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Dec 20, 2011 10:31 PM

What is the coldest part of a bottom-freezer refrigerator?

Traditionally (I think), the advice to store things in the coldest part of the refrigerator has referred to the type of refrigerator which has the freezer on top, and to store things on the bottom. My understanding is that is because heat rises, notwithstanding the fact that the freezer is on top.

I have a French door bottom freezer refrigerator. I think the bottom of the fridge closest to the freezer would be the coldest, not only because it is nearer to the freezer, but because of the heat rising factor. Does my logic sound correct? Is there any reason that the bottom wouldn't be the coldest area?

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  1. I suspect you're right that the bottom is coolest. But it may not be that simple. Modern fridges often have a fan that introduces the cold air at the top (even of the cooling coils are in the bottom). The cold air then flows down - but is coldest right at the top where it's introduced. Look at the rear of the top of your fridge and see if there's an air distributor there where the cold air is being introduced.

    It might be interesting to check the temperature top and bottom with a thermometer -- though it'll be difficult to get good stable readings.

    1. If you don't have a thermometer. you can
      get one cheap.

      1. Your reasoning is sound. Keep it at the back. Front part of a refrigerator is usually warmer.

        1. I'd say that Ck is right, the back is colder. But drongo is probably also right about the fan thing. Many refrigerators only do the cooling in the freezer, and then use a fan to move an appropriate amount of cold air to the refrigerator portion. I learned this when someone accidentally left the refrigerator door ajar for a long time on a humid day. The "channel" through which the cold air travels froze shut. The freezer was working fine, but the refrigerator was warm. A few screws removed, a quick thaw, and never a problem since. Anyway, that "channel" probably vents into the tope of the refrigerator box, allowing the cold air to sink to the bottom. So my guess is top, in the back.