There are two of us in this household, and we have one side by side refrigerator/freezer and one full sized refrigerator only and one full sized freezer. The latter two appliances reside in our garage. We have a high electric bill. This is the hottest part of the season here in Florida. Larry added a temperature controlled exhaust fan to the attic space in the garage venting it out the garage roof. He insulated the garage door and he is going to wait till it is cooler and insulate the attic. All the fruits of his labor have worked to some extent to keep our electric bill at a semi-reasonable level.
I noticed over Labor Day weekend that the temperature in the kitchen refrigerator seemed warmer than usual and I mentioned it to Larry. When his milk went bad on Tuesday morning he pulled the instruction book out and left it for me on the kitchen counter. I put one of my meat thermometers in the unit. I read the suggestions in the manual and I checked to make sure all the air flow vents were not blocked. An hour later the thermometer read 50 degrees. That explained the milk going bad.
I moved everything else that is highly perishable to the garage unit and Larry said he would pull the refrigerator apart and clean the coils when he got home and we would see if that would fix the problem.
I am always amused by the engineer mind thought pattern. It is definitely different. In fact it is so different that Larry himself is writing a blog on it in real estate. I am serious – he is writing a blog to appeal to other engineers because he does understand how their brain’s work.
In this case though not only was I dealing with Larry’s engineering brain but also his tight wallet.
When he came home on Tuesday evening I had some Bruschetta and wine waiting so we could catch up on our day and while we were enjoying that Larry told me about the safety meeting he had at work that morning. He wrote the safety manual for this company and he was at the point where he was reminding everyone to take that one extra step when a power tool was not working-unplug it. Keeping all your fingers is important was the main message.
Time to make a mess in my kitchen and pull out the refrigerator.
I have to admit it was pretty dusty and there was one critter who had (forgive me) bit the dust. Larry got the vacuum cleaner and now all 6 feet 2 inches of him is lying on the tile floor leaving boot heel marks everywhere and he is fighting with the vacuum cleaner attachments which are strewn all over the place while trying to fit his large frame into a small space.
It is usually a little scary to watch him work because as good as he is, he never preps an area first. He is missing that gene. I am the one running after him moving breakable objects out of his way, I am the one throwing sheets down when he is painting, I am the one clearing a path.
In fact when I think about it as I write I think we need a safety manual here in this house.
After Larry was done cleaning from the front, he went to the back of the unit and removed the access panel and started snaking my vacuum cleaner hose in to get at what he could not reach from the front. All of a sudden he jumps and his whole arm comes out from under the refrigerator at a speed faster than sound.
What to my wondering eyes should appear, a cut on his finger and you got it, the unit was plugged into the wall. Larry managed to hit the fan that was going at full speed. He put everything back, I cleaned up the heel marks and then after he washed his cut, I applied the antibiotic and the bandaid. He laughed at himself and said he should have unplugged the refrigerator – you think????
The next morning the temperature in the refrigerator was a nice 40 degrees. Larry said we should cancel the appointment. I went along with that at first, but then as the morning went by the temperature was creeping back up and Larry had already adjusted the temperature dials to higher numbers than were recommended.
I called Sears again.
Later that afternoon my brand new hero – Tim – the Sear’s repairman arrived in his blue Sear’s van. He even smelled good. Oh yes, Tim is my new hero. He took everything out of my freezer, put it all into the sink, covered all the food with a towel and then went to work. In minutes he knew all the trouble was being caused by a bad switch and the freezer was not going into the defrost mode. Tim dashed out to his van and came back in with the magic fix it tool, the industrial strength hair dryer. He plugged it in and let it go to work. Tim did not have to break a sweat. I peeked inside the freezer and there was an ice build up similar to what I used to see on my gutters in Indiana in the winter.
When the overflow pan started to get too full, super hero Tim asked for a towel and he avoided a possible mess. He has the prep gene for sure.
After replacing the switch he put everything back into the freezer just as I had them stored, adjusted the temperature dials and then these immortal words came from his mouth. “Do you know you have a shelf in your refrigerator you are not using? People always complain about there not being enough space in a side by side refrigerator, because they don’t realize there is a shelf not being used.” I looked into my refrigerator and I saw exactly what he was referring to. I was amazed, three and one half years and I had never seen that shelf before.
The next thing I knew we were both emptying out the entire refrigerator to the William Tell Overture known to many of us from The Lone Ranger. Super Hero Tim took my meat and cheese drawer out and there it was – the hidden shelf. The drawer was sitting on it all this time. We moved all the shelves and the drawer up and made the shelf on top of my vegetable drawers the new tall shelf. That is where the main air flow vent is, that is now where all my beverages are being stored including the milk. Remember simple 8th grade science class? Hot air rises – so why would anyone put their beverages at the top where not only the hot air rises but that is where the light bulb is – hello more heat friends!
I could have hugged Tim and if Sears would send me a survey I would give Tim the highest marks available.
Now my thermometer registers a temperature of 30 degrees, I have had to turn the dial back, I don’t need frozen produce. I look in side and there is my extra shelf, everything has it’s place now!
As I said “Move over Maytag-Kenmore is in the house!” Thanks Super Hero Tim who said to me as he was getting ready to leave – “you could have left the dogs in I love dogs.” Awwwww- what a guy!
If you all do nothing else today and you have a side by side refrigerator, check it out, you may have a hidden shelf.
Have a good one friends.