Keeping the Fridge Cold without Power: Is it Possible?

Keeping the Fridge Cold without Power

A cold fridge without power seems to be unbelievable but in fact there are still a few ways that can keep the temperature inside your fridge low enough to prevent the food from spoiling. Even though these ways are just temporary, they are enough for a power outage within the day. In this post, we will suggest some effective ways to keep your fridge cold without power. In addition, we will also give you some food preservation methods without the electricity.

Ways to keep the fridge cold during a power outage

1. Limit opening the refrigerator door

This is one of the most basic things you should remember when a power outage happens. Closing the fridge door as much as possible will keep the temperature inside low enough for your food not to get spoiled. According to The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), from the moment the power goes out, your fridge will continue to be cold for about 4 hours and the freezer can keep its low temperature for up to 24 to 48 hours if the refrigerator door is tightly closed and no other cooling methods are used.

In order to limit opening the refrigerator door, you should take out all the items you may need in the next few hours and store them in a cooler if necessary.

Finally, after closing the fridge door, check whether it is closed tightly or not. And what you can do next is waiting for the electricity to be back on.

2. Provide more ice

Buying some extra ice bags is the next thing you should do. This thing has many benefits. First, keeping the ice bags in your freezer will make up for the cold air loss. Alternatively, you can put the bags in the cooler to keep your food fresh and cold.

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Dry ice is another option you can consider. It is estimated that 50 pounds of dry ice can keep your fridge cold for about 18 to 24 hours. However, when using the dry ice, you should be careful not to touch it with your hand unprotected.

Some surveys also review that keeping some water bottles in your fridge can maintain an even temperature inside it. It is because water can absorb heat better than any other substance. In addition, you will have cold drinks after the power is back on, how convenient is it!

3. Using heat spreading mechanism

When a power outage happens, The U.S FDA advises you to move all the frozen food to the bottom of your freezer and put them together. Thanks to the heat spreading mechanism and the lower position, the low temperature of your food can be kept longer when the heat starts to rise.

4. Minimize food inside the refrigerator

The more food is stored in your fridge, the cold air is needed to keep them cold. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), as long as the fridge door is closed tightly, a full fridge can maintain its temperature for about 24 hours while the half-full one can last up to 48 hours.

Therefore, take as much as possible shelf stable food out of your fridge during a power outage. In case some food needs to be kept cold, you can store them in a cooler or easily in your… stomach as a quick solution.

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5. Avoid moving food repeatedly

Moving the food repeatedly will increase their temperature as things in motion generate heat. Therefore, you should do all these above solutions once at the beginning and try not to open your fridge or move any item inside if not necessary.

6. Monitor internal temperature

Finally, this is not exactly a way that can keep your fridge cold, but it is important for you to get prepared for any incoming events. Monitoring the temperature inside the fridge can help you know exactly when a further solution is required.

The USDA advises you to keep the internal temperature at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower while it is 0 degrees Fahrenheit or lower for the freezer. What you need is a refrigerator thermometer. Check it after a period of time, about a couple of hours, to make sure the temperature doesn’t drop to the unsafe point.

Ways to preserve the food when the power goes out

Now that you have known how to keep your fridge cold when the power goes out, here is your extra bonus. These are some alternative ways that you can keep your food cold much longer.

1. Use cooler

If the power outage seems to last more than 4 hours, you may need a backup plan. The best and most common way to preserve your food is using a cooler. Raw meats, fish and poultry are among the items that need keeping cold.

As the temperature needs to stay at the safe point of 40 degrees Fahrenheit, you will have to fill your cooler with ice bags. In addition, you should also check for any leakage of the cooler to ensure its effectiveness.

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2. Avoid storing outside the refrigerator

If you are in the middle of the winter, you may come up with an idea of keeping the food outside the fridge without worry as the temperature is originally low enough for the food not to get spoiled. Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned. The temperature of your room doesn’t remain unchanged. It varies a lot during the day depending on the sunlight. You should note that it takes 4 hours for the food in 40 degrees Fahrenheit to spoil and only one hour for those in 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

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3. Take advantage of the freezer

During the power outage, moving all the items from your refrigerator to the freezer can keep them fresh as if they were stored as usual. Some of your food such as leftovers, milk, eggs will be completely fine if you immediately transfer them to the freezer.


In conclusion, there are really many ways you can keep your fridge cold and save your food when a power outage happens. You can use more than one way to increase the effectiveness. Your power may sometimes go out all of a sudden and you need to learn how to face it.

Having a cooler in your house, storing the ice from the ice tray of your freezer whenever the tray is full are some things you can do to prepare for an unexpected power outage. Hope you find this post useful and good luck to you!



Ways keep your food safe when your power goes out,, Retrieved on Mar. 28, 2023

Ways to Keep Your Food From Spoiling During a Power Outage,, Retrieved on Mar. 28, 2023


Jenny Brown
Hi, I’m Jenny. On my blog, you will find helpful advice about using and organizing the kitchen appliances. You will also receive the recommendations on choosing a compact refrigerator or freezer that best fits your demands. Besides, frozen meals from the freezer bring many incredible benefits because they ensure freshness, deliciousness, and full nutrients. Many helpful tips from experts on frozen meals will also be found.