What Temperature Should a Fridge be?

Tips It’s important that we have the fridge temperature set correctly. It always needs to be within a strict minimum and maximum range. Some fridges manage this automatically, does yours?

If your fridge displays a digital temperature at all times it probably keeps it at the correct temperature.

But if you have a manual temperature control inside the fridge with numbers (not temperatures) then it is unlikely to be sophisticated enough to maintain the proper temperature.

This type of temperature control is extremely crude. It’s just a high and low setting. The problem with it is that when the ambient temperature changes such as from winter to summer this type of control needs turning up or down. There are times of the year where temperature fluctuates so much that the fridge needs turning up or down quite regularly to maintain the correct temperature.

Many fridges need regular temperature control adjustments

If the temperature is too cold, it’s wasting energy cooling it down more than necessary. But if it’s not quite cold enough your food and drink won’t last as long. For example, milk can last up to 10 days at 4 degrees, but only 7 days at 7 degrees. Similar differences can be found for vegetables like lettuce or broccoli.

Use a proper fridge thermometer

Having a fridge thermometer inside (or at least popping it in occasionally if there’s no room to leave it in) will help you set the control optimally. Adjusting it so it always feels cold is fine, but it’s not accurate enough, nor is it optimal. You could save money by keeping the temperature between 0 and 5 degrees centigrade.

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Many freezers and some modern fridges have digital temperature displays but many do not. Fridge and freezer thermometers can be bought cheaply enough – Fridge and freezer thermometers

Special thermometers are used for fridges and freezers – do not use mercury filled thermometers

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