So you want to know, is it OK to turn off the refrigerator for a long period of time? You could be going away for several days or months and wouldn’t want to leave the refrigerator running since that would only lead to you incurring more energy bills. Or maybe you need to unplug the refrigerator for storage, which means turning it off for a long time.
The last thing you want is to do anything that would cause permanent damage to your refrigerator or reduce its functionality. Therefore, before turning off your refrigerator, it is crucial that you know any consequences that this decision may have, both in the short-term and long-term. And in this article, we discuss if turning off the refrigerator does more harm than good or vice versa. Read on!
Is it OK to Turn Off Refrigerator for a Long Period of Time?
|Turning off the refrigerator for a long time is okay, provided that no food items are stored inside. Otherwise, keeping the appliance running would result in increased energy bills and increase the risk of food spoilage if any items are stored inside. Therefore, if you are planning to stay away for more than 4 weeks, it would be best to turn off your refrigerator. However, if you are planning to be away for 2-4 weeks, you should leave the refrigerator running. After all, managing the refrigerator for 2-4 weeks is quite easy and reasonable.|
Contrary to what most people think, leaving the refrigerator running for 2-4 weeks does not increase the electricity bills significantly. This is especially so if your fridge is 3/4 full and the door remains closed throughout the period. Closed doors and an almost full refrigerator ensures that minimal cold is lost, ensuring that the fridge does not overwork or use up more energy.
RELATED = = = > How Long Can You Leave the Fridge Open?
How to Turn Off Refrigerators During Vacations
Refrigerators are among the top appliances in a home that uses a lot of electricity. However, it might not be worth turning off the refrigerator if you are going on a vacation for, say, one week or two weeks. However, if you are going away for a month, or even a season, it would be wise to turn off the refrigerator since leaving it running would only be a waste of electricity.
Consider each of the two scenarios of being away and if you should leave the refrigerator turned on or off in each case:
First Case: If You Are Away for Several Months
If you will be away for several months, say, 1-6 months, it is recommended that you plug off your refrigerator before leaving. And to ensure that the appliance remains functional even after being left not in use for a long time, follow these steps after turning it off:
1. Empty the refrigerator completely. Remove all the items stored in the fridge and leave it to cool. Once the refrigerator has attained normal temperatures, clean the interior. Rub off any stains and moisture, ensuring that any odors inside have vanished.
2. Clean the baskets, shelves, drawers, and door gaskets of your refrigerator. It is advisable that you use household ingredients to clean these, such as vinegar, baking soda, or lemon. Also, clean the freezer, the water dispenser, and the ice maker, if your refrigerator has these features.
3. Using a clean, dry cloth or paper towel, dry off every part of your refrigerator. You can also use moisture absorbers, such as baking soda, charcoal briquettes, silica gel sachets, or ground coffee powder. Also, keep the doors a little open to allow air into the refrigerator.
To keep the fridge doors slightly open, pull out the drawers or shelves, so they stick a little bit out of the refrigerator. Alternatively, put a towel between the doors to keep them open. Keeping the doors slightly open allows air into the fridge, preventing any bad odors and mold from developing.
4. Once you are back from your holiday, remove the moisture absorbers from the fridge. Then, plug it into the power source and turn it on. Immediately after turning it in, lower the fridge temperatures. Once it attains its normal cold temperatures, you can start storing any food items inside.
RELATED = = = > Is it Better to Keep a Fridge Full or Empty?
Second Case: If You Are Away for Less than a Month
If your vacation lasts for less than four weeks, keeping your refrigerator running throughout the period is better. However, note that an empty fridge uses more electricity, as the fridge tries to maintain the cold temperatures of the vast empty space. Similarly, a too full refrigerator will only reduce the fridge’s functionality and even risk food stored inside spoiling.
Therefore, when you leave the refrigerator running for four weeks, ensure that it is 3/4 full. You can fill it with water bottles if you do not wish to store many food items inside for so long. Also, if yours is an earlier model refrigerator, it would be best to unplug it and follow the above 4 steps when unplugging a refrigerator. This is because most older refrigerator models consume a lot of electricity, regardless of whether they are 3/4 full or not.
Should I Turn Off My Refrigerator to Save Money?
Since refrigerators consume more electricity, it might be tempting to turn it off for a few hours, or even days, to cut down on energy bills. However, regularly turning off the refrigerator may do more harm than good to your appliance.
When you turn off your fridge, temperatures start increasing inside. The increased temperatures encourage the development of bacteria which could cause food inside to spoil. Besides, when you turn on the refrigerator again, the compressor works extra hard to restore the cold temperatures, using up even more energy in the process. Therefore, you should avoid turning off your refrigerator regularly, as this would only cost you more electricity bills.
RELATED = = = > Should a Fridge Door Be Left Open?
Is it OK to turn off the refrigerator for a long period of time? If you are going away for more than a month, then it is okay to turn it off. However, if you are going for 2-4 weeks, it would be best to leave the appliance running. Still, remember to keep the refrigerator 3/4 full and all the doors closed to ensure that the refrigerator functions in an optimal way all through your vacation.
READ ME NEXT = = = >How to Clean Glass Stove Tops