30 Dec Refrigerator Monitoring
Several months ago, I wrote about monitoring the refrigerator temperature with an inside/outside thermometer. With an inexpensive battery-powered unit, you can put a wireless “remote” sensor in the refrigerator and then see the temp without having to open the refrigerator.
That idea came from readers Jim and Barbara Shell. Now comes a further refinement from another reader, Bill Culbertson.
Bill uses a similar unit, but with one difference. Says Bill:
Even better, the unit I got keeps a min/max. So I can check to see how cold and how hot the fridge got since the last time I reset the min/max. This is helpful for fine tuning if I have the fridge at the right setting.
Also this is invaluable when I’m away from the marina to determine if a shore power outage or other problem caused the fridge to heat beyond food safe temperatures so I know to throw out something which isn’t safe to eat/drink anymore. I used to take perishables home after a weekend of boating because I couldn’t be certain they’d be good for our next outing if I left them on the boat. I don’t do that anymore. I just check the max on the galley unit upon arriving to confirm the perishables are ok and then reset the min/max.
What a great idea for anyone who isn’t aboard full time!
Our wireless thermometer has the min/max function but I’d never thought to use it this way. Of course, the model that we have — which has worked well for years — is no longer made. Two things that I know about wireless two-zone thermometers: (1) some work much better than others, and cost has nothing to do with how well it will work; and (2) you have to follow the instructions perfectly to get them set up (yes, you really have to open the instruction book). Also, many people complain that the humidity sensors on the less expensive units are not accurate — note that I’ve never really been looking for humidity info and so it didn’t bother me if it didn’t work well (in other words, all I cared about was the temp working well).You can buy a wireless indoor/outdoor thermometer with a min/max at most hardware stores, home improvement stores and big box stores — make sure it has a min/max though if you want to use it as Bill does. But before buying one, check reviews (if you have a smartphone, you can Google standing in the store). Use lithium batteries for the longest life — they also do much better in the cold inside the refrigerator, so they are definitely best to use in the remote. Read more about various features in my original article but note that the thermometers I recommend there do not record the min/max.
Here are two wireless indoor/outdoor thermometers with min/max that are getting good reviews and aren’t too expensive (links go to Amazon):