Money-saving experts clever coin test to check freezer is energy efficient

Martin Lewis gives three money saving energy bill tips

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Freezers are a great way to reduce food waste, and with the cost of living and energy crisis in full swing, your freezer must work efficiently. Express.co.uk spoke exclusively to money-saving and freezer expert Kate Hall, who has partnered with Birds Eye to share her top tips. 

Kate first explained how much it costs, on average to run a freezer. 

She said: “The cost of running a freezer can vary a lot depending on how energy efficient the model is, what energy tariff you are on, and how full it is. 

“For example, a recent study by confused.com found that an ‘A’ rating fridge freezer will cost between £4.82 and £6.88 per month, but a ‘D’ rating fridge freezer will cost between £9.52 and £13.60 (depending on the energy tariff).”

As for how you can ensure your freezer is working efficiently, the expert said: “I always recommend investing in a fridge/freezer thermometer with remote sensors so that you can monitor the temperature inside without opening the door. 

“It should be at least -18C to ensure your food is safe. 

“A good free test to check that your freezer is working is to put a small half-filled pot of water inside it. 

“Let it freeze, then place a coin on top of the ice. 

“If your freezer is working properly the coin should remain on the surface. If it sinks into the ice, then you know your freezer isn’t working effectively. 

“If you do find that the temperature is too low, or the ice is melting, the first thing to do is grab a copy of the user manual. 

“If you don’t have a paper copy, you can usually find it online by searching for the model number (which should be on a sticker inside the appliance) and ‘user manual’. 

“This should contain troubleshooting advice, which commonly will include checking the seal around the door, and ensuring that the coils at the back of the freezer are clean and free of debris (always switch the freezer off before cleaning),” Kate added. 

“It is also really important to ensure that you are regularly defrosting your freezer (annually for chest freezers and every six months for uprights, or whenever the ice is more than 0.5cm thick). 

“And that you are not overfilling it; you need to leave some space for the air to circulate. 

“You should also never put hot or warm food in the freezer. 

“And if you are freezing fresh or homecooked foods, freeze them in small batches so that your freezer doesn’t have to work so hard.” 

As for whether there is a certain way to organise your freezer to ensure you aren’t making it work harder, thus costing you more, Kate explained: “First, make sure the foods in your freezer are grouped by what type of food they are – meat, fish, veg etc. and use boxes, tubs, or sturdy bags to carve up the space. 

“If possible, label each area so it’s clear what lives where. This way, everyone in the family knows where to look.

“I then recommend repacking bulky foods into reusable freezer bags, squeezing the air out and sealing. 

“You can cut any cooking instructions off the packaging and place them with the bag, then write the date and contents across the top of the bag. These can then be arranged like a ‘filing cabinet’ so that you can easily access everything.”

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