The freezer is one of the few essential appliances that most of us can't live without. GE has been making freezers for more than half a century. So if you have one—or bought one recently—you may be wondering, "What temperature should I set my GE freezer at?" Luckily, you've come to the right place, as we've done the research just for you.
A GE freezer should be set at 0°F to keep its contents fresh and the appliance in good shape. Anything warmer will lessen its capability to freeze, while anything cooler will unnecessarily raise your electric bill and potentially increase the risk of malfunction.
Zero is the hero in this scenario. While that answers your question, there are other things to consider when it comes to your GE freezer's temperature and performance. Read on to know more about the pitfalls to avoid and best practices to adopt.
What Temperature Should A GE Freezer Be Set At?
For some GE freezers, the actual and desired temperatures can be seen on the internal or external display. For others, the temperature can be configured to a numerical setting between 0–9 (zero being OFF; nine being the coldest).
Appliance thermometers are especially helpful for the types that don't display the temperature by degrees.
You can purchase this useful yet inexpensive tool at most appliance stores. Place it in a visible spot inside your freezer and monitor it at least once a week.
Let's discuss the best temperature setting for GE freezers and the reasons that justify it.
Keeps the contents fresh
Whether it's meat, leftovers, or ice cream, experts recommend setting your freezer at 0°F to stop bacteria growth. Anything warmer compromises its ability to keep food items frozen, which shortens their shelf life due to faster deterioration.
Although frozen food is kept safe indefinitely, the quality may deteriorate. A pack of sliced ham left in there for a year might not taste as good as new. According to the FDA, tenderness, flavor, aroma, juiciness, and color can all be affected.
Sometimes, you may notice grayish-brown spots on some foods inside the freezer. This is called freezer burn. It happens when food loses its moisture and is due to poor storage, not the temperature itself.
Regardless, protein values barely change during freezing. You can still produce nutritious home-cooked meals from your freezer's part-time inhabitants anytime.
So as long as you immediately put the groceries in the freezer—in air-tight containers, of course—setting the temperature to 0°F helps keep the contents fresh.
However, if you're still wondering about what to do with that semi-shriveled, year-old ham, you can always disguise it between cheese and tomato slices in a grilled panini sandwich.
Keeps the appliance in good shape
We keep our freezers turned on all the time—literally 24/7. We turn the freezer off only when we have to manually defrost it, which is done perhaps once or twice a year.
Notwithstanding this annual tradition, freezers constantly contribute to the electric bill. Setting your GE freezer below 0°F uses more energy than needed to keep its contents frozen. Doing so will unnecessarily raise utility costs, especially in the long run.
Also, a lot of modern freezers are now marketed as frost-free. These types automatically trigger a defrost cycle once in a while—preventing the buildup of frost.
In these types, the other potential issue with setting the temperature below 0°F is that this can cause the automatic defrost cycle to malfunction, essentially allowing frost to accumulate.
Frost in a frost-free freezer? Sounds wrong—and it is, for a good reason.
When this anomaly happens, air circulation eventually gets hindered to a point where other freezer problems may start to arise. This can lead to costly repairs.
Besides potentially disrupting the defrost cycle, accumulated frost also reduces storage space. So to keep the freezer in good shape (and your utility costs low), we recommend setting the temperature to precisely 0°F.
How do I set the temperature on my GE?
You can refer to the instructions below depending on the type of freezer.
For older refrigerator-freezer models
In terms of locating the temperature control panel on these combination types, they can either be inside or outside the unit.
For some, you can control the freezer temperature using the rotating dial on the corresponding portion of the control panel (one side will say "Freezer" while the other, "Refrigerator").
For others, touch pads labeled "warmer" and "colder" can be used instead.
Some go by the degree, while others are set numerically (as in 0-9).
For the types that let you choose between 0-9, zero means it's turned OFF; 1 is the warmest setting while turned ON; 9 is the coldest.
It's important to avoid changing the temperature settings too frequently. This makes the freezer slower to respond. GE recommends waiting 24 hours for your choice to set in.
For side-by-side models
For newer GE side-by-side models, the temperature control panel is located externally. This design allows the user to check or adjust the temperature without opening the door.
Like in the older models, you can set the desired temperature (either numerical or by degree) using the "warmer" or "colder" touch pads.
The only difference is that some models will display the actual temperature first when you press any of the pads. You'd have to press it again to start making an adjustment.
For French-Door models with by-the-degree controls
To set the temperature on French-Door models, press the "Freezer" touch pad to bring up the current temperature setting. Once it illuminates, continue pressing it until you reach the desired number.
Note: Each time you press the "Freezer" touch pad, the temperature will go up by 1° until it reaches the maximum limit. It then cycles upward, starting from the minimum (coolest) limit in the same increments.
For chest and upright freezers
To set the temperature on GE chest and upright freezers, rotate the dial according to your desired setting. There are three variations on labeling:
- Numerical labels: Turn the dial all the way to the left to the OFF position to turn the power off. Turning it to the right makes it cooler. (1 being the warmest while turned ON; 7 being the coolest)
- MAX (maximum) to MIN (minimum): Same method with using the dial, excluding the numbers.
- COLD to COLDEST: This is self-explanatory. Same method with using the dial.
Does a freezer work better full or empty?
The contents of a freezer help maintain its temperature. This means your freezer's temperature doesn't rise too much whenever you open it to remove stuff or to put new ones in.
While that's good, too much of a good thing isn't.
Freezers work best when they are full but not too stuffed to the point where there's no room for cool air to circulate.
So even if you were able to successfully cram the ice cream among the chicken fillets, trays of ice, and packs of frozen fruit, it'd be hard to satisfy your late-night mint chocolate chip craving if your freezer is "organized" Tetris-style, with the target dessert inconveniently placed at the farthest end.
In fact, it's hard to manage a freezer that's so full. We recommend keeping your freezer at 70-85% occupancy.
A tip from your virtual neighbor: Keep your freezer from being underfilled by putting in small bags of ice to meet this golden rule.
What is TurboFreeze on GE refrigerator?
The TurboFreeze (tF) function in GE freezers blasts the freezer with high fan speed. When activated, the freezer will run at its coldest capacity for a set duration or until the feature is deactivated.
To activate TurboFreeze, press and hold the "Freezer" touch pad for 3 seconds. For models with LCDs, press "Express Mode" instead.
"tF" might appear like an error to some, but don't mistake it for one. It's a valuable feature that helps after opening the freezer door for extended periods—like when you restock after doing a lot of groceries.
How long does it take for GE freezers to freeze?
It takes approximately 24 hours from installation to reach the desired temperature. Fill the freezer with food or water to help it stabilize. But apart from this, avoid opening the freezer door during this timeframe.
To recap, the recommended setting for GE freezers is 0°F.
Along with delivering this straightforward answer, we were pleased to share the how-tos, additional tips, and things to avoid for your GE freezer. If you enjoyed this content, then you will find these related topics interesting: