A products to reduce fridge humidity called:-
Polar Fresh, from the USA
At Confused About Energy we were approached by a company (The Ideas House Ltd, Manchester UK) with a very simple method to reduce humidity in fridges using a special blend of zeolites and activated charcoal to absorb the moisture. What has that got to do with energy we wondered. Well it turns our that the humidity levels in your fridge can have an effect on energy consumption, particularly if you have an older fridge or a fridge without any humidity control. A reduction in relative humidity within the fridge from 60% to 40% can for example reduce the energy consumption of the fridge by 5%. This amounts to a £4 or £5 pounds per year saving in electricity costs. It is a saving but not a great saving.
Buy one here. These are not widely available in the UK yet, so tell us what you think.
This is not very exciting we thought given that for a year’s use we could need between 2 & 4 cartridges (they last between 3 and 6 months) and at the moment cost £15 each.
We met with The Ideas House and it was immediately apparent that the true savings are with the preservation of food, saving both money on waste food and by reducing waste an so saving energy in food production and transport. But why is this the case? Simply because the moisture in the air, in the fridge is used by various types of bacteria in their growth, so food decays more quickly the higher the humidity, soft fruits grow mould, broccoli gets brown spots, lettuce becomes soggy etc. By getting the moisture out of the air more quickly, the food stays fresher for longer, reducing the amount that needs to be thrown away. In addition to creating a drier, colder environment in the fridge to save money on waste and energy, it also absorbs odours and removes ethylene gas emissions which are a normal part of the food ripening and decay process.
The product is called Polar Fresh (picture to the right). It is made from natural materials, and is based on technology which has been used in large commercial catering establishments in the USA for more than 20 years, but is not yet in large scale domestic use. The product uses a special blend of zeolites and activated charcoal to absorb the moisture. To use it, and we have, simply remove the protective shrink wrap, and put the box on the top shelf of the fridge. It needs a few days to process the humid environment on first use.
An estimate from existing users indicates that the average UK household could save about £4 per week by wasting less fresh food and by being able to buy more economically, or about £200 per annum. They also notice fewer moisture drips, so packaging on chilled foods keeps better, and there is less mopping up.
We tested them in our fridges and were impressed. As Polar Fresh is new to the UK and isn’t yet widely available, we have arranged to offer them here on a trail basis for £15 a piece, so that if you are interested you can see what you think and test them out yourselves. Views from users would of course be most welcome so please come back here and tell us what you think of them.