The ability to freeze perishable foods for later use is an important part of keeping food costs down and ensuring good nutrition, especially for households with tight budgets. Unfortunately, hundreds of dollars worth of expensive meat, poultry, vegetables, fruits, and frozen prepared foods and treats can be lost if the freezer holding them fails or does not maintain a safe storage temperature.
If you are having some concerns about the performance of your family's freezer, these tips can help you improve performance and help you safeguard against food spoilage.
Issues with the condition of the electrical cord, appliance plug, or the electrical socket itself is often the culprit when a freezer seems to be malfunctioning. Loose sockets allow plugs to be easily bumped out of position while damage to cords or cord ends can prevent the appliance from getting the electricity needed for operation.
At the first sign of poor performance from any type of freezer, always examine the cord and plug for damage and test the electrical socket to ensure it is working properly. Cords that are frayed, damaged, or discolored should be replaced as soon as possible.
Organization and inventory management
The average home freezer unit is opened several times each week, often by different members of the families. Whether it is to put newly bought items inside or to search through the previously added items, all semblance of order is soon lost. This type of disorganization results in needed items getting shuffled to the bottom where they will be even harder to find, which requires the freezer door to be open for longer than it should.
Some signs of this include noting that stored ice cream has texture or flavor issues or that frozen packages of meats appear to have thawed and refrozen. Steps for avoiding this problem include:
- reorganizing the contents to ensure that the most frequently needed items are conveniently located
- creating and maintaining an inventory list so that freezer contents are known without opening the door
- purchasing and installing a temperature monitor and alarm that will notify you if the interior temperature of the unit rises above a safe level
Temperature monitors and alarms are relatively inexpensive to purchase and install. To learn more about them or any other appliance replacement parts your unit may need, contact a reputable appliance repair parts sales and service contractor in your area.
Power outage issues
Power outages are another issue that affects home freezers. If the outage is short and the freezer door is kept closed, a little temperature fluctuation is likely to occur. It is wise, however, to plan ahead to keep frozen food safe during longer outages.
This can be easily done by cleaning large plastic milk and juice jugs, then filling each one with three inches of the top with water. The jugs can then be placed inside the freezer to freeze solid and form a block of ice.
Over a period of time, the average family will accumulate enough of these frozen jugs to make it possible to keep their freezer's contents safe during longer power outages.