ice build up in freezer
Hints & Tips
4 min. read

How Cold Do Your Fridge And Freezer Need To Be?

One of the main ways to ensure that your fresh food stays unspoiled for longer in your fridge is to set it to the correct temperature. Your fridge won’t automatically set to within that temperature range, so you need to select the manufacturers’ recommended setting.

Bear in mind that this temperature will vary between shelves so think of it as an average setting with higher shelves having a higher temperature. How cold do your fridge and freezer need to be? Read on…

Temperature recommendations

Your fridge thermostat should ideally be set to between 1.7 to 3.3 degrees Celcius. This is as close to the fridge temperature threshold when bacteria begin to rapidly multiply. The faster your fridge gets down to this temperature is the key to maximising nutrients in your food.

Your freezer temperature should be set at -18 degrees Celcius. Remember that it can take 24 hours for your fridge and freezer to adjust to these changes.

Adjusting the temperature

Check your owner’s manual to locate the temperature dial. Make gradual adjustments to the control knob which will have a number of notches indicating the temperature settings. On the majority of dials the higher the number the colder, the setting will be. The best setting is generally in the middle so on a dial ranging from one to five-try a number three setting.

If your fridge has a sliding gauge the right side will typically be the cooling option with the left side warming up. The gauge may be numbered or have a label indicating colder. Again, the best setting is generally in the middle.

A digital temperature screen may be provided with modern fridges and is usually located on the fridge door. You simply need to press the arrow keys to adjust the temperature setting until you reach the required one.

You can take the temperature of your fridge with a thermometer specifically designed for this purpose. Stainless steel types are less likely to break than glass options and are simple to set up. Use the centre shelf to get the most accurate reading which you should take after about five hours. Then you’ll be able to make further adjustments as necessary. After each adjustment wait five hours before checking the temperature again.

Maintaining the temperature

To keep the temperature at the ideal setting you should:

Avoid opening the door so much

Every time you open the fridge door you’re letting warm air in and allowing cold air to escape. Try not to leave the door open more than is absolutely necessary to get food out or put food in.

Keep your fridge and freezer full

When shelves and drawers are mainly full temperatures stay cooler for longer, and with a little organisation, you can prevent overcrowding and limiting airflow.

Cool food down before refrigerating

Let foods cool to avoid rapid bacteria growth before covering a d storing in the fridge. This will protect other food in the fridge too.

Troubleshooting tips

Inconsistent fridge temperature

If your fridge freezer is too warm this could be due to a faulty thermostat which will need replacing. The thermostat regulates the temperature inside the fridge so if you notice that your fridge is getting unusually cold this can also be a sign of a thermostat malfunction. Fluctuations in temperature can lead to health issues so you need to get this problem fixed quickly.

Ice build-up in freezer

This can become a serious issue as it may keep the temperature in your freezer too hot and potentially cause food to spoil and leave you with unpleasant odours. Ice build-up happens when warm or humid air comes in contact with the cold evaporator coils every time you open the door. If you’re doing all the right things by organising and storing food correctly you may need expert help with diagnosing any more serious problems.

Faulty door seals

The gaskets around the edges of the fridge and freezer doors keep warm temperatures out and cold temperatures in. If these seals leak the cold air will start to escape and temperatures will rise, making your appliance work harder and increasing your energy bills.

Looking for fridge freezer repairs in London?

You’ll be able to get a quick quote and book a qualified fridge freezer engineer online who’ll be able to carry out your repairs on the same day or even at the weekends. You’ll even be able to track the progress of your service with details of your engineer, arrival time, and any updates you may need. Your fridge freezer will soon be operating effectively once more!

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