I’ve known for a long time that cleaning refrigerator coils yields eco-nomical energy savings — but until a couple weeks ago, I’d only thought about cleaning these coils while procrastinating about the task by reading eHow and wiki pages about how best to clean the things.

What was holding me back? The lack of a small hand vacuum or thin brush. Also, laziness.

The latter became my only excuse when Practecol sent its Refrigerator Kit for review. This kit is basically a total green-your-fridge kit, complete with a coil cleaner and a temperature monitor that doubles as a door alarm.

I started with the coil cleaner. After a lot of feeble wiggling (my arms aren’t that strong) I managed to pull the fridge far enough away from the wall to unplug it. Then, I shone a flashlight to see the damage — Eww! The coils were indeed very dusty!

cleaning refrigerator coils

Putting a heavy postmodern novel I can’t seem to get through to good use, I brushed and brushed — and now the coils are super clean! I assume my sweat and toil is now saving the the world from some carbon emissions — and my landlord money on the electric bill.

The kit is supposed to help people save about $35 a year — assuming you also make use of the temperature monitor. I stuck this digital device to my refrigerator wall, where it tracks my fridge temperature. I keep it just under 40 degrees, the upper limit of the recommended energy-saving range, because I like my food fresh and go through my veggies quickly. If you’re the type who tends to let produce go bad, you may want to select a chillier temperature like 37 — or learn to plan out your meals better.

Siel's fridge, held up by Womenand Men

Eco-eaters also shouldn’t deliberate with the fridge door open. The monitor also has an alarm that goes off if you’re stuck in cold indecision for over a minute!

Want to greenify your own fridge? The Practecol Refrigerator Kit costs $19.99 at Target. If you just need the brush and live in the L.A. area, borrow it from me via Neighborgoods! One note to keep in mind: The 80 percent post-consumer recycled packaging says the temperature monitor requires two AA batteries, but the device actually takes AAAs.

MNN homepage photo: pixel107/iStockphoto

How to green your fridge
MNN's lifestyle blogger finally cleaned her refrigerator coils to get the appliance running efficiently. A door alarm forces her to make food decisions faster t