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Shape Up Your Freezer

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Your freezer is one of the most important tools in your kitchen. To keep it in good shape:

  • Choose the right freezer: A separate chest freezer uses about 1/10th the energy of a refrigerator-freezer. If you don’t have room for a separate unit, look for an Energy Star-certified refrigerator, which will use at least 15% less energy than a standard model.   
  • Keep it clean: Defrost your freezer regularly or you’ll lose a lot of cooling power. Even if you don’t have to defrost, wipe up spills promptly. Rotate the freezer’s contents monthly and get rid of damaged packages or freezer-burned food.
  • Fill it up: If you don’t have a lot of food in it, fill a few 2-liter soda bottles about 2/3 full of water and freeze them. They’ll help keep the freezer at an even temperature, and they make great ice packs for coolers. (If there’s a power outage, they’ll also help keep your food cold longer.)
  • Take its temp: Get thermometers for your refrigerator and freezer — and use them! Keep your fridge between 35° and 37° F and your freezer at about 0° F. Check both regularly and adjust the controls as needed, especially in the summer.

Take Today’s Step and look in your freezer. Then choose a tip above and do it; before long, you’ll have a clean, clear freezer that’s ready for anything you want to put in it. We’ve got more tips to come for National Freezer Month — use Comments below to tell us what you’d like to learn about!

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