What your fridge dial actually means as common misunderstanding revealed

fridge dial
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Most of us pay little attention to our fridges, as long as they are running and our food stays chilled. But it might shock you to know that the little dial in your fridge, usually located near the door hinge, doesn't actually work in the way you might think.

This dial operates the internal temperature of your fridge, though perhaps not how you'd expect. A common misunderstanding of its functionality could cause your food items, like cheese, vegetables, fruit, or meat, to spoil and become absolutely uneatable.

And undoubtedly, that equates to squandering your hard-earned money - something all of us seek to evade. Regardless if you meticulously prep your meals or opt to create any recipe on a whim, comprehending how this dial functions is crucial to maximise the lifespan of your food and beverages. Several perplexed social media users took to Reddit seeking clarity on just how this dial works.

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Many admitted their cluelessness regarding the use of this feature on the robust appliance considered as the hub of numerous kitchens. One user was grateful not to be alone in his confusion, penning "Thank god I'm not the only one confused by this.", reports the Mirror.

Meanwhile, another quipped that this was the query "that 80% of UK citizens are too polite to ask" after all these years. A few savvy Reddit users have come to the rescue of those left baffled by their fridge's temperature dial, explaining that contrary to what one might think, a higher number on the dial actually makes the fridge colder, thus increasing its power usage.

So if you've ever turned the dial down in an attempt to keep your food fresher and cooler, you may have inadvertently been warming up your fridge. "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. With this out of the way, it should be noted that a lower fridge temperature does not equal better food storage," clarified one helpful Reddit user.

However, other users were quick to caution against cranking the dial all the way up, as doing so could freeze foods that aren't meant to be stored at such low temperatures. "Beware of going all the way to 6 (or whatever). Stuff at the back, near the cooling surface, can freeze," warned one commenter.