This might've happened to you at least once—you open your refrigerator, and you look at the knob sitting inside the box, oddly wondering what the numbers on the settings are supposed to be. We've researched this issue, and in this post, we'll be sharing with you what the numbers 0 to 7 on your refrigerator settings really mean.
For refrigerators with knob settings listing 0 to 7, you'll find that the settings run at 7 being the coldest and 1 being the warmest. Turning the knob to 0 means that this is the OFF function of your refrigerator. This knob often functions as the thermostat for both your refrigerator and the freezer, unless your model states otherwise.
We know that a lot of refrigerators have different settings, but most of them do follow the same numbers for their settings. In this post, we will talk about what the settings are on your refrigerator. Keep reading because we will also share with you the correct settings for your fridge, as well as ways how to maintain the right temperature.
What Is The Coldest Setting On A Fridge? [0-7]
All refrigerators vary in settings, depending on their manufacturer. Some of them may only go from 0 to 5, while others may go up to 7. Whatever the case may be, it is important that you check your refrigerator manual for the correct temperature of your dial's settings.
For most refrigerators with a dial that goes from 0 to 7, setting 7 is known to be the coldest, and setting 1 is the warmest. Turning the dial to 0 typically turns the refrigerator OFF, and the dial should not be turned to this setting unless the refrigerator will be unplugged.
Some refrigerators will only come with one thermostat dial, and they control both the settings for the refrigerator and the freezer. However, you might also find some models that have a separate thermostat for the fridge and the freezer, so make sure to check the user's manual first in order for you set the right temperature for both areas.
When you first get your refrigerator after purchasing it, make sure to leave the refrigerator in the box for about four hours (or more, depending on the manufacturer) to allow the refrigerant to settle. Afterward, plug the fridge and set the dial on 4. Allow at least 24 hours to pass before changing the settings of your refrigerator to your desired temperature.
What Setting Should Be My Fridge On?
Food that is kept inside the refrigerator should be kept chilled at a proper temperature to prevent bacteria and mold from growing. With the right temperature, food kept in the refrigerator and freezer is a lot fresher and lasts longer.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the right temperature for your refrigerator should be below 40°F, and the freezer should be at or below 0°F. This temperature should prevent your food from rotting and growing bacteria. Vegetables and other food will be fresher, and meats and other food are kept frozen at these temperatures.
However, the ideal temperature for your refrigerator should stay around 35 to 38°F, and this also accounts for the loss of cold air that your refrigerator might experience when it is being opened multiple times throughout the day. This temperature is also as close as you can get to your food being cold without it actually freezing.
If the refrigerator temperature is a little higher than 38°F, it is a bit worrisome because it is too close to the 40°F threshold where bacteria start to multiply. You might also find that your food will spoil a lot quicker than usual.
For the freezer, the temperature should be kept at 0°F or as close to it as possible. You can, of course, have your freezers set at a lower temperature to ensure that everything is frozen all the time, but keep an eye on your utility bills as this can rack up the electricity bills a lot.
Most refrigerator manufacturers suggest that you keep the setting at its highest to achieve the right temperature. Unfortunately, this might not work for everyone because some refrigerators placed at the highest setting cause the food to have freezer burn.
In order to keep your refrigerator and your freezer at the right temperature all the time, it would be a good idea to use a refrigerator and freezer thermometer. This is particularly important if your refrigerator's thermostat is a little off with its reading. You can keep the thermometer inside the refrigerator and adjust your settings accordingly to your liking.
Check out this refrigerator and freezer thermometer on Amazon.
How Do You Keep The Fridge and Freezer Cool?
Keeping the refrigerator at a constant temperature doesn't end with just setting the dial and leaving it be. More often than not, a refrigerator's temperature rises because of certain factors. Here are some tips on how you can keep your refrigerator at an optimal temperature at all times.
Let it Cool
While it might be tempting to just place the food inside the refrigerator right away, it's important to let hot food cool down first before storing them. The heat from the food will heat up the small space in your refrigerator, and it causes the temperature to rise.
Also, keeping hot food covered promotes bacterial growth, so it's more likely that your food will spoil even if you kept it in the refrigerator. If you're planning to store your food, just leave it to cool for a bit before covering your food storage and placing it in the fridge.
Check the Seals
The rubber gaskets on your refrigerator's doors also experience wear and tear. Keep in mind to check on the seals of your refrigerator doors to see if there are no gaps in between. This is often the reason why refrigerators don't get cold as much as they used to.
Don't Open the Doors Often
You've probably done a refrigerator search in the middle of the night, searching for that food that will satisfy your cravings. However, keeping the door open for a long time often lets the warm air inside the refrigerator, and it takes a while before everything gets cold again.
Resist the urge to open the refrigerator doors for a long time. A good way to do this would be to think of what you really want to get and shut the door quickly after you've retrieved it. You'll also lessen the temptation to eat more than what you originally came in for.
Keep Your Refrigerator Full Enough
Refrigerators are not meant to be empty, nor are they meant to be filled to the brim. Refrigerators that are a little empty tend to get colder because there is nothing absorbing the cold. Overcrowded refrigerators, on the other hand, struggle to maintain a cold temperature because there are too many things crowding the space.
To keep the refrigerators at an optimum temperature, make sure to fill them just enough, wherein the shelves are mostly full, and the racks are filled. Make sure that there are no pockets where warm air can settle and cause the refrigerator's temperature to rise.
Organize Your Fridge
To maintain a proper temperature, refrigerators need proper airflow inside and outside. This is best done by organizing your refrigerator to prevent food containers from stacking up or blocking the air vents. When putting the food inside the refrigerator, make sure that you place commonly grabbed items close to the door to prevent cold air from coming out every time you open it.
Make things easier by utilizing refrigerator organizers to keep specific items easy to find. This will lessen your need to open the door for a long time while searching for these food items. It's also easier to clean the refrigerator if the items are all segregated and organized.
Get these refrigerator organizer bins on Amazon.
Always remember to set your refrigerator to its best setting, according to the manual. This should help you keep the refrigerator running at its best, plus your food will be fresher and better in the right temperature settings. Don't forget to maintain it every once in a while and remember to get it checked professionally if it suddenly runs too warm or too cool to your liking.
Would you like to know more about getting the most out of your refrigerators? We've got some articles that might be of interest:
How Long Should Refrigerators Sit After Moving?
Refrigerator Freezing Food (Even On Lowest Setting) – What To Do?