To continue this week's Earth Day special Green Your Kitchen series, let's talk about refrigerator and freezer temperatures.
Recommended temperature settings:
2 Highest temperature allowed for food safety
How to measure the temperature
To measure the temperature in your refrigerator or freezer, follow these instructions:
- Place a refrigerator thermometer in the center of your refrigerator or freezer, between two packages or food items.
- Close the door and wait for at least 20 minutes until the thermometer stabilizes.
- Read the temperature as soon as you take the thermometer out of the cold.
Other tips for saving energy
The best way to keep the temperature constant is to keep your refrigerator or freezer always full. Fill it with water jugs when there is no food. (This is also a good way to keep emergency water handy.)
If you use two fridges, try to see if you can combine their contents and unplug the oldest or least energy-efficient one (you know, the one in the garage that you seldom use anyway).
The following recommendations from ENERGY STAR can help you improve the energy efficiency of your refrigerator and freezer:
- Choose an ENERGY STAR model.
- Choose a top-mounted freezer.
- Purchase an appropriately-sized refrigerator.
- Avoid ice-makers and dispensers.
(You must have noticed that the picture I took in my freezer tonight is a counterexample of what I just described—the thermometer is hanging in the void and the temperature is too high. Do as I say, not as I do...)