Is Your Mini-Fridge Cool?

It's become routine for students to keep a personal refrigerator in their dorm rooms, and some faculty and staff even have them in their offices. But like mamma said, just because other people are doing it doesn't mean it's a good idea.

Use these questions to decide if your fridge is cool:

  1. Start with this basic question: do you really need a personal refrigerator?
    Maybe your roommate/suitemate has one and you could you share. Maybe your office has a common kitchen or break room with a refrigerator you could use with just minimal extra effort. Maybe you're on the meal plan and only use your fridge for the occasional left-over (that eventually gets tossed anyway). Really think about whether or not you actually need this appliance, which draws a lot of energy and adds to utility costs. Not sure? Unplug it for a few weeks and see how it goes. You may find you don't miss it at all.
  2. Does your personal fridge have enough personal space?
    If you have absolutely decided that, yes, you absolutely need your own mini-fridge, give it some space! Refrigerators create a lot of heat. If that heat is trapped around the fridge - whether that's because it's placed between a wall and a filing cabinet or because it's covered in laundry - the unit will have to work harder and will use more energy. Clear the surrounding area for maximum efficiency.
  3. Does your fridge get a break?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          If you're heading home for a holiday break or leaving your office for a multi-day conference, take a minute to clean out and unplug your refrigerator (leave the door slightly open with a towel underneath it to avoid bad smells and any melt moisture). This is not just a great way to save energy, but a good protection against power failures that could leave you with a big mess on your return.