Temperature Settings for Refrigerators

Setting the refrigerator temperature right is important for its proper functioning and power saving. This article provides information about the correct refrigerator temperature and how to set it.
HomeQuicks Staff
A very important kitchen appliance, the refrigerator is a part of every household nowadays. It keeps all your food fresh by preventing the growth of bacteria in it. An incorrect freezer temperature alters the food's texture, flavor, taste, nutrient content, and safety. The temperature of the refrigerator surrounding keeps changing and the refrigerator has to adjust its internal temperature to keep your food fresh all the time. Refrigerant gasses like ammonia and chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) are compressed and cooled to form a liquid. The liquid is then evaporated by the heat drawn from the surrounding, leading to the reduction of the internal refrigerator temperature. However, setting the ideal temperature is important to ensure complete safety of the food from bacteria and to avoid altering the taste. Setting the right temperature also ensures conservation of energy.
Basic Temperature Settings
A knob is usually provided with the refrigerator to help you change the temperature settings. Normally, it will have the numbers 1-5 or 1-9 in the fridge and a dial representing the letters A-E in the freezer. If you have the 1 to 5 format, the best way is to set it to three. Whereas, if you have the 1 to 9 format make it 4. The ideal refrigerator temperature settings range between 34 °F to 38 °F or 1 °C to 3 °C and the ideal freezer temperature settings range around 0 °F (-18 °C) or lower. However, be careful not to allow the temperature of the refrigerator cross to 41 °F because this can foster bacterial growth. Also, do not let the temperature drop below 34 °F because that will lead to the freezing of food items and they will no longer be eatable. Moreover, the change in temperature that you make will take at least a day to take full effect.
The ideal temperature range is set at 38 °F and it may shut off at 35 °F. Although, if you have meat items in your refrigerator, consider lowering the temperature below the standard value. This range of temperature is very energy saving. Your energy bills will also reduce. The CFCs released from the refrigerator will also remain in control if the right range is set. Remember that the temperature knobs may be different for different freezer models. Therefore, before you try your hand at setting the freezer temperature, make sure you go through the user manual provided by the manufacturer.
Other Considerations
Along with all the above, try to follow the general rules for the proper and long term functioning of your refrigerator.
  • Keep the refrigerator door closed when you are not using it. When you are using it, open it for a minimum amount of time.
  • Clean the entire refrigerator once a week, otherwise your food items will get some foul smell whenever they are kept in it.
  • If your refrigerator has become very old, chances are that it is not working efficiently and may also be releasing a lot of CFCs. To avoid harming nature and for saving money, buy a new refrigerator.
Nowadays, many energy efficient refrigerator models are available in the market. Some of these new models also have automatic temperature control and maintenance. This is a very useful feature. You do not have to defrost these new refrigerators either.