Have you ever been absolutely positive that you’ve closed the refrigerator, only to glance back at it and find the door slightly ajar? Do you have to pay attention when you shut the freezer door to make sure that it’s actually closed? Does your food stay as cold as it should, or do you notice condensation, or items spoiling ahead of their time?
If any of these are true, the seals on your refrigerator and/or freezer doors may not be functioning properly. Here’s a quick test you can do to find out.
Though it’s usually referred to as the “dollar bill test,” you don’t have to use actual currency—a small piece of paper roughly the same size will work, too. The goal is to find out whether the rubber seal on your refrigerator and/or freezer door—also known as the gasket—is doing its job.
To do the test, hold the bill or paper in front of part of the gasket, then close the refrigerator door, trapping the paper and leaving about half of it sticking out. Now, slowly pull the paper out.
Ideally, there will be some tension, but if the seal isn’t working properly, the paper will slip out easily. Perform this test in various places along the door’s perimeter to find out if any parts of the gasket are weaker than others.
If any part of the seal on your refrigerator or freezer door isn’t closing all the way—or staying closed—that means cool air is leaking out. So, in order to maintain its set temperature, your fridge has to work overtime, using additional energy to keep its contents cool, and leaving you with a higher energy bill.