How to Use a Refrigerator | Helpful Refrigerator Instructions & Directions

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Using a refrigerator involves the following steps – finding an appropriate spot for the appliance, plugging it in, choosing the desired temperature, and filling the fridge with food.

Refrigerators are one of the most important household appliances and are used to keep food fresh. If you are looking to purchase one for your kitchen, be sure to check out the refrigerator brands to avoid so your new fridge doesn't malfunction or give you any technical troubles.

If you would like more information on how to work a refrigerator, refer to our detailed refrigerator use guide below.

1. Find An Appropriate Spot For Your Fridge

The fridge is one of the largest appliances you’re likely to have in your home, meaning finding a convenient and functional place to put it is important.

The most convenient spot to install your fridge is in the kitchen. Luckily, a fridge can use any standard 110-120 volt plug. That said, fridges must be used with a 3-prong compatible outlet. Never use an adaptor or other workaround as this can cause a fire hazard.

2. Pick Setting

Once the refrigerator has been plugged in, it’s time to choose the setting. The ideal temperature for a fridge is between 35 and 38 degrees F (1.67 – 3.33 C). However, the standard-setting dial doesn’t come with temperatures written on it, but rather a list of numbers from 1 – 10. The higher the number, the colder the fridge will be.

If you find your fridge is too cold and food is starting to freeze, drop the temperature by one number and re-assess in two hours.

The freezer portion of the fridge should be set to 0 degrees F (-18 C). Once again, the setting dial won’t list temperatures, only numbers. If ice starts to form and food begins to freeze, you know the freezer has been set to an appropriate temperature.

If the freezer is too cold, it can result in unnecessary use of energy and an increased electrical bill.

3. Wait For Fridge To Get Cold

Now that you’ve chosen an appropriate spot, plugged the fridge in, and set it to the right temperature, it’s time to wait for the fridge to get cold. 

Depending on the make/model of your refrigerator and the temperature of your kitchen, this process can take anywhere from 40 minutes to a few hours.

4. Fill Fridge With Food 

The last thing left to do is fill your fridge with food. When placing food into your fridge, it’s a good idea to put some thought into the organization. For example, the bottom shelves are the coldest part of the fridge, and as a result, is the ideal space to store chicken, beef, milk, and eggs. 

Likewise, the upper shelf tends to be the warmest, making it good for storing Yogurt, leftovers, and other items that aren’t at high risk of spoiling.

The fridge door is the warmest part of the fridge as it’s in direct contact with the warm outside air. Because of this, most people use the door to store bottled condiments like oils, ketchup, BBQ sauce, etc.

Most fridges come equipped with freshness drawers located at the bottom. This is the best spot for storing fruits and vegetables.

refrigerator uses

5. Keep Clean

To help reduce bad odors and maintain freshness, placing a small box of baking soda towards the back is a good idea.

Additionally, the fridge shelves should be cleaned at least once a month to avoid the build-up of bacteria.

What Should I Know Before Using A Refrigerator

What is a refrigerator? A refrigerator is a large household appliance used to keep food cold and fresh. On a standard model, the top third portion of the appliance functions as a freezer and can reach temperatures below 0 F (-18 C).

The average fridge stands 65” in height, has a width of 35”, and a depth of 33”. Most models come with a wattage of 100 – 400, although exceptions do exist.

What Are The Stages Of Using A Refrigerator

Using a refrigerator can be broken down into the following steps:

  1. Plugging the refrigerator in
  2. Choosing the appropriate setting
  3. Filling the fridge with food

Does The Refrigerator Type Affect The Usage Stages

No, the type of refrigerator doesn’t affect the usage stages. However, some of the best refrigerators come with added features like an ice maker and water purification system, making them more versatile.

Is Using A Refrigerator For Pasta Better Than Using A Mini-Fridge

Yes, using a refrigerator for pasta is better than using a mini-fridge. While both appliances are perfectly capable of keeping cooked pasta cold and fresh, a regular refrigerator has more space, making it a better choice for storing pasta.

Moreover, minifridge shelves are often shallow and not very tall, meaning it can be difficult to store large containers or a high quantity of pasta. 

When it comes to the question of refrigerator vs. minifridge for storing pasta, the regular refrigerator is the clear winner.

Is Using A Refrigerator For Wine Better Than Using A Wine Cooler

No, using a refrigerator for wine is not better than using a wine cooler. Unlike standard refrigerators, wine coolers are designed to properly age wine. 

The ideal temperature to store wine is between 45 and 60F. Any cooler, and the wine can begin to break down. If the wine is stored at temperatures above 45-60 F, it can cause the wine to age prematurely

Wine coolers are made with racks and grooves designed specifically for storing wine bottles. The same cannot be said for refrigerators, and storing bottles of wine in the fridge can be a hassle.

That said, a refrigerator is a good option for wine that has already been opened. Once the cork seal has been broken, the wine will no longer age and must be kept cold to keep from spoiling. In this context, the fridge is the better option.

Is A Side-By-Side Refrigerator Better Than A French Door Refrigerator For Storing Vegetables?

No, a side-by-side refrigerator is not better than a french door refrigerator for storing vegetables. While both types of fridges have an average capacity between 20 and 28 cubic inches, the side-by-side fridge devotes more space to the freezer portion, leaving less room for storing vegetables.

Of all types of refrigerators, the french door variety has proven to be the most popular. That said, many of the best refrigerator brands focus on side-by-side models, although there are many exceptions to this.

How To Use A Refrigerator For Other Uses Besides Storing Food

With a little ingenuity, refrigerators can be used for other purposes besides storing food. To learn more about the different uses of refrigerators, refer to the section below.

How To Use A Refrigerator As A Bookshelf

To use a refrigerator as a bookshelf, follow these steps:

  1. Empty all contents and unplug refrigerator
  2. Clean/wipe down all shelving units
  3. Organize books on shelves (you may need a bookshelf stopper)

How To Use A Refrigerator As A Pantry

To use a refrigerator as a panty, following these steps:

  1. Unplug the fridge and make sure it’s empty
  2. Remove all content and clear shelves
  3. Place non-perishable food items on the shelves



How To Use A Refrigerator As An Air Conditioner

You cannot use a refrigerator as an air conditioner. Although fridges are designed to keep things cold, they are not designed to be used to lower the room temperature. Attempting to use a refrigerator as an air conditioner will result in wasted energy and an increased electrical bill.


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