Author Topic: going away, eating fridge down, turning fridge off  (Read 5139 times)

Ogriv

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going away, eating fridge down, turning fridge off
« on: January 08, 2016, 02:21:40 AM »
This is screamingly obvious, but I've never done it before.

Next week I'm going away for four days for work.

I'm going to eat everything in the fridge, then turn that fucker off while I'm away.

Adventine

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Re: going away, eating fridge down, turning fridge off
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2016, 02:26:44 AM »
I did this too before going out of town for a week.

If, like me, you have the kind of fridge/freezer that ices up, remember to put an empty container inside to catch the dripping water as the ice melts!

Ogriv

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Re: going away, eating fridge down, turning fridge off
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2016, 12:35:47 PM »
Amen to that

xx

MsSindy

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Re: going away, eating fridge down, turning fridge off
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2016, 12:50:24 PM »
Wait, but don't you have things that you cook with like sauces, condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayo), jam, butter - stuff that wouldn't really be practical to "eat up" ....or do you keep a really bare fridge? 

I'm a red panda

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Re: going away, eating fridge down, turning fridge off
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2016, 12:52:54 PM »
For just four days?  This seems crazy.  Maybe for four weeks.

Just make sure you store the fridge with the door OPEN.  I've seen turned off fridge, that were thoroughly cleaned (with bleach) before storage get disgusting when stored with the door closed.  Though possibly 4 days isn't long enough for that to happen.

Lordy

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Re: going away, eating fridge down, turning fridge off
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2016, 01:07:10 PM »
I am not sure that will actually safe you money.

Running the numbers, the average fridge should cost you about $5 per month to run (calculating with european electricity cost which is higher than the US).
Therefore, shutting it down for 4 days will probably "safe" you around a buck in electricity.

That doesn't take into account that it will get to room temperature and that you will have to use additional energy to get it back to its usual coolness. There go your savings.

I turned my fridge of when I left for 3 months, that was definitely worth it. For 4 days, I don't think you gain anything.

Jack

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Re: going away, eating fridge down, turning fridge off
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2016, 01:18:55 PM »
I am not sure that will actually safe you money.

Running the numbers, the average fridge should cost you about $5 per month to run (calculating with european electricity cost which is higher than the US).
Therefore, shutting it down for 4 days will probably "safe" you around a buck in electricity.

That doesn't take into account that it will get to room temperature and that you will have to use additional energy to get it back to its usual coolness. There go your savings.

I turned my fridge of when I left for 3 months, that was definitely worth it. For 4 days, I don't think you gain anything.

1. "Save," not "safe."

2. The amount of energy used by any refrigeration system is, in general, proportional to the difference in temperature it is attempting to maintain and the amount of time the machine is trying to maintain that difference. In almost all cases, allowing the conditioned space to heat up (or cool down) to ambient temperature and then cooling it down (or heating it up) again later will be more efficient than keeping it conditioned all the time.

3. However, you're right that 4 days is not a lot of time. Although I don't think the savings will be zero, they might be negligible -- especially if you have to make an extra effort (e.g. eat more food than usual) to clear it out.

Note that this sort of reasoning applies to all heating/cooling appliances, not just the fridge. When I go out of town I turn my tank water heater to the "vacation" setting (I don't turn it "off" because then I'd have to re-light the pilot) and set my programmable thermostat to either as low or as high as the house can stand without pipes freezing or excessive humidity causing mold, respectively depending on the season.

I also [try to remember to] shut off the water valves to the dishwasher and washing machine, but that's more about avoiding burst flexible hoses and flooding rather than saving energy.

Gone Fishing

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Re: going away, eating fridge down, turning fridge off
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2016, 01:24:02 PM »
We have too many stored garden veggies and bulk meat purchases to shut down the fridge. The extra electricity is easily justified by the savings in food cost.

Heckler

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Re: going away, eating fridge down, turning fridge off
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2016, 02:39:39 PM »
I made the mistake of turning off the furnace for three weeks in December.  Killed our plants. 😞

Our fridge got turned down to keep the condiments cool and the beer fridge got emptied and shut down.

