Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Hot freezer

I was putting out the trash (in my PJs, which is utterly disgraceful but I was not about to get dressed again just so I could haul the trash out, thank you all the same) (can you tell I was caught a bit off-guard by the call from the husband about how he wasn’t going to be doing this particular household chore tonight due to late arrival home?!) and puttering around collecting the recycling and I thought I’d do the cardboard AND THEN…

…I made a discovery.

When I went to add more “reuse worthy” boxes to the couple already in the slot between the upright freezer and the wall, I discovered that the sides of the freezer were…a bit warm.

Actually, kind of hot.

Now, not hot in a ‘and then I yowled and snatched my scorched fingers away’ kind of way. But hot in a way that made me say to myself, “Hang on here, Self, I don’t think shoving paper products up against this is necessarily the best idea ever.”

And then I looked up at the top of the freezer.

For years, I resisted the urge to put things on top of the freezer. I had this memory, vague and utterly lacking scientific base, that…well, you just weren’t supposed to put Stuff on top of your stand-up freezer. Or fridge. But at that moment, I honestly couldn’t tell you if there was a mechanical reason (overheating) or if it were purely a My Mom-ism: “Good housekeepers do not have clutter atop their fridges, hallelujah amen and would it kill you to wash your face once in a while?!”

My husband had no such compunction, and had cheerfully organized the garage by putting the supply of diapers (paper), paper towels (paper), Kleenex (more paper) and toilet paper (sigh) on top of the freezer.

I began pulling it down. Every single item was not just ‘warm’, but hot. The paper towels were hot in a way that made me go, “Whoa!” – the heat was actually radiating up through their cardboard cores such that they felt hot both above and below.

The freezer seems to be working fine. It is properly cold within, and by design it vents hot air out the back…but I don’t remember ever feeling this kind of heat from the top and sides.

Of course…please see “resisted urge to pile crap on/around freezer” comment, above. Maybe it’s just trapped / reflected normal heat.

I don’t know. And now I have a fear (probably irrational) that if we put paper-stuff, on top of the freezer, it may combust.

I will not be able to sleep at night if there is “stuff” on top of that freezer. I will be petrified that a fire is about to erupt and I will have to do something heroic, which is a ludicrous idea. I mean! I am wearing paisley pajamas right now, people.

Heroes do not wear paisley pajamas.

Naturally, I need ammo for the no-paper-crap-on-top-of-the-freezer argument (because otherwise, my rational spouse will have all that stuff back up there tout de suite), so I started trying to look it up.

I find nothing.

The manual says nothing about piling tons of stuff on top of the freezer. I find nothing online saying, “Dear God, don’t do that! Don’t you know that the Great Chicago Fire was actually caused by people storing diapers on top of their upright freezer?!?!”

I can’t even say, “But it felt hotter than usual!” because, uh, well. I haven’t exactly made a habit out of standing out there with a thermometer checking the exterior temperature of the freezer. Interior, yes. Exterior, not so much.

But it felt hot. Too hot for paper to be stored against.

Yes. I am in fact aware that paper burns at 451 degrees, and that a “rather warm” freezer is not likely to actually reach this kind of heat. When did I ever claim to be rational, huh?

I’m just sayin’, I don’t think paper ought to be stored on something that makes me go, “Whoa, this thing feels kinda HOT!”

And if anybody has a link that will help me convince my more scientifically-inclined spouse of same, it would be greatly appreciated.

10 comments:

Amy Lane said...

When I was a kid someone (my parents) told me that if I used the same brush on my head that I used on the dog, all of my hair would fall out.

I totally believed them until my husband heard me telling my oldest daughter that exact same thing and laughed so hard he had to rush to the bathroom because grown men do NOT wet their pants. (Yes, yes, I went through college...I can read...I watch the news...why do you ask?)

So now I know that unless my animals have mange, it's not likely to happen. But that didn't stop me from completely freaking out when I realized that my three year old had been brushing the dog with my brush.

It's not irrational. You're totally and completely sane. Under your bed, in the bathroom, on top of the dryer--why not? But not on top of the refrigerator--I'm with you.

Kate said...

Here's some ammo for you. When I bought my fridge five years ago, I read the manual, and it said that you shouldn't store stuff on top of or around the fridge because it reduced the energy efficiency of the unit, and would end up costing you more on your power bill.

Louiz said...

If you shouldn't pile crap on top of the kitchen appliances, how come fitted kitchens are safe? (I am currently googling to see if they *are* safe though!)

Rabbitch said...

I'm sorry. I'm afraid I'm broken and I can't worry about Even One More Thing. I mean seriously broken.

However I shall keep this to worry about in a couple of months, if you don't mind. I'll likely be ok again by then.

amy said...

sounds completely reasonable to me. Hot+Paper=Fire.

Don't Husbands know when they're better off just humoring, not arguing?

Steph Bolinger said...

That's weird. We always avoided putting stuff too close to the sides of our upright freezer, but I don't know that we ever worried much about the top. It makes sense, though - after all, heat rises, right? I guess if you want Captain Adventure to have toasty buns you could keep the diapers up there, but I dunno about the other stuff. Maybe try working the "reasoned argument" angle...you know, if we do x and y happens, then the insurance company won't pay us z because we foolishly ignored rule 3.72 of freezer ownership and thus imperiled our mortal selves, which voids our insurance policy. Or something like that. Good luck!

Yarnhog said...

Huh. I don't know about stuff on top of