If your refrigerator is not keeping things at an ideal temperature, then it may be time for a check-up.
A fridge that is not at the right temperature could be the cause behind spoiled food being left in your cupboard or rotten meat rotting on the countertop.
In this article we will explore what exactly is meant by the ‘ideal’ fridge temperature, why it matters, how to know if your fridge has gone wrong and what you need to do about it.
Why is it important to keep your fridge at the ideal temperature?
We all want our food to stay as fresh as possible.
This means that the ideal fridge temperature is around zero degrees Celsius (32 F).
Anything less than this can lead to bacteria growing in the air inside the fridge.
The lower the temperature, the more likely bacteria will grow.
If there is no food to feed on, they cannot survive, so they will die off.
If there is something rotting, then the bacteria can get into the food and start to break down the food.
They will continue until they reach the point where the food becomes unusable.
When this happens, the food needs to be thrown out, even though it might still look fine.
What happens if your fridge is not at the ideal temperature?
When your fridge is not at the ideal temperature, the food inside it starts to spoil.
The longer it stays at a sub-optimal temperature, the faster the food spoils.
If the food is already rotten when you open the door, you have lost any chance of saving it.
There are several signs that your fridge is not maintaining the correct temperature.
You could see mould forming on top of the milk bottles, or notice a strong smell coming from the freezer section.
Some foods taste different or have a strange odour.
These are all signs that the food inside has been affected by the cold temperature.
How can you tell if your fridge is at the ideal temperature?
It is not always obvious whether your fridge is keeping things at the right temperature.
The best way to find out is to measure the temperature with a thermometer.
It is also useful to regularly inspect your fridge for signs of damage.
You will usually find a digital display near the door.
If you don’t see one, then there is probably something wrong with your fridge.
There could be a fault with the temperature sensor or the wiring.
In these cases, you will need to call a professional to repair the problem before you can use your fridge again.
What are some easy ways to keep your fridge at the ideal temperature?
If your fridge does not seem to be working properly, you might be able to solve the problem yourself.
Here are some simple tips that you can try:
Check your thermostat
Make sure that it is set to the correct temperature.
Check the instructions on the packaging.
If you aren’t sure how to adjust the thermostat, read the manual.
Clean the coils
Dirty coils can affect the temperature of your fridge.
Try using a vacuum cleaner attachment to clean them.
Keep your fridge closed
Close the doors whenever you leave the house, especially at night.
Keep the door shut for at least 15 minutes after you put the food away, but ideally for 30 minutes.
Don’t overload the fridge
You shouldn’t store too much food in your fridge at once.
Leave room for your other groceries.
If you must freeze items, make sure that they are wrapped tightly so that they don’t take up space.
Use the right type of food
Foods that contain sugar, such as bread, cakes and desserts, will not last very long at low temperatures.
Instead, use dry goods like rice, pasta and cereals.
They will last longer because they have no water content.
What are some common causes of a fridge not being at the ideal temperature?
A faulty thermostat is one of the most common problems.
If the thermostat is broken or dirty, then the fridge won’t work correctly.
The thermostat will automatically turn itself off to save energy.
However, this will mean that the fridge will never reach the ideal temperature.
Another common cause of a fridge that isn’t doing its job is a dirty filter.
The filter keeps air from circulating inside the fridge.
This means that you can’t cool the air inside the fridge, which leads to it staying warm.
To clear the filter, place the appliance on its side and remove the grill.
Use a brush to clean the filter.
If you think that you may have an issue with your fridge, then it would be wise to contact a professional.
The sooner they can diagnose the problem, the better chance there is of fixing it quickly.
How can you prevent your fridge from not being at the ideal temperature?
You can prevent your fridge from going wrong by following the above tips.
If you have a large family, then it is essential that you invest in a larger fridge.
Ideally, you should buy a chest fridge, which has a deeper shelf capacity and therefore takes up less room on the kitchen floor.
What are the consequences of a fridge not being at the ideal temperature?
Not having a fridge at the perfect temperature can seriously affect your quality of life.
Having a fridge that doesn’t work properly can become stressful.
You might feel guilty every time you go into the fridge and wonder if the food inside is safe.
This can lead to you eating more junk food and skipping meals altogether.
This can also lead to health issues.
For example, if the fridge is not at the right temperature, then bacteria will begin to form inside the food.
This can lead to illness, particularly for children and older people who are more susceptible to food poisoning.
Is there anything you can do to fix a fridge that is not at the ideal temperature?
Unfortunately, it is difficult to fix a fridge that is not at the ideal temperature.
You can only hope that the fridge will eventually stop malfunctioning.
The only thing you can do is wait it out and hope that it fixes itself.
If you think that your fridge is not keeping things at the right temperature, then you should contact a specialist.
Even if you think that the problem is minor, it is worth getting it checked out.
The worst case scenario is that you will have to throw out your food and start buying new groceries.