Setting the temperature in the mini refrigerator is reasonably necessary to preserve food better. However, many users are not aware of these adjustments. This article will guide you on the operating principle and the suitable mini fridge temperature settings.
The structure of a mini fridge
Mini refrigerators include five essential must-have parts: compressor, evaporator, condenser, regulator, and refrigerant. Each component performs a separate function. As follows:
In a mini fridge, the compressor usually has 1 to 2 pistons. The compressor’s operation bases on the piston principle, which converts from rotation to static motion. The compressor adjusts the appropriate pressure level and sucks the liquid into the indoor unit. This balances the evaporation at low temperatures and pushes the vapor through the condenser when the pressure condenses.
Mini refrigerator has an evaporator for efficient heat exchange, keeping the cold environment inside the fridge. It is responsible for taking heat from the cold climate and supplying it to the refrigerant. Usually, the condenser is behind the compressor in the mini fridge.
The condenser is responsible for the heat exchange between the refrigerant and the condensing refrigerant. It works by discharging the temperature of the condensing environment inside the mini refrigerator to the outside environment. The condenser is usually made of iron or copper to help conduct the heat well and is installed at the push ends of the compressor.
This is a unique substance explicitly produced for the application of refrigeration equipment. It has outstanding characteristics such as low-temperature volatility (-32 degrees Celsius).
The throttle valve is used to regulate pressure and reduce the temperature inside the refrigerator. The refrigerant pressure passing through the throttle valve will be adjusted to reduce the temperature to the appropriate level.
Further reading: Best Mini Fridge Under $200
The cooling principle of a mini fridge
In term of cooling principle, the mini fridge uses the evaporation of a liquid to absorb heat. The refrigerant used in the fridge evaporates at a shallow temperature (-32 degrees Celsius), so the evaporation process will create a low temperature inside the refrigerator.
When passing through the throttle valve, the refrigerant will move from the high-pressure area to the low-pressure area. Therefore, it will lead to evaporation and heat absorption. The more heat the liquid absorbs, the faster the inside of your refrigerator will cool. This process is continuously repeated to maintain the temperature inside the mini fridge.
Further reading: How Long Do Mini Fridges Last?
How cold do mini fridges get?
Compact refrigerators are capable of maintaining the same temperature as full-sized refrigerators. Accordingly, the temperature range in mini fridge is typically 35-42 degrees F in the cooling compartment and 5 to 7 degrees F in the freezer compartment.
Mini refrigerators are best to preserve food for a short time. Frequent door openings can affect the temperature in the cooling area and cause ice or frost to build up faster in the freezer.
Is a mini fridge colder on a low (1) or high (5) setting?
The same rule is applied to all refrigerators. It is “the higher the number, the colder the refrigerator temperature will be”. It means that when the mini fridge is set to position 1, it will be at its hottest. The refrigerator which is placed at number 5 will be the coolest.
If your refrigerator is in a warm room, you may need to set it to a cooler setting to cool your food sufficiently. If the mini fridge is currently set to a lower number, you should increase it.
What is often stored in a mini fridge?
Food isn’t the only thing people keep in a fridge.
Many people buy portable mini refrigerators for the only purpose of storing cosmetics. Others store their expensive insulin in a temperature-controlled fridge to preserve it for a very short shelf life.
Mini refrigerator is a good place to store breast milk for babies. It also preserves medicines, personal products and keep everything at the optimal temperature for us to enjoy such as juice, soft drinks, beverage or alcohol.
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Mini fridge temperature settings
Adjust the temperature
Any type of refrigerator, whether a regular refrigerator or a mini fridge, has a temperature adjustment setting. This button helps users adjust the refrigerator’s temperature to suit their food preservation needs. In general, the temperature adjustment setting in the mini refrigerator is the button to change the indoor unit capacity.
In mini fridges, this button is usually in the form of a knob and is located in the innermost position of the mini fridge. If your mini fridge has two freezer compartments and a cooler, this button is located in the cooling compartment. Please note when you adjust this button, the temperature inside the entire refrigerator will be reset without exception. The more significant you change the number, the larger the refrigerator’s capacity and the more cooling it will have. When you do not need much cooling, you can turn it back to the appropriate number.
Adjust the amount of wind
Adjusting the amount of air is usually less equipped in mini refrigerators than the temperature adjustment setting. It is only available in large and modern mini refrigerators. The amount of air distributed in the fridge is also worth noting because the refrigerator needs to have even ventilation to improve storage quality. However, too much wind will not be suitable for some foods such as vegetables and fruits, so it is easy to dry and wilt the vegetables and fruits.
