Posts Tagged ‘cooling’

Refrigerator temperature: What temperature should a refrigerator be set at?

August 6, 2010

Flickr photo credit: olibac

Your refrigerator likely comes set at the factory-recommended temperature, probably a “mid-setting,” but what is that?

If you set the temperature too low, your food will freeze. Set it too high, however, and your food will spoil quicker due to increased bacterial growth.

The recommended temperature for your refrigerator ranges from 35 degrees to 38 degrees.

I keep my refrigerator at 37 degrees and try to keep it stocked well with food, because — believe it or not — a fully stocked fridge holds its temperature better than one with a couple condiment bottles in the door.

But the best test for your refrigerator’s temperature is a beverage. If you don’t like the temperature of your beverage, adjust the fridge. If you think your refrigerator is too cold, increase the temperature by 1 degree and allow 24 hours for the compartment to adjust. Obviously, do the opposite if you think your refrigerator is too warm.

To ensure proper temperatures, air has to be able to flow between the refrigerator and freezer sections.

As shown in the super sweet illustration, cool air from the refrigerator enters through the bottom of the freezer section and moves upward. Most of the air then flows through the freezer section vents and recirculates under the freezer floor. The rest of the air enters the refrigerator section through the top vent and flows down the back of the refrigerator compartment.

Make sure the air vents aren’t blocked by some errant food thing. Otherwise, it might block the flow of air to the refrigerator, which in turn causes temperature and moisture problems and melty ice cream, etc.

Also (word to the wise), last time my refrigerator was too warm — and I had cranked it up to the coldest setting — I (my dad) finally popped off my kick-plate to find a veritable lint blanket.

Lesson: if your refrigerator can’t exhaust properly, it can’t cool properly. So, vacuum the condenser every three months!

HOW TO: buy a window air conditioner

May 24, 2010

Don’t expect any reprieve after the weekend’s hot, humid weather. Today’s supposed to see record high temperatures in the 90s.

Excessive Heat Warnings have been issued for this afternoon and early tonight for Hennepin and Ramsey counties.

Here at Warners’ Stellian, that means sweaty, sleepless customers start shopping for window AC units (or wall air conditioners).

If you’re shopping for a window air conditioner but don’t know what to look for, check out our air conditioner buying guide.

Don’t try to sweat it out, either, thinking you’ll save money. Buy early in the season, because window air conditioning is a seasonal item and runs out at nearly every store every summer. TRUST. ME.

I fielded far too many calls from desperate families looking for window air conditioners later in the summer after stores had sold out of normal window air conditioner BTU units (the only units left were the more expensive, 20,000-plus BTU units). My heart broke for families pleading for help for their elderly parents, etc. But once they run out…

Buying bigger than you need isn’t a great idea, either, or moisture won’t be removed from the air. From our buying guide:

In addition to cooling, air conditioners also dehumidify a small amount of moisture from the air. So it’s important to buy an air conditioner with cooling power appropriate to the size of the room it is in. If the air conditioner is too powerful, the room will be cooled too quickly for moisture to be removed. This results in a lower room temperature with high humidity levels. This kind of environment can cause the air conditioner to cycle on and off, ultimately creating a room that feels damp and clammy.

In terms of figuring out how many BTUs you should buy, Good Housekeeping has a great online calculator to take the guesswork out of it.

Of course, Warners’ Stellian can do the calculating for you if you come prepared with your square footage and room information.


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