3 expert-approved tips to help your fridge through the heatwave

Appliance expert shares how to take care of your fridge during the summer

Fridge tips for the heatwave
(Image credit: Ello / Unsplash)

The UK heatwave is here and it’s hot, hot, hot! While we’re all enjoying the sunny weather, you might not realise that your kitchen appliances, like your fridge, could be struggling.

While weather conditions and increased heat should have little to no effect on some appliances, like the best fridges, the summer months can cause them to use more energy to combat the higher temperatures. To find out more, I spoke to appliance expert, Natasha Sweet from AEG who gave us her three tips for helping your fridge throughout the heatwave.

1. Don’t overfill your fridge with produce

With so many barbecues and garden parties happening during the summer, chances are you’ve over-catered and crammed lots of food into your fridge for the occasion. But this is the worst thing you can do if you’re trying to keep your fridge functioning properly in the hotter weather.

Sweet states that “overfilling a fridge can restrict the cold airflow leading to inconsistent temperatures across the shelves and the potential for food to spoil. As best practice, try not to fill up your fridge beyond two-thirds.” There are also some foods you should never store in your fridge so keep this in mind when you’re putting away your shopping.

2. Keep the door closed

This next tip might sound like an obvious one but it’s fairly common to leave your fridge door open when you’re taking things out or putting them back in. And let’s not forget the holiday episode in Friends when the heating broke and people took it in turns standing in the fridge to get some cooling relief! So, “try not to open the door too often or keep it open for too long as this will increase the internal temperature. It’s also important not to put hot food inside your fridge, such as leftovers,” says Sweet.

3. Stay on top of cleaning

A dirty fridge is incredibly unhygienic and can increase the risk of food poisoning, but it can also affect how your fridge performs. In general, you should be cleaning your fridge “ every 2-3 months to prevent any mould and mildew from affecting any stored food but also to combat any odours.”

Fridge tips for the heatwave

(Image credit: Darrien Staton / Unsplash)

What temperature should your fridge be at?

To help your fridge make it through the heatwave, it’s important to consider the temperature that your fridge is at. Too low and it won’t store your food properly and too high means it can use too much power and rack up your energy bills.

According to Sweet, “the average household fridge should be at a near-constant temperature between 0°C and 4°C. But it’s perfectly natural for this to fluctuate a little between these values, particularly when being opened and closed a lot.” These temperatures are ideal for a multitude of foods, for example, fruits and vegetables are best kept between 1°C and 4°C, dairy products should be stored between 3°C and 4°C and cooked and uncooked meat products need to be stored below 5°C.

A study conducted by AEG found that 59% of Brits have never checked their fridge’s temperature, something Sweet recommends doing regularly to make sure your fridge is working properly. She goes on to explain “to check a fridge's temperature, simply leave a glass of water on the middle shelf overnight and then use a handheld thermometer to test the temperature of the water the next morning. This can be repeated for the different number settings to uncover the correct setting.”

For more appliance tips, check out the 3 mistakes everyone makes with fridge freezers.

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Home Editor

Beth is Home Editor for T3, looking after style, living and wellness. From the comfiest mattresses to what strange things you can cook in an air fryer, Beth covers sleep, yoga, smart home, coffee machines, grooming tools, fragrances, gardening and much more. If it's something that goes in your house, chances are Beth knows about it and has the latest reviews and recommendations! She's also in the know about the latest deals and discount codes from top brands and retailers.

Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory, TechRadar, CreativeBloq and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting craft projects that will probably end in disaster!