Keep the Proper Temperature
The ideal temperature for a refrigerator is 35–38°F. Higher than 40°F is unsafe and will allow bacteria to multiply and food to spoil.
Use a refrigerator thermometer to keep track of the temperature. As with ovens, a stand alone thermometer will give a more accurate reading than the built-in digital thermometer. Position the thermometer in the warmest part of your refrigerator: the door.
Once you have the right temperature you’ll want to maintain it. Minimize the number of times you open the door. If you’re making a meal, remove everything from the refrigerator at once. When you finish cooking, stage everything near the refrigerator and put it all back at the same time.
Always keep your refrigerator full. When you open the refrigerator door the cold air inside falls out (you can feel it on your legs) and is replaced by warmer air which your refrigerator then has to cool down. If your refrigerator is full then there will be less air to fall out, and the solid cold object remains in place, keeping your refrigerator cool.
The final thing to do is check your door seal. A bad seal will leak air all day long.
You should keep ready-to-eat food on the upper shelves and raw foods (especially meat) on the bottom shelves. The last thing you want is for something raw to fall down onto your food!
And keep the condiments in the door. Keep your eggs and milk out of the door if you can—it’s the warmest part of the refrigerator.
Using Crisper Drawers
Crisper drawers actually do work, and here’s how to use them:
Set one of your drawers to low humidity with the vent almost all the way open. This will be used to keep fruit, and it will prevent ethylene gas buildup (a naturally occurring gas in some fruits that can cause excess ripening).
Set your second drawer to high humidity with the vent only slightly open. Keep your vegetables here.
Vacuum the Condenser Coils
No, you don’t have to disassemble your refrigerator. All you have to do is pull it away from the wall. Refrigerators sit on wheels so it’s fairly easy.
On the back you’ll see the condenser coils. If you don’t, you’ll find them underneath the refrigerator. In this case, remove the front bottom panel. Either way use a hose attachment with your vacuum to vacuum the coils.
Dust builds up on the coils and reduces the efficiency of your refrigerator. When this happens your condenser must work harder, which means your electricity bill goes up and it may eventually cause the refrigerator to break down.