Wednesday February 20, 2019
A freezer is a staple in any kitchen as it keeps meat, fish and produce frozen as needed, so it is extremely important that you take good care of it. Over time, freezers may malfunction due to a variety of issues, from not being defrosted properly to having a broken thermostat. By cleaning and maintaining it regularly, you are able to keep your freezer in excellent shape and extend its life. Here are some easy ways to take care of your freezer.
First of all, it is important that your check the temperature within your freezer, the ideal temperature is -18℃. Freezing foods at this temperature such as meat and seafood will stop any bacteria forming, allowing you to store the food for up to 1 year. However, if your freezer temperature is any lower than -18℃ it can cause food, particularly meat and poultry, to lose its texture and flavour.
Almost all freezers will have a thermometer built in, which means that you can easily check the temperature and adjust the thermostat if needed. However, to further ensure that your freezer is running at the correct temperate, it is also recommended that you place a FoodSafe Fridge Freezer thermometer inside. These thermometers are designed to react slowly, just like the food in your refrigerator and freezer. What this means is that you get a much more accurate indication of the temperature of the food in the refrigerator and freezer.
We recommend using the FoodSafe Fridge Freezer Thermometer, from supplier Electronic Temperature Instruments (ETI), which is an encased thermometer that indicates the temperature of food stored in the refrigerator and is not subject to the changes in air temperature that normally occur when the door is opened.
Further steps that blog website Home Matters recommends following to keep your freezer in tip top shape include:
- Regularly clean the coils behind your freezer
The coils help to keep things running smoothly within your freezer, but dust and other debris accumulate on the coils over time. If not maintained, they make your freezer less energy efficient, and can eventually result in burning out the freezer’s compressor. Use warm, soapy water to clean the coils once a year. Make sure you unplug it from the wall before you decide to start scrubbing.
- Defrost the freezer at least twice a year
Freezers that self-defrost can often accumulate excess ice, which will damage its operation. Besides that, this ice can often accumulate stale and unpleasant odours. You’ll have to remove everything from the freezer to allow it to defrost, and then consider increasing the temperature by a few degrees to slow the build-up of ice. You can defrost twice a year, but should do so more often if ice accumulates in excess of 1 inch.
- Maintain the gaskets that seal the freezer
The gaskets surrounding your freezer door may need to be occasionally replaced to make sure that the freezer is maintaining a tight seal. If air is escaping from the freezer, it overworks the compressor, which could shorten the life of your freezer. If your gaskets are in good shape structurally, a thorough cleaning with soapy water will help remove dirt that prevents a good seal.
- Make sure there’s plenty of space
If the space in your freezer is extremely tight, you’ll need to make sure that there is enough room on all sides for air to properly circulate. If there isn’t enough space your freezer will be overworked to try and circulate the air to all areas. Most freezers need at least one inch of extra space on all sides for good air circulation.
Following the above steps can help to make sure that your freezer is running effectively, and in the long run it could save you a lot of money.
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