Question about Westinghouse Refrigerators

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Letting perishables such as milk and eggs get warm doesn't just effect the taste; it can also allow bacteria to grow. It's essential to guard against this by adjusting your refrigerator temperature when necessary. Read below for how to do it.
Measure the temperature of you refrigerator. To measure the temperature in a fridge without a thermostat, just place a normal thermometerHOW TO SET THERMOSTATON WESTINGHOUSE - mag-glass_10x10.gif in a glass of water and place it inside the fridge. Check back 5 to 8 hours later to see what temperature the water is. This allows you to determine the temperature indirectly.
Adjust the temperature. Once you've identified your refrigerator's temperature, it's time to change the settings. Turn the indicator to the left to make the temperature warmer, and to the right to make your refrigerator colder. It is important to only change the temperature gauge by one setting, regardless of how much you think it must be adjusted. This prevents freezing or thawing of food by making the change gradually.
Check the temperature again after 6 to 8 hours. If it's the temperature you want, you're set. If not, move the dial one setting colder or warmer, depending on your needs. The ideal temperature for a refrigerator is 40 degrees. Wait at least 24 hours in between each adjustment to allow the fridge time to achieve that temperature.
Prepare for changing seasons. Where you live can have a big influence on your fridge's temperatures. You may need to adjust the temperature lower in the summer and higher in the winter to maintain a constant 40 degrees. Those who live in moderate climates can worry less about weather effecting their refrigerator's temperature.

Check the air vents. If you're having trouble achieving the right temperature, even after numerous adjustments, make sure the vents on the inside of the fridge aren't covered. This can prevent air flow, making it impossible to cool the refrigerator.

Posted on Aug 05, 2010

  • ikechukwu joshua
    ikechukwu joshua Aug 05, 2010

    Adjust your Freezer Thermostat

    In almost every list of “what you can do to reduce your
    environmental impact” you will find the item “lower your thermostat
    setting”. This of course refers to the thermostat that controls the
    temperature of your home. However, there are other thermostats in your
    home that rarely make it onto such lists but have an equally significant
    impact. The remainder of this article deals with adjusting fridge,
    freezer, and deep freeze thermostats.

    Measuring the current temperature
    Using a digital indoor/outdoor thermometer (with remote temperature
    probe) it is a fairly simple matter to determine the temperature inside
    your fridge or freezer. Place the probe inside, next to something with a
    relatively high thermal mass (like a jug of water, or a frozen roast).
    Place the thermometer display outside where it can easily be read
    without opening the fridge/freezer door. Close the door and wait several
    hours for the temperature to stabilize before taking the reading.

    I determined that my appliances were set as follows:



    Deep Freeze

    Permanent temperature monitoring
    In the interest of being more aware of what’s going on inside my
    appliances I decided to install permanent digital temperature displays.
    The most economical temperature display I could find with an external
    temperature probe was an aquarium thermometer. The specific model I
    purchased is manufactured by a company called Coralife. I purchased 4 Coralife digital thermometers for $10 CAD ea from Mail Order Pet Supplies
    in Ontario, Canada. There were Cheaper sources in the US, but I live in
    Canada and I wanted to avoid any customs issues or higher shipping
    fees. My total including shipping and taxes was $49.72 and the
    thermometers arrived within a week.

    To keep my fridge and freezers well sealed where the temperature
    probe wire entered, I installed a thin strip of foam tape over the wire.
    My fridge door had a rough surface that the included suction cup would
    not stick to, so I glued fridge magnet material to the back of the
    display. Todo: post pictures of thermometer installation.

    Recommended temperatures
    I found recommended fridge and freezer temperatures on several
    different websites, all of which agreed on roughly the same numbers. The
    recommended fridge temperature is from 2 to 5°C (34 to 40°F). A fridge
    does not stop bacterial growth, so the temperature chosen only affects
    the rate of bacterial growth. The lower the temperature, the longer it
    will take for your food to spoil. If you don’t typically leave food in
    your fridge very long, and aren’t particularly fond of cold drinks, you
    may safely raise the temperature above the recommended value.

