Updated at: 17-06-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

For how long may a refrigerator be switched off? While a refrigerator can be left off for up to four hours, a freezer can be left off for up to 48 hours.

You may be asking this question if you’re about to leave your fridge on or off while you’re away on vacation.

Refrigerator and freezer food can be stored throughout these times. However, if you made sure to switch on your fridge every time, you’d be a step ahead of the game.

I know you’re dying to find out the answer to this mystery. Refrigerators must, of course, be switched on, especially if they contained perishable food. The time has come to begin, so without further ado…

How Long You Can Turn Off Your Fridge

This section will answer the question, “How long can a fridge be switched off?” I’m aware that refrigerators can go out for a variety of reasons, including power outages and vacations. However, in this case, it is imperative that all food be stored in a frigid environment to ensure its safety and health. If a refrigerator is not present, bacteria and other pathogens will thrive.

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If this is the case, you should be able to store your food in the refrigerator for up to four hours. Similarly, if your freezer is fully loaded, food within can be kept inside for up to 48 hours. If this is the case, a single day should be sufficient to fill the freezer halfway.

Make sure that all doors and seals of the refrigerator are closed when you turn it off. Food rotting can be avoided by keeping the fridge’s internal temperature at a constant level.

It is because of this that modern refrigerators are heavy-duty devices. Without a break, they are designed to keep going all year round. As a result, they cool your food to keep it safe and healthy.

If your fridge is empty or nearly empty, you can leave it off for as little as a month. However, it’s not a good idea to unintentionally turn off your refrigerator. Keep an eye out for mildew and maggots if you leave your fridge unattended for more than two weeks.

Switching off your refrigerator is also a good idea. It could be that you’re moving the fridge or cleaning it. It’s possible, however, that shutting it off regularly can cause lasting damage to your wallet. Also, don’t turn off and on your fridge back to front.

It is possible that the compressor itself will be damaged as a result of using it. Because bacteria and molds thrive in moist conditions, thoroughly clean your refrigerator before turning it off.

In fact, shutting down a refrigerator is a straightforward task to accomplish. However, you’re putting your food’s safety and security at danger. In order to turn it off for an extended period of time, it is advisable to turn it on and clear it first.

Should I Turn Off My Fridge To Save Money?

All of my housemates and I are looking for ways to reduce the amount of money we spend each month on our electricity bills. Among these is turning off the refrigerator. However, there is a drawback to this method.

Turning off a refrigerator is a simple way to save energy right away. A consensus among refrigeration specialists is that the food stored inside should be kept at a constant temperature to ensure its safety and health before consumption.

However, it’s possible that turning off your fridge is a bad idea. We can envision what it’s like to ascend a stairwell in your refrigerator. Because the fridge’s interiors are already warm, it will take some time for it to cool down when you switch it on.

Electrical consumption is reduced when food is stored at the correct temperature in the refrigerator. So, for example, if you turn off your refrigerator to save money, you may be obstructing the refrigeration process.

After being switched off, a refrigerator will re-start its cooling operation. When a fresh cooling cycle begins, the compressor and other equipment will need a lot of energy to keep the fridge cool. As a result, if this occurs, you may see an increase in your electric bill.

In addition, an inverter-equipped refrigerator is something I strongly suggest you use. With an inverter, the appliance’s waste energy can be recycled back into its own power supply. With an inverter, the fridge may run for a long time at a low cost because it doesn’t need to be constantly switched on and off.

How Long Has It Been Since Your Power Went Out?

The food in your refrigerator has a half-life of between four and six hours when the electricity goes out. You may extend the shelf life of your food by closing the doors of your refrigerator and freezer.

More time is available to you now that you have food in your freezer. Up to 48 hours of safe storage in a fully-stocked freezer, or around 24 hours in a half-filled one, is possible. Again, it’s critical to keep the door closed.

Whenever you open the fridge without power, you’re letting critical cold air out of the appliance. As tempting as it may be to open the fridge or freezer to see what’s within, resist the temptation to do so.

Is My Food Safe if the Power Is Out?

Once your fridge is up and running again (or you’re ready for a snack), you must check the internal temperature of the items inside. This can assist you figure out which meals are worth keeping and which ones need to be thrown out.

Once your fridge is up and running again (or you’re ready for a snack), you must check the internal temperature of the items inside. This can assist you figure out which meals are worth keeping and which ones need to be thrown out.

It’s imperative that you check the temperature of your fridge once it’s running again (or you’re ready for a snack). Determine which foods are worth keeping and discarding, and which ones should be thrown away.

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What Foods Can I Usually Keep During a Power Outage?

A power outage is a good time to revisit the 40-degree guideline, but some food essentials can be stored and eaten even if the temperature rises by two or three degrees above that point. If your power is down for a long period of time, you may want to consider the following:

  • Cheddars that are firm to the touch
  • Cheddar that has been artificially flavored and preservatives
  • Prepared grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses in container or can
  • Butter and margarine are examples of dairy products.
  • Fresh fruit that hasn’t been chopped
  • Juices made from fruits
  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Dates, raisins, candied fruit, and other dried fruits
  • If the temperature rises beyond 50 degrees Fahrenheit for longer than eight hours, discard the mayonnaise, tartar sauce, and horseradish.
  • ketchup, olives, pickles and a variety of other condiments
  • sauces such as hoisin, Worcestershire, soy, and barbecue
  • Dressings containing vinegar
  • Baked goods such as muffins and breads
  • Waffles, pancakes, and bagels are all on the menu at this establishment.
  • Peach cobblers
  • Freshly-picked produce
  • Spices, herbs, and mushrooms

This is a situation in which you should rely on your own judgment as well. Check the food thoroughly and give it a sniff before keeping anything. A stomach ache isn’t worth it if the temperature is high or something seems amiss.

