Monday, 6 October 2014

Making my fridge more efficient

Is it really two whole weeks since I last blogged? I've been taking a little break from it, having got back to the marina, and then to Norfolk. We've been home just over a week now, and already the summer's boating seems hardly more than a distant memory. Perhaps today's autumnal weather - much cooler than the superb weather we had on the boat - has something to do with it.

Before we left Jubilee we cleared the worktop so I could oil it. I also pulled out the fridge so I could have a look underneath with a view to making some holes in the floor underneath the back of the fridge for extra ventilation. It's in rather an enclosed space, with barely an inch gap between its top and the underside of the worktop. so I'm considering introducing even more ventilation in the half bulkhead above the table.

There's about three inches between the top of the table and the overhang of the worktop, but I have to allow for a substantial worktop-supporting batten which is fixed to the other side of the bulkhead. You might be able to make out three fixing screws just below the worktop. I was thinking of a horizontal slot with perhaps a mesh grating, but it must somehow be recessed as the table needs to be able to be lifted off vertically before removal. The table has two metal pins which protrude by about an inch underneath, which engage into holes in a batten fixed this side of the bulkhead (hidden by the table in this photo).

What do you think? It has to look pretty. How about a simple 3/8" slot running the length of the fridge? I believe a tool called a router is what one would use, but my woodworking skills are very basic and I don't want to ruin anything!

Alternatively, having cut a hole in the floor, I could install a computer fan arranged to blow cool "bilge" air past the back of the fridge. Ideally this would come on only when the compressor is running; I'd probably have to wire up a mains actuated relay (it's a 230V fridge). To keep it simpler I could switch the fan manually. It could run during the day and be off at night.

We've actually been switching the fridge itself off at night as Jan claims the noise it makes keeps her awake. Despite summer's heat this didn't seem to affect the contents too much. We had to throw away a couple of pints of congealed milk one day, but that was about it.


Vallypee said...

This all sounds very technical and complicated, Halfie, but thank you for drawing my attention to the fact a fridge needs ventilation!

nb Chuffed said...

haven't read your blog before but just caught your post title on Waiouru's blog - we thought our fridge was giving up the ghost till Dave drilled some holes in the floor! We were having to switch it off early evening because of the drain on the batteries. No more sour milk unless we forget to switch it back on in the morning! Just don't drill a hole where the fridge feet go!
Best wishes
Debby and Dave

Halfie said...

Debby, thanks for your comment - that's really encouraging. I hope your advice about not putting holes where the feet go isn't born out of experience!

nb Chuffed said...

fortunately not!