We have a two-door 1975-model Frigidaire refrigerator-freezer which has a heating strip around the door the prevent condensation. However, in our climate we do not need the heating strip. Can we install a switch? Dr. Wesley H. Dempsey Chico, Calif.
First off, Frigidaire didn't use a heater as such around the door in 1975. What you may be referring to is called a post-loop heater. Frigidare incorporated the refrigerant gas into a post-loop heater where other manufacturers were actually using wattage heaters in the liners.
General Motors, which recently sold the Frigidaire division, used the flow of refrigerant gas.
What the heater does is keep the outside of a refrigerator from sweating on hot, humid days. You can't disconnect the post- loop system because there is nothing to disconnect.
The latest-designed refrigerators, which meet the 1980-model standards for energy commission, now use higher-efficiency compressors. Also, Frigidaire now does use a summer-winter control switch. In other words, you won't get the same amount of humidity in the wintertime as in the summer. In your area, as you say , you have no need for the heater in either season. Thus, you can turn off the heater in the newest Frigidaires.
When the heater is off, the energy saving is notable. A frostproof, 21 -cubic-foot refrigerator, with the switch turned off, will use about 102 kilowatts of electricity a month. But with the switch turned on it uses 128.