Monthly Archives: November 2009

Inside Your Fridge With IDT Energy

fridge schematic

First of all, you should know that refrigeration is based on a simple principle: the evaporation of a liquid to keep things cold. You already know about this principle, you experience it every time you perspire to release extra heat from your body, or cooling off by getting wet.  When the water evaporates off your body, it uses energy by absorbing heat and cooling you off. The effect of putting alcohol on your skin is even better at cooling, because alcohol evaporates at an even lower temperature.

In a refrigerator the liquid that evaporates does so at an extremely low temperature, cold enough to create the icy cold conditions inside your fridge and freezer. If you should be foolish enough to put some of the refrigerator’s coolant on your skin, your skin will freeze as the refrigerant evaporates.

Your refrigerator is made up of five basic parts:

1.    Compressor

2.    Heat-exchanging pipes- coiled or serpentine, found outside the fridge

3.    Expansion valve

4.    Heat-exchanging pipers-coiled or serpentine, found inside the fridge

5.    Refrigerant- the liquid which evaporates inside the refrigerator to create the cold environment of the fridge.

IDT Energy Helps You Keep It Cool!

Have you ever given much thought to how refrigerators work? Here is a brief discussion of how the most important appliance in your home has revolutionized the way we live.ice delivery truck

Even though many things taste better cold, like drinks and other foods, the real purpose, and revolutionary effect of refrigeration is to keep foods from spoiling, especially sensitive foods like meat and dairy products. For example, milk would spoil in a matter of hours if left at room temperature, but at the normal temperature of a home fridge, milk can last a week or more. If milk is kept frozen it will last much longer. This is because there are bacteria in food that grow quickly at ordinary temperatures, and if left to themselves they will reproduce until the food is no longer edible. These same bacteria grow much, much less rapidly at extremely cold temperatures, like 40 degrees Fahrenheit (about 5 degrees Centigrade.) At zero degrees Centigrade (32 degrees F) the growth of bacteria is entirely checked.

Without refrigeration we would need other ways to preserve foods, like old fashioned ice boxes, or salting food which also inhibits bacterial growth.

Saving in the Kitchen with IDT Energy

refrigeratorYou probably already know that a large percent of the total energy you use at home is in the kitchen and laundry room. Did you know that it was as much as one third of home energy usage? That is a big chunk of your budget. Therefore the choices we make in the kitchen and laundry can have a big effect on our energy bill.

Most of that energy is devoured by your refrigerator. So what are some ways to get our fridges to work at peak efficiency, using the least amount of electricity but giving the best results?

Start by setting the thermostat on the fridge to between 38 to 42 degrees Fahrenheit to allow your refrigerator to run about 25% more efficiently.
Another simple and obvious thing to do is to make sure the door of the refrigerator is always kept closed, except for just the few moments when you are removing food out of or putting things into the fridge. Some new refrigerators even come with an alarm that alerts you if the refrigerator door is open for more than just a few moments. If your refrigerator does not have such a device, you can buy one separately.

Appliance Energy Usage

Understanding your energy usage, and particularly that of your electrical appliances is essential to properly manage your budget and home expenses, and it is also essential in order to become part of the international efforts in looking after our world.

When an appliance is labeled “X watts” this meant that this is the maximum measure of electricity the appliance uses. While some appliances will indeed use this volume of electricity constantly and consistently, refrigerators, for example, only use the maximum energy consumption when the compressor is running. When the fridge is quiet after having reached its goal temperature, it will simply maintain that temperature and it will then be using far less electricity.

IDT Energy, the New York ESCO, is not merely a supplier of energy, but it is concerned with the environment and your pocket. Therefore, IDT focuses on green energy and on consumer education.