Having a functional and energy-efficient refrigerator is essential for any household. Not only does it provide a proper storage system for your food, but keeping your refrigerator at the right temperature also helps you keep your grocery bills to a minimum by preventing food spoilage and waste. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t mistakes made when it comes to dealing with our fridges every day – mistakes that can often leave us frustrated or cost us money in repairs! In this article, we’ll look at 11 common refrigerator problems and how to best avoid them to keep your food fresh while saving you money. Read on to find out what not to do with your fridge!
Mistake #1: Overloading your refrigerator.
Storing too many items on one shelf can block airflow and prevent your food from staying fresh. To ensure even cooling, be sure to leave enough space between items when storing them.
Mistake #2: Not cleaning the condenser coils.
The accumulation of dust and dirt on the condenser coils reduces the efficiency of your refrigerator. Clean these coils at least once a year to ensure proper operation.
Mistake #3: Leaving the doors open too long.
Refrigerators are designed to maintain a constant temperature when the doors are closed. Leaving them open for long hours can therefore lead to a rapid increase in the temperature inside, which could encourage the proliferation of bacteria in the food and shorten its shelf life.
Mistake #4: Setting temperatures too low or too high.
Food keeps best when refrigerated at or below 4°C (40°F), while freezers should be set to -18°C (0°F). Temperatures lower than these can actually reduce food quality by causing produce or meat to dry out or freeze burn due to excessive cold. Conversely, too high a temperature promotes the growth of bacteria in food stored in both sections of the refrigerator, which leads to food spoilage and even illness if eaten after being contaminated with bacteria.
Mistake #5: Storing raw meat on top of cooked leftovers.
Raw meat should never be stored on top of cooked leftovers as it may drip juices containing harmful bacteria onto ready-to-eat foods, such as salads or cooked vegetables, leading to contamination and possible food poisoning if eaten before being thoroughly reheated.
Mistake #6: Putting hot food straight into the fridge.
Foods that have just been cooked must be cooled before being placed in either section of your refrigerator, as this greatly increases the internal temperature of both compartments, which can lead to the growth of bacteria and possible cross-contamination between foods if they are not cooled properly before being stored inside the refrigerator itself.
Mistake #7: Not cleaning the shelves regularly.
The interior surfaces of both compartments of a refrigerator should be cleaned with warm, soapy water at least once a month. This removes accumulated sticky residue that may contain harmful germs without damaging the surface coating or interior parts by scrubbing them too harshly with abrasive cloths or sponges during the subsequent cleaning process.
Mistake #8: Placing tall containers that block air vents.
Air vents help keep both compartments cool as they allow cold air to flow through each section uninterrupted, but placing tall containers directly above these vents completely obstructs the flow of air. air, making it impossible to diffuse cold air, resulting in uneven cooling inside the refrigerator itself.
Mistake #9: Not knowing the expiration dates of perishables stored in the fridge.
Perishable foods such as dairy products, meats and leftovers stored in the refrigerator should always be checked for their expiration date before consumption, as consuming them after the expiration date can pose serious health risks. health due to the ingestion of spoiled food products.
Mistake #10: Leaving door hinges loose.
If you recently moved your fridge, either yourself or someone else, make sure the door hinges are tight after the move is complete. Indeed, loose hinges lead to the appearance of gaps in the doors, which allows hot air to penetrate inside the compartments and leads to unpredictable fluctuations in the internal temperature, which increases the risk of deterioration. food stored inside the refrigerator.
Mistake #11: Not removing food packaging.
It is essential to store our food correctly to avoid contamination and protect the environment. To do this, we must remove the packaging from certain types of food before putting them in the refrigerator. Wraps can retain moisture and accelerate the spoilage of certain foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Microbes can also grow on the surface of packaging and contaminate food, leading to potential health risks, such as food poisoning.