This kitchen workhorse consumes the most energy in your home, using up to 15 per cent of electricity.
It's also one of the least cleaned parts of the kitchen, partly because many of us probably live by the motto "out of sight, out of mind".
Here are some cool tips you must know when buying a fridge, as well as the best ways to maintain it to save you repair money and keep your groceries fresh this Chinese New Year:
Tips To Choosing The Right Fridge:
1. Check if it's eco-friendly by looking out for the mandatory Energy Label issues by the NEA (National Environment Agency). It shows the annual energy consumption and the number of ticks awarded - the more ticks, the better!
2. Choose a model that has the freezer on either the top or bottom as side-by-side models tend to use more energy, as do those that have ice and water dispensers on the door, or automatic ice makers.
3. Look out for green features, such as door alarms that alert you if the fridge is left open, or a manual defrost option which is more energy-efficient since it relies on air circulation within your home to break down frost.
Tips To Clean And Maintain Your Fridge:
1. Place your fridge away from heat-generating appliances such as the oven.
2. Keep the temperature control at mid-range to save energy.
3. Keep the freezer full. Counter-intuitively, frozen food serves as a thermal stabiliser that reduces the amount of on-off cycling. If you don't have much frozen food, try freezing containers of water instead.
4. Check the seal by closing the door on a piece of paper. If you are able to pull it out easily, your fridge's gasket needs to be adjusted or replaced.
5. Clean the coils annually with a coil cleaning brush and vacuum. Dust and dirt build-up reduces the heat-exchange efficiency and makes the compressor work harder. Do this more often if you have fur-shedding pets.
6. Remove streaks and fingerprints from stainless steel fridges (and the backsplash too!) with dishwashing detergent and warm water applied to a microfibre cloth. Rub with the grain, rinse and dry the surface immediately.
7. When in doubt, throw it out. Go through each shelf and toss anything that's mouldy or past its expiry date. Yes, that means even those chocolates you received last Christmas.