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Dave's Repair Service
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Refrigerators and Unheated Rooms  - Beware!
(Reprinted from The DRSNews, April 2004)

We’ve had a really cold winter here in the Northeast this year, and once the cold air arrived it stayed a while. I’ve had several folks ask why their spare refrigerator in their unheated garage wouldn’t keep frozen food, well, frozen.

So I thought I’d share this with you to save you the hassle of learning it the ‘hard way’.

The short answer to the question is that the thermostat in a modern frost-free refrig is reading the (40F) temp in the fresh food section.

In theory, that means when the ambient temp drops to 40, the t'stat no longer calls for cooling and any food stored in the freezer (0-5F) begins to thaw. In the real world, when the temp in the unheated room drops below about 55-60F, there's not enough compressor run time to keep the freezer cold enough.

You’ll want to keep this in mind if you’re using a frost-free refrigerator as a backup and it’s in an unheated garage or porch, etc. You’ll be able to store fresh food OK in the refrigerator section if you need the ‘overflow’ room, but I recommend you empty the freezer section in the Fall to prevent food loss.

Hopefully we won't have to worry about this for a while. I think winter's over here in the northeast...

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