How to save money on one of the household appliances that uses the most energy

Home energy smart meter in Kitchen
Households are desperately trying to save money this winter amid the cost of living crisis. (Getty)

Many families are looking for ways to save money on their bills this winter amid the cost of living crisis, with energy prices almost double what they were last year.

The cost of a unit of energy has been capped for consumers under the government's energy price guarantee, meaning a bill of £2,500 per year for the average household.

This is still substantially higher than in 2021, meaning a substantial hike in outgoings for households.

In his autumn statement, Jeremy Hunt confirmed the price guarantee at its current level will end in April and the cap will increase, bringing the average household bill up to £3,000 a year – a 20% increase.

The government energy price guarantee at its current level expires in April 2023 (Yahoo News UK/Flourish)
The government energy price guarantee at its current level expires in April 2023 (Yahoo News UK/Flourish)

For those looking to cut down on energy bills as temperatures fall, saving money on your fridge freezer could be a sensible option.

Read more: NHS 'prescribes warmth' for respiratory patients and pays their heating bills

According to research from Which?, a free-standing fridge freezer is one of the most energy-intensive appliances, costing the average household at £102 a year to run.

The only appliance that tends to cost most is a tumble dryer, which costs £170 a year on average.

A tumble dryer is the most expensive to run costing households £170 each year. (Which?)
A tumble dryer is the most expensive to run costing households £170 each year. (Which?)
Open refrigerator filled with food in kitchen at night
A free-standing fridge freezer is one of the most energy-intensive appliances. (Getty)

A dishwasher is third at £96 and fourth is a washing machine, costing a household an average of £77 a year.

How to save money running your fridge freezer

Set the correct temperature

To save energy on running your fridge freezer you should set it at between 3 and 5 degrees, according to Citizens Advice. Any colder is not necessary and this is a safe and efficient range.

Cleaning and defrosting

Price comparison site Uswitch advises households to defrost their fridge freezers regularly to ensure they are running efficiently. Frost build up can make a freezer more expensive to run.

They also advise households to “clean behind your fridge and freezer to help keep them cool and working as efficiently as possible.”

Consumer experts Which? advise making sure there is no dust on a fridge's condenser coils, as this can prevent it from cooling properly. Thick dust can make an appliance up to 25% less efficient.

Storing food

Which? adds you should let your leftovers cool down outside so they do not raise the temperature inside the fridge.

It also advises defrosting food in the fridge, as this is the safest method and also brings down the temperature.

Uswitch advises keeping your fridge full as it uses less energy when it is stocked. Instead of buying food you may not eat, they advise keeping bowls of water on shelves rather than leaving them bare.

Fridge doors

Which? says homeowners should check the door seals are working correctly and close the doors as quickly as possible so warm air doesn't get inside.

They also say households should consider upgrading to an energy-efficient refrigerator but if they cannot afford to do this they should focus on measures they can take to prevent energy loss.

Read more: John Lewis boss considers scrapping staff bonuses amid cost of living crisis

view of inside of refrigerator with healthy food
There are several steps you can take to save energy on your fridge freezer. (Getty)

Last week, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced that inflation – the rate at which prices increase – reached 11.1% in October, its highest level for 41 years and up from 10.1% in September.

The ONS said gas prices had increased by nearly 130% over the past year, while electricity had risen by 66%.

In addition, food inflation climbed from 14.5% in September to 16.2% in October, according to the ONS, its fastest rate for 45 years.

On Tuesday, prime minister Rishi Sunak braced his Cabinet for misery in the coming months as they discussed how to alleviate the crises.

The British economy will contract more than any of the world’s seven most advanced nations in the G7, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

OECD added governments needed to better target financial support to avoid wasting money and “entrenching” undesirable consumer spending behaviour,