People only just realising what fridge dial numbers really mean | UK | News

People are only just realising what a fridge’s dial numbers really mean – and it’s not their temperature.

They’re a vital household appliance in every kitchen but for decades people have used fridges to store vital foods like milk, fresh meat and vegetables without realising they may not be setting the fridge correctly at all.

The white goods item, whether it’s an integrated fridge freezer, or just a freestanding fridge, will have a little white dial on the inside, usually at the top right near the door hinge, used to set the temperature.

But it’s not as simple as that. In fact, although changing the dial will indeed affect how cold the fridge is, the numbers marked on it do not actually refer to degrees C.

Reddit members explained the issue – the dial’s numbers actually mean how powerful the fridge’s chilling setting is. So higher numbers mean colder, not lower numbers.

One said: “Higher is colder… the numbers on the fridge’s temperature dial indicate refrigerant power. The higher the number goes the colder the fridge will maintain. Setting it to 5 will make your fridge the coldest.”

Some people will have mistakenly thought that 1 refers to 1C and is therefore colder, but that’s not the case with most models on the market today.

It could mean your food goes off more quickly if you’re not setting the right temperature, or it could lead to a build up of ice at the back of the fridge if you’re setting it too cold.

Others have pointed out that just to be awkward, there are a few rogue fridge models which do in fact use degrees C.

But there’s a handy trick to determine how yours works.

Here is how you can find out:

“Turn the dial in any direction until the compressor (the black motor at the back) either turns on or off.

“If the compressor is on already (usually you hear a humming noise) and you turn it towards a higher number and it turns off (you’ll hear a click and a little rattle) you’re making it hotter. (It goes off because its already too cold).

“If you hear it come on then you’re making it cooler.

“It sounds complicated but basically if compressor comes on your making it cooler and if goes off, warmer.

“Turn and see which way does what!”

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