What’s the Right Temperature for a Refrigerator?

Refrigerators should be kept at 35 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit to keep food fresh and safe to eat. Make sure your fridge has an actual temperature setting on its adjustment dial before purchasing a refrigerator thermometer. When the power goes out, it might be difficult to tell if the temperature in your refrigerator is set correctly when it first starts up.

Pro Tip: Invest in Coolers for Power Outages

It’s a good idea to stock up on coolers and ice packs in case you frequently lose electricity. There are coolers and ice packs that may be used to keep essentials cool for up to four hours. That first cup of coffee in the morning could be saved by this approach, but it won’t preserve all of your food.

Moreover, if your fridge is frequently malfunctioning, it may be time to call in a professional appliance repair service.

5 Ways to Keep Your Food From Spoiling During a Power Outage

Keep Ice on Hand

Having extra water and ice on hand is an important component of being prepared in case of an emergency. If you have room in your freezer, freeze several containers and water bottles to preserve food cold in the event of a power loss. Avoid overfilling containers or bottles with water when it freezes because it expands as it freezes.

Move Food to the Bottom and Group Together

Group all of your frozen food together to keep it safe during a power outage, according to the FDA. Keep food in the lower part of your freezer to keep it frozen as long as possible because heat rises.

Keep Doors Closed

Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed once you’ve transferred food to the freezer and arranged it into groups. Frozen food can last up to 48 hours in a freezer if it is full and 24 hours in a half-full freezer, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

Use Coolers for Power Outage Food Safety

For outages predicted to last more than a day, the American Red Cross suggests bringing along portable air conditioners. Ensure that your cooler is filled to the brim with ice-packed foods like milk and meat, as well as any leftovers. For as long as possible, keep it at 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Don’t Keep Food Outside

The website foodsafety.gov advises against storing cold or frozen food outside if your power goes off in the winter, but you may be tempted to. Outside temperatures can vary widely even when there is snow and ice on the ground, leading cold food to enter the ‘danger zone,’ defined as temperatures between 40°F and 140°F, as well as frozen food to begin to defrost. Exposure to animals and filthy circumstances can also harm food.” Winter power outages provide another problem: how to keep your home warm.

Check the freezer, refrigerator, and cooler’s temperatures after the power outage is over. Frozen food can be re-frozen as long as the freezer temperature is 40 degrees F or lower, according to the Food and Drug Administration. As long as the power was out for no more than four hours and the door was kept locked, the food in the refrigerator should be safe. Temperatures above 40 degrees F for more than two hours should be thrown out of perishable food.


How long can I leave my fridge turned off?

You may keep food in your fridge for up to six hours during a power outage. Your frozen food won’t be affected if you leave it in your freezer for as long as 48 hours.

Is it OK to turn off refrigerator for long period of time?

In order to raise your electricity cost, you must leave your refrigerator or freezer running. Keeping food in the fridge for such a long time is fraught with danger. For 2-4 weeks, it’s fine, but for more than a month, it’s a waste of time.

Can we switch off refrigerator for 3 months?

Definitely! Before allowing leftovers to breed fungus and bacteria in your refrigerator, give it a thorough cleaning. Using a dry cloth, remove any remaining water. Because you’re going to be turning it off for a month, double-check that your refrigerator doesn’t contain anything that could deteriorate.

How long can I turn freezer off?

The general rule of thumb is to throw out anything in your refrigerator or freezer that has gotten hotter than 40 degrees. If your freezer is full, it will keep food cold for two days; if it’s half full, it will keep food frozen for one day. If you don’t open your freezer, it should keep its temperature for several days.

unplug your fridge when not in use

What to do when you turn off a fridge?

Keep the door or lid open while you’re away from your refrigerator or freezer. Otherwise, when you return, you’ll find a moldy, musty appliance.

How do I turn off my fridge for moving?

It’s preferable to turn off your fridge or freezer at least 24 hours before transferring it to your new house. Defrosting the fridge’s evaporator in advance of moving helps to minimize the possibility of damage during the relocation. During this time, the oil and fluids in the compressor can settle and stop moving.

Should I unplug my garage refrigerator in the winter?

Garage refrigerators can be useful, but if they aren’t maintained, they will eventually stop working during the winter. A refrigerator’s freezer or refrigerator compartment may thaw or freeze food if it is left in the garage without preparation.

How long will my fridge last Without Power UK?

If I lose electricity, how long can I keep food in my fridge and freezer for? Food in your fridge and freezer may be a problem at this time. If you can avoid opening the food, it should last between 4-6 hours in the fridge and 15-24 hours in the freezer.

Why do you have to wait 24 hours to plug in a fridge?

How can you keep your fridge or freezer in top condition? There’s an oil in your appliance’s compressor that could produce a blockage if it leaks into the refrigeration system during operation. Once the compressor is turned back on, the oil will cause the blockage.

How long can a fridge lay on its side?

If you let your fridge sit upright for at least 4 hours (and no more than 24 hours) before turning it on, you won’t have to worry about any long-term damage.

How long can a refrigerator lay on its back?

After transportation, you may need to tip the refrigerator on its side if necessary. A similar amount of time should be spent on its side. Do not move it if it has been on its side for more than 24 hours.

Turning Off Things Already!

Great! The answer to the question, “How long can a fridge be switched off?” is already in your head. After that, it’s only a matter of calculating the benefits and drawbacks of shutting off a refrigerator at home.

To be more precise, you may ensure the safety of your food by turning off your refrigerator for roughly four hours. To save energy, you can turn off freezers for up to two days if they are fully packed. If not, just one day will do if the freezer is only half-filled.

Let us know if you want to see more. Get to the bottom of why your fridge shuts itself off on its own! I appreciate you taking the time to read this important piece. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns after reading this article.