Hotstreak

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Re: going away, eating fridge down, turning fridge off
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2016, 05:06:50 PM »
Many condiments can be kept safely at room temperature, including mustard, ketchup, butter.  The downside is they will break down and change flavor faster (6+ weeks instead of 6+ months).  Think about all the restaurants leaving ketchup and mustard out on tables for days, people would get sick if they could go bad quickly.

JAYSLOL

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Re: going away, eating fridge down, turning fridge off
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2016, 09:58:41 PM »
I made the mistake of turning off the furnace for three weeks in December.  Killed our plants. 😞

Our fridge got turned down to keep the condiments cool and the beer fridge got emptied and shut down.

Could have been worse, you pipes could have burst.  They would were I am anyway, I usually leave the thermostat at the lowest setting, but not off. 

Ogriv

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Re: going away, eating fridge down, turning fridge off
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2016, 08:02:49 AM »
I'm the OP. Actually I've been finishing off a lot of my condiments lately, in the spirit of creativity/Mustachianism.

also, I remember when I was a kid and there wasn't the advice to refrigerate simply everything. Stuff like sugar and salt in condiments etc. is a natural preservative.

It's also pretty cold here at the moment, so the room temperature is rather chilly without heating.

I'm certainly not sure that it'll save much money, but I quite like the principle of the thing.

use2betrix

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Re: going away, eating fridge down, turning fridge off
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2016, 10:36:03 AM »
I have a feeling that you could probably find areas in your budget you could much more easily cut money, and a lot more than what turning off your fridge for four days will save you.

Rubic

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Re: going away, eating fridge down, turning fridge off
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2016, 11:34:43 AM »
My refrigerator has a "vacation" mode that I use when I'm away.

I'd also suggest packing your fridge with full water bottles.  They'll help keep it chilled better than empty space.

I'm a red panda

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Re: going away, eating fridge down, turning fridge off
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2016, 12:25:46 PM »

I'd also suggest packing your fridge with full water bottles.  They'll help keep it chilled better than empty space.

IIRC, this is true of a freezer.  But it is not true of a fridge, which functions better with airflow.  I could be wrong though.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2016, 07:17:17 AM by iowajes »

big_owl

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Re: going away, eating fridge down, turning fridge off
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2016, 02:28:54 PM »
This seems penny-wise, pound foolish.  The electricity savings would be completely canceled out by you having to eat even a single piece of food early that you might otherwise have saved. 

Gerard

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Re: going away, eating fridge down, turning fridge off
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2016, 07:07:55 PM »
If your house is cold anyway, you probably won't save much by turning off the fridge (it's only working to maintain the diff between safe fridge temp and room temp), especially as the door will stay closed. My anecdata suggests that fridge temps are way more stable (and the fridge runs less) when the door doesn't get opened.

On the other hand, the possibility of really stinky fridgeness is pretty high if you turn it off, unless your fridge is antiseptic-level clean.

Cadman

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Re: going away, eating fridge down, turning fridge off
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2016, 07:59:16 PM »
I'd turn the fridge to the warmest setting that still allows the compressor to cycle, but I wouldn't turn it off for just a week. Not only will the savings be negligible (it'll actually likely cost you more when you consider compressor runtime), but it'll shorten the life of the closed loop system.

MMMaybe

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Re: going away, eating fridge down, turning fridge off
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2016, 02:26:46 AM »
I keep the fridge on but we use up or freeze all the perishable stuff. I even put the half carton of the OJ in to freeze. It makes for a cheap week before we leave!

Jack

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Re: going away, eating fridge down, turning fridge off
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2016, 07:38:53 AM »

I'd also suggest packing your fridge with full water bottles.  They'll help keep it chilled better than empty space.

IIRC, this is true of a freezer.  But it is not true of a fridge, which functions better with airflow.  I could be wrong though.

Fridges and freezers function the same way. The thing that makes a difference is that a lot of the temperature buffer (frozen) water provides is due to its enthalpy of fusion, which the fridge can't benefit from as the water is already liquid. (This is also why a cooler works much better packed with 32-degree ice than it does with 32-degree water.)

jengod

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Re: going away, eating fridge down, turning fridge off
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2016, 04:25:12 PM »
Turn off your Internet router too (unless, obviously you have wifi-enabled stuff you want to keep on). It has a relatively high continuous power draw.


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