). That worked much better than the dusters, so then it was a matter of a few minutes to clean the back of the fridge.

Before and after photos of the back of my fridge. As you can see, years of neglect left it seriously dusty. I don't know why the grill in the right hand photo appears lower. I didn't move it, honest.

It's not completely clean now, but there's a lot less dust trapping the heat in the grill, so hopefully my fridge is now breathing a sigh of relief that it doesn't have to struggle against this blanket as it tries to do its job.

1 comment:

  1. Oh nice!! And thank you for the explanation about how the coils work and why keeping them clean is important.

    A paint brush ... what a perfect tool for cleaning the coils. :-)


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