    The recommended freezer temperature is -18°C (0°F). All of the sites I
    found claimed that this is the temperature at which bacterial growth
    stops. Most sites noted that freezing doesn’t actually kill bacteria but
    just stops its growth/reproduction. I found it to be an odd coincidence
    that bacteria would stop growing at exactly 0°F. More on that later.

    Adjusting the temperature
    The hardest part of adjusting the thermostat settings is finding the
    adjustment dial. On my deep freeze, I found it on the outside, near the
    floor on the bottom left side. In my freezer, it was on the inside at
    the very back. In my fridge, it was at the very front, at the top.

    Changing the thermostat settings is simply a matter of making an
    adjustment to the dial, monitoring the temperature with a thermometer
    until it stabilizes (possibly a day or more for a good deep freeze), and
    repeating the adjustment until the desired temperature is reached.

    Consequences of raising the temperature
    Given such an overwhelming agreement from different sources about the
    recommended freezer temperature, I was ready to take it as a gospel
    that keeping my freezer temperature below -18°C was the only way to
    safely store food for extended periods. But I’m not so easily convinced,
    so I decided to find out exactly what bacteria existed that could
    survive and reproduce down to -18°C. Not too much to my surprise, I
    couldn’t find any.

    Bacteria are classified into one of five groups based on the
    temperatures at which they thrive. These groups are psychrophiles,
    psychrotrophs, mesophiles, thermophiles and hyperthermophiles. The table
    at right shows the growth rate vs temperature for each group.

    It seems that -10°C is about the lowest temperature at which bacteria
    experience significant growth. So why is it that the recommended
    freezer temperature is -18°C? I couldn’t find this information anywhere,
    but some ideas I have are:

    1. 0°F just seemed like a nice round number to use that was well below the temperature required to halt bacterial growth.

    2. It might provide quicker recovery from defrost cycles. Most modern
      freezers are “frost free” which means they periodically heat up the
      “cooling coils” to prevent frost from forming on them. By keeping the
      contents of the freezer at -18°C it’s less likely the temperature of the
      contents will increase above -10°C during the defrost cycle.

    3. It might provide a margin of safety should the power go out, or
      should the performance of the appliance degrade. In this case you would
      have more time to notice the problem before the temperature increased
      too much.

    4. It might account for varying temperature throughout the freezer if
      you just happened to measure the temperature at the coldest spot. When
      measuring the temperature of my appliances, I tried different locations
      and took my final reading from the warmest spot.

    My freezer has a defrost cycle, but my deep freeze does not. A better
    way to increase tolerance of defrost cycles and provide a margin of
    safety for power outages is to keep a larger thermal mass in the freezer
    (for example, some frozen containers of water). Contrary to intuition,
    having a greater volume of stuff in your freezer does not cause the
    freezer to consume more power (except during initial cooling). In
    general, it would appear that the consequences of raising the freezer
    temperature from the recommended -18°C to -10°C (at the warmest spot)
    are low.

    Benefits of raising the temperature
    Using a Kill-A-Watt Meter
    I measured the energy consumption of my appliances over a period of
    several days at different temperature settings. Dividing the energy
    consumed, by the time to consume that energy gives the average power
    usage of the appliance. My findings were:

    T Before
    Power Before
    T After
    Power After

    Deep Freeze
    210 Watts
    98 Watts

    ??? Watts (to do)
    ??? Watts (to do)

    Where I live, electricity costs about $0.07 per kWh or $61 per year per 100 Watts.


    1. You can raise the temperature of your refrigerator above the
      recommended maximum of 5°C. The only consequences are that your food
      will be warmer and it will spoil faster. If you’re not particularly
      attached to cold drinks and don’t tend to leave food in the fridge very
      long, consider raising the temperature.

    2. If your freezer does not have an automatic defrost cycle, you can
      probably safely raise its temperature as high as -10°C (in spite of the
      recommended -18°C) without fear of your food spoiling any faster.

    3. If your freezer is “frost free” (ie it has a defrost cycle), you
      can still probably raise the freezer temperature as high as -10°C, but
      you may wish to place some additional thermal mass (ex frozen jugs of
      water) in the freezer. This will prevent the defrost cycle from raising
      the temperature of your freezer’s contents significantly.



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