Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fridge Cooling Zones

We share a dorm room fridge at work over by our cubes. Keeping those cold Mt. Dews at the ready at all times. I thought it would be interesting to see the temperatures of the various areas of the fridge. So I broke the fridge into 14 zones, grabbed a thermometer from home and set out to collect the data.

Fridge Specs
First some fridge specs. We have a Haier Model HNSE05. Here are the specs.

Capacity4.6 cu ft
Max Amps6
High side pressure300 psig
Low Side pressure88 psig
Dimensions20 5/16" W x 22 1/4" D x 32 1/16" H
Net Weight66.11 pounds


So really this was a quest for optimally cooled Mt. Dews. The original thought was to place the Mt. Dew as close to the Freezer as possible. Here is how the fridge was broken into zones.

So it would make sense that Zone 3 would be the best place to put the Mt. Dew. If you check the fridge picture above you can see a Mt. Dew in Zone 3. The following assumptions were made.

  •  Zone 3 is the best place to put a Mt. Dew for optimal cooling.
  •  Zone 13 should be one of the warmest since its in the door and since its the farthest away from the freezer.
  •  Zone 6-9 should be warm since they are far away from the freezer

Hot Zones

I took temperature measurements over the course of a few days. I would move the thermometer into a zone and then typically let it sit for at least 2 hours. The following heat maps show the resulting temperatures.

As expected Zone 3, directly under the freezer, was the coolest non-freezer area in the fridge. Zones 6-9 were some of the warmest zones in the fridge with Zone 9 measuring the warmest spot. The door zones 10 and 11 fared pretty well since they are close to the freezer. Door zone 12 was one of the warmest zones which surprised me a little since it was warmer than zone 13. Zone 13 is closer to the freezer but registered a full 3 degrees cooler.

Mt. Dew Temps

So now that we have proved the optimal cooling zone in the fridge is Zone 3, how long does it take to cool a Mt. Dew down to the optimal drinking temperature. The optimal drinking temperature here is the coldest temperature we can reach with this fridge. I brought a Mt. Dew in from home and used the Infrared Thermometer to record the temperatures throughout the day.

7/30/2014 7:03:00out70.3
7/20/2014 8:10:00351.6
7/30/2014 10:29:00348.6
7/30/2014 11:48:00346.5
7/30/2014 13:39:00348.5
7/30/2014 14:42:00340.2
7/30/2014 15:47:00343.4
7/31/2014 6:47:00344.3
7/31/2014 8:57:00342.1

Initial temperature reading was 70.3, followed by a 20 degree drop in the first hour. By hour 3 we are sitting in the 40s and we hold steady for the next 5 hours. Lowest temperature was measured at 14:42 @ 40.2 degrees. The temp increases at 15:47 and holds steady in the low 40s as apparent in measurements taken the next day in the morning.

Based on the findings I should crack open the Mt. Dew around 14:30-14:50 for optimal cooling. Further testing is in the works to confirm that this is the most optimal time to initiate Dew-30 and crack open an that ice cold sweet citrus flavored nectar of champions.


  1. Remember when our parents would yell at us about leaving the fridge door open, saying we are wasting energy? I wonder what is the temperature loss per second.

  2. I'd say the heat loss on this fridge is really quick due to the size. I will setup a little experiment and report back. I will throw the thermometer in there and shut it for a it and see what happens over 30 seconds or so. I am wondering if the thermometer will report the temperature fast enough.