How Cold Should My Refrigerator Be? | The Light Lab

What Temperature Should My Refrigerator Be?

It’s hard to think of a more useful invention than the refrigerator. Could you really imagine not having one? But sometimes refrigerators work too well – or not at all.

Picture the following scenario. One morning you wake up and take the eggs out to make an omelet. But when you crack one open, you find that it’s frozen! You then turn up the fridge temperature a bit so your refrigerated items don’t freeze. But, a few days later, you find out the cream for your coffee went bad because you made the temperature too warm.

Frustrating, isn’t it? If you’ve ever wondered, “what temperature should my refrigerator be set at?”, you’re not alone.

What Temperature Should My Refrigerator Be?

Technically, there isn’t exactly an “ideal” recommended refrigerator temperature. Instead, there’s an ideal refrigerator temperature range between 35 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit. You don’t want to freeze your food by dipping below 32F, and anything over 40F creates an unsafe environment for storing your food.

Now, setting your refrigerator at one temperature doesn’t mean it will stay there. Temperatures fluctuate near the cooling vents, so items placed near these are more likely to freeze. In addition, opening and closing the door – or placing a container full of hot leftovers inside – can cause the temperature to climb.

You can account for the temperature fluctuations by picking a setting in the middle of the ideal range, so you don’t risk a freeze or spoilage by a few degrees variation in either direction. That makes 37F the optimal temperature at which to keep your refrigerator.

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