The airflow adjustment is usually in the form of a slider and is located in the freezer compartment inside the mini fridge. The airflow from the freezer compartment will be divided into each chamber inside. If you drag the slider to the right towards MAX, cold air is blown into the freezer. Conversely, when you remove the slider towards MIN, the amount will blow down the cooler, more cold air.
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How to set the mini fridge temperature
The proper mini fridge temperature settings play important role in preserving food and prolong the fridge’s lifespan.
The degree of temperature adjustment inside the mini refrigerator will change at each different time. To adjust the temperature inside the mini fridge optimally, you need to consider two questions:
Is the refrigerator keeping more or less food?
- If the refrigerator is full of food: Turn the temperature control knob to high (number 6 or 7).
- If the fridge is holding little food: Set the temperature control to medium (number 4).
Which one stores more food, the cooling or freezing compartment?
- If the freezer contains more food: Pull the air volume control knob to the right.
- Conversely, if the cooling section has more food, pull it to the left.
In other cases, you just leave the adjustment button at the medium level.
Adjust to suit food storage requirements
Depending on the food you want to store inside the mini fridge, you can choose the appropriate temperature.
For example, if you hold soft drinks, you can select a high adjustment level from 5-6 to keep the water cold.
However, if you use a mini refrigerator to preserve vegetables, you should also maintain the temperature at 2-4 degrees Celsius (40 degrees F) to keep the freshness of the vegetables.
Medium temperature helps preserve food more effectively, avoiding freezing vegetables. If your mini refrigerator has an adjustable wind volume, you can adjust the fan to be stronger in the cooler to keep the air circulating, reducing frozen vegetables.
Mini fridge temperature settings for other things
Cosmetics: Makeup is hard work. You can use a mini fridge to prevent sensitive cosmetics, such as mascara and face cream, from staying intact and not melting or deforming. You should keep the temperature between 45°F and 60°F which should be fine for most cosmetics.
Juice: Normally, you don’t need to put juice that comes from a concentrate in a fridge. When you find a drink that says “Refrigerate after opening” on the label, which implies that it’s shelf-stable until opened, when oxidation begins. Maintain a standard temperature range of 32°F to 40°F but try to keep it between 32°F and 36°F for optimal experience.
Medications like insulin: Insulin is probably the most important thing that need to keep in a good temperature range. The suitable temperature for insulin is between 35.6°F and 46.6°F according to IDDT (InDependent Diabetes Trust). In addition, it’s important to see the recommendations and guidelines set forth by the insulin manufacturer.
Further reading: Do Mini Fridges Use a Lot of Electricity?
Tips to help your mini fridge get colder in heat
Never place the mini fridge in direct sunlight
If you place the fridge in a too hot or too cold environment, the temperature inside may vary 5 degrees higher or lower than the set point.
To prevent the mini fridge from overheating, you should keep it out of direct sunlight. If it is in a small and quite hot room, you can install blackout curtains or blinds; close windows, and doors on very hot days or use a cooling system like an air conditioner.
Clean the condenser coils
You should clean the condenser coils on your mini-fridge once or twice a year to ensure that it continues to work efficiently.
The condenser coils help to control the temperature inside the fridge. If dust or dirt cover your condenser coils, this could insulate them. The insulation will make it harder for your fridge to keep cool.
Keep it away from any heat-producing appliances
Don’t put it near the central heating such as a radiator, oven, stove, microwave or toaster.
Keep a gap between the rear and the wall
Do not place your refrigerator near a wall. You should leave a gap of at least 2 inches between the back and sides of the fridge for proper cooling. This gap allows air to circulate well inside the refrigerator. It also helps the cooling components function properly.
Besides, try to keep 2 inches between your mini fridge and any other items in the room.
Do not store hot items in the mini fridge
Temperature inside your fridge will be hotter if you store warm or hot items. So, you should let foods and drinks cool down before storing.
Further reading: Are Mini Fridges Safe?
Properly adjusting the temperature is quite important to preserve the food and keep it always fresh and safe. Hopefully, the above article about mini fridge temperature settings will help you use your mini refrigerator the right way.
Compact Refrigerator Temperature Range, products.geappliances.com, Retrieved on Mar. 18, 2022