Itâs time to stock up on our favorite chilled drinks and rely on our own personal tips and tricks to beat the heat. Every year, summers bring with it an initial wave of excitement, fun and positive vibes followed by the much-dreaded heat wave. However, there are simple ways to tackle this problem and stay cool through the summers. One key partner to help you through these challenges is your refrigerator.
From making sure that your fruits, veggies along with other food items stay fresh, to providing an endless supply of ice for all your chilled drinks, there are multiple responsibilities of a refrigerator. While refrigerators do act as our life saviours during the scorching heat in summers, we must not forget to take care of them by applying some easy tricks to maximize its cooling solutions.
To keep your refrigerator running like new, here are a few simple tips to follow –
1. Check the door seals: Loose seals allow cool air to sleep out & waste energy. Make sure the seals are free of food residue. (Clean them twice a year, using a toothbrush & solution of baking soda and water). Do the currency note test: Close the currency note in the door so that half is out. If it slips out easily, you may need to have the door seals checked by a service engineer.
2. Power out tip: When the power goes out, keep the doors closed. An unopened refrigerator will keep food safe for four hours; a freezer will maintain its temperature for 48 hours if full and 24 hours if half full.
3. Reducing the refrigeratorâs energy cost: Household appliances account for a lot of energy consumption and refrigerators lead the pack. They are an integral part of every home; however, it is important to understand that they also make up for a big portion of the electricity bills especially in summers. Whether the refrigerator is the latest energy efficient model or a decade old system, we can still reduce the cost of running our fridge by taking some simple measures:
Â Itâs easy for hot air to get inside if the refrigerator door is open for long. This makes the refrigerator spend all its energy cooling it down.
Â Everything including food should not be touching the back wall inside the refrigerator as it affects the cooling cycle, which further results in loss of energy. Prolonged contact with the wall can also damage the veggies in the fridge.
Â Keeping warm food material in the refrigerator will definitely make it work harder and spend more energy. Itâs always advisable to cool the food to the room temperature before putting it inside the refrigerator as it also cuts down the chances of the bacterial growth in food.
Â Place your fridge away from your oven, stove top, radiator or other heat sources, and make sure there are a few inches of space around it.
4. Best places to store food in Refrigerator: A little knowledge about the different temperature zones in your refrigerator can help. Below are some general guidelines:
Â Milk should be kept at the coldest place of the refrigerator which is at the top and not on the bottom shelf where it is generally kept.
Â Fruit should always be kept in the low humidity corner or maybe a crisper. You can keep them as it is in the original packaging or in a plastic bag loosely tied on the ends. Citrus fruits are fine even without a bag. Also, the vegetables and fruits should be left unwashed until you use them. Water is a cause for bacteria to grow.
Â Vegetables stay fresh longer with a bit of humidity. Vegetable drawer box has high humidity and is the moistest spot in the refrigerator. You can store the veggies in the original packaging or in a loosely tied plastic bag in the drawer box.
Â Butter and soft cheeses do not need to be super cold, so the door is best suited for them. It is, in fact, the warmest part of the fridge and is good to store all kind of cheeses.
Â Yogurt, sour cream, and cottage cheese fare best on the top shelf for the same reason.
Â Condiments are mostly high on vinegar and salts (also the natural preservatives). So ketchup, mayonnaise, and salad dressing could be kept on the door. Same goes for pickles and jarred salsa. Whereas, Olive and vegetable oils are pretty much safe in the pantry. But nut oils, like sesame and walnut oils, should be carefully kept in the refrigerator and on the door.
Â Eggs are best kept on the top bin, where the temperature is most consistent. It is always advisable to store the eggs in the original cartons and not transfer to the fridge egg container
Â Orange juice is good to be stored on the door as long as it is pasteurized. Freshly squeezed juice is best to store at the bottom bin.
Â Packaged raw meat should go on the super-cold zone i.e. freezer. And if juices drip, they wonât contaminate the whole fridge.