A Very Happy Bear

There’s a polar bear In our Frigidaire.
He likes it ’cause it’s cold in there.
With his seat in the meat, and his face in the fish
And his big hairy paws in the buttery dish…

Folks that have been reading my past posts know that we’re recently replaced our refrigerator. As reference, the recommended temperatures for refrigerators is between 34°F and 40°F in the refrigerator compartment, and between 0°F and 5°F (ideally 0°F) for the freezer compartment. The problem we had with our old refrigerator was that it could only maintain that temperature on its coldest setting; this wasn’t a surprise as it was 20 years old. We learned this because we purchased a refrigerator thermometer.

After we got the new refrigerator, I began monitoring the temperature. This was partially so I could start loading it. According to the manual, the refrigerator needed 24 hours to stablize. The freezer compartment cooled quickly, but the refrigerator compartment was slow. According to my wife, this was because the insulation and surrounding materials also needed to reach thermal stability. To make our life easier, we put the remote from our indoor/outdoor thermometer in the refrigerator. This allowed me to monitor the temperature, and determine when it was safe to load.

He’s nibbling the noodles, He’s munching the rice,
He’s slurping the soda, He’s licking the ice.
And he lets out a roar if you open the door…

Last night, we completed the load-in of the refrigerator. Naturally, with all the door openings and closings, it got warmer in there… up to around 49°F. By the time I went to bed, it was just below 45°F. I actually woke up twice during the night; it had gotten down to around 42°F. Right now the thermometer is reading 38.8°F (update: 37.8°F). I’m guessing the reason it took so long to cool down was the thermal mass of all the stuff that we moved in there… but of course, my mind thought we had just gotten a bum fridge. I should probably be a bit less obsessive :-).

I’ll note that the fridge temperature has remained stable this morning, even after a few openings and closings. The refrigerator compartment is currently set at the max setting (7)–this doesn’t cool it any faster, but keeps the temperator lower. Once I know the thermal mass of everything is stable, I should probably move this to 5-6.

As for the freezer, it is at a chilly -5°F. We should probably move it up from the max setting (7) to somewhere just above the middle (4 or 5). It does seem to be doing a good job. Having the water and the ice in the door probably saves money, as we are opening the freezer less.

And it gives me a scare to know he’s in there.
That polary bear, in our Fridgitydaire.