Stock up that refrigerator — it could save you money

Ask a Builder

By Cold Climate Housing Research Center Staff

 Q: I heard a full refrigerator uses less electricity. Is that true?

When it comes to fridges and freezers, always try to keep them full. These appliances measure the temperature in the storage space and adjust to keep that temperature below a certain level. The more empty space, the more energy needed to keep that space cold. Since it is not always possible to keep your refrigerator or freezer full, it helps to fill up old milk jugs with water and put them inside to take up space.

Q: What are my options for putting insulation on the outside of my house?

Locally sold rigid foams work quite well. White foam, which is expanded polystyrene, or EPS, and blue and pink foams, which are extruded polystyrene, or XPS, all work well. Foil-faced foams also work well and have the highest R-value. The foil facing also makes them impermeable to moisture. 

Remember, any time foam is applied to the outside of a home, it will make the home much “tighter” — the building will have fewer cracks and holes.

The “Ask a Builder” series is dedicated to answering some of the many questions Fairbanks residents have about building, energy and the many other parts of home life.