Do you like to keep appliances maintained and in check? This winter, the LabOps and Energy and Environment teams journeyed through PMH, PMCRT, MBRC and KDT; bracing the cold and howling winds of freezer corridors…well, not as dramatic of course. The goal: to showcase a new infographic on how we can ensure our freezers in the labs are running efficiently. Two weeks later, the teams emerged to tell their story. In this post, I’ll tell the benefits of our freezer project and how you can keep a well-maintained freezer at home!
Out With The Cold, In With The New Freezer Efficiency Practices
Did you know that a standard -80°C ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezer can use up to the same amount of energy as an average Canadian household every day? The average energy consumption of UHN freezers uses a total consumption of 2,082,946 kWh/yr. If we were to switch all our ‘somewhat efficient’, ‘not very efficient’, and ‘energy hog’ freezers with energy efficient freezers, we could power 85 homes with the amount of energy saved!
Excusably, freezers are a vital component for storing lab samples and therefore, there will always be uncontrollable energy consumption. But if you are like me – reminders are your best friend. These infographics placed on all the freezers highlight the best practices on what labs can do to ensure their freezers are running efficiently and some helpful reminders on how much energy could be saved. Through regular freezer maintenance, ULT freezers in the labs will not only operate better and last longer, but they’ll have a significant reduction in their energy consumption!
Quick Tips For At Home Freezer Maintenance
Learning about your homes appliances in general and refrigerator and freezer maintenance in particular, may seem boring but it’s a good idea in order to make sure they are maintained so they do not break down on you and keep it running efficiently for the years to come.
- Place the freezer in a temperature-stable area
Extreme changes in temperature outside your freezer unit will cause the freezer to work harder at its job. It might seem like cold temperatures can help a freezer, but remember freezers are only designed to keep the temperature cold on the inside! Placing the freezer in a temperature secure area will avoid any unnecessary strain and energy consumption.
2. Check the thermostat regularly
Make sure your freezer temperature is set to -18°C as 1 degree colder increases your energy consumption by 5% -10%. Doing so will not only increase the longevity of your freezer but also keep your food lasting longer while reducing your energy bills! If your unit starts changing temperature on its own, you should get it checked.
3. Keep your freezer clean
Taking the extra steps to clean out your freezers filter goes a long way to ensure it doesn’t use more energy than it should. About once a month, you should clean and replace any filters clog with dust. When filters are clogged with dust, it becomes difficult for air to flow to cool the freezers coils.
Hopefully you were able to learn or refresh your freezer maintenance knowledge. As we head into the holidays, it’s important to make sure that your home freezers are well maintained and ready to hold the left-overs of that merry feast! Be sure to follow all things green within the UHN by joining the green team! Contact: Green@uhn.ca for more information.