How to Adjust Freezers

inside of freezer
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  • Beginner
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What You'll Need
What You'll Need

Keeping items in your freezer the right temperature will eliminate spoilage. Spoiled food or food with freezer burn costs you money. Keeping meats frozen at a low temperature will increase its shelf life. Ice cream needs to be kept at a lower temperature to avoid melting.

Having your freezer at the correct settings will prevent ice buildup that can limit the space you have. Every freezer model is different. After you’ve checked with your owner's manual, you can do a few things to adjust the temperature of your freezer.

Temperature Knobs

Most freezer models will have a temperature knob toward the front or side of the unit. These controls have a temperature range measured in numbers from 0 to 10. As an average, 3 is a pretty standard general temperature for a freezer. If you have more meats that need to stay frozen, you may want to set it a little colder.

If a freezer gets a lot of use you may want to set the temperature cold to a 2, as it will keep the frozen items frozen even if the door is opened often. Keep in mind that a freezer that is stuffed with items won’t need to be set as high, as each item will act like an icepack to keep the others items cooler.

Importance of Thermometers

An indoor/outdoor thermometer is fairly inexpensive and will give you more control over the temperature of the freezer. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to set the controls if you don’t have a clear read of the actual temperature.

These thermometers can just be placed in a freezer door. Some models are just strips that stick to the sides of the freezer. Whichever model you choose you will be saving money in the long run.

You will know exactly what the temperature of your freezer is, eliminating the need to throw away spoiled or freezer-burned food, as well as allowing you to keep the temperature set at the right place and avoid excessive energy use.

Use Digital Read-Outs

It might be easier if you use a thermometer with digital reading. You can put the sensor inside the refrigerator and keep the display unit somewhere out in the kitchen where you can see it. That way you can be certain of the temperature at all times.

Check Recommended Settings

Freezer temperature settings are ultimately up to individual tastes and needs. However, most people want to prevent bacteria from growing inside their food without their electricity bills skyrocketing. A general rule of thumb is that a refrigerator should be kept at around 34 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and a freezer should be somewhere around 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Bacteria generally can't grow in sub-zero temperatures.