Skip to main content

Cool Stuff

Henry Reents of Boise, Idaho, asks:"The box of our top-loading refrigerator has a large lower compartment that is separated from the main upper section by a three-piece plastic shelf. We don’t use the lower compartment very much. Would our compressor run less if we put large blocks of foam in that lower space? This would reduce the size of the refrigerator box by about a
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Henry Reents of Boise, Idaho, asks:

"The box of our top-loading refrigerator has a large lower compartment that is separated from the main upper section by a three-piece plastic shelf. We don’t use the lower compartment very much. Would our compressor run less if we put large blocks of foam in that lower space? This would reduce the size of the refrigerator box by about a third."

Don Casey replies:

You’re on the right track; heat does leak into a refrigerator box. When the temperature inside the box reaches a certain level, the compressor turns itself on. The smaller the interior volume of the box, the less heat it contains, which means the compressor needs to run less to remove it. If you completely fill the unused space with foam, you reduce the interior surface area of the box, which in turn reduces the amount of heat that can leak into the interior.

However, this relationship is not linear; a 30 percent reduction in surface area will not reduce compressor running time by 30 percent. But if your box is well insulated and you fit the foam in well, I’d guess the combination of reduced surface area and interior volume would reduce your compressor run time by almost 20 percent. Of course, the benefits will be less if your box is less well insulated.

Related

promo-2048x

Just Launched Mid-sized Cruisers

With so many manufacturers dreaming up bigger production boats, more and more mid-sized cruisers fall on the smaller end of their lines. However, “smaller” does not mean less, and the tricks for optimizing larger models have helped with squeezing more enjoyment into less LOA. As ...read more

05-DSC_0638

Charter: Lake Tahoe

A sail on Lake Tahoe has been on my bucket list since the day I first laid eyes on it, and come hell or high water, I decided I was going to someday charter a boat there. North America’s largest and deepest alpine lake, Tahoe sits at 6,225ft above sea level and straddles the ...read more

East-River-Rapids

Escape from New York Part 1

I was never supposed to take my boat through New York City. After getting sucked backward through the Cape Cod Canal on my way south from Maine, when the speed of the current exceeded the maximum speed of my little electric auxiliary, I wanted nothing to do with Hell Gate and ...read more

LEAD-Celeste-in-the-Tuamotu

A Watermaker Upgrade

As a classic-boat sailor, I’ve long held that simpler is the better. I still think this is true: a simpler boat is cheaper, she has less gadgets to break down and there’s a certain satisfaction in knowing you’re able to handle a bit of discomfort. Thus, for a long time, I sailed ...read more

01-LEAD-IDECsport_180919_032

Sailing Speed Records

Although the 1903 defender of the America’s Cup, Reliance, was deemed a “racing freak”—the boat pushed design rules to their limit and couldn’t be beaten, at least in very specific conditions—designer Nat Herreshoff was nonetheless onto something. A century later, purpose-built ...read more

BVIFeetup

Chartering with Non-sailors

Three tips on managing the madness First-time charterers and first-time sailors aren’t at all the same thing. One group may struggle with beginner chartering issues, like sailing a multihull, catching a mooring or dealing with base personnel. For the other group, though, ...read more

AdobeStock_455372159

A Gulf Stream Crossing at Night

Even the dome of light glowing above the city behind us had disappeared as if swallowed in a gulp by Noah’s whale. The moon was absent. Not a star twinkled overhead. The night was so dark we could have been floating in a pot of black ink. The only artificial lights to be seen ...read more

00-Lead-549215sJL2uLEa

Summer Sailing Programs

Every year, countless parents find themselves navigating the do’s and don’ts of enrolling their children in a summer learn-to-sail program for the first time. While the prospect of getting your kid on the water is exciting, as a sailing camp program director, there are a lot of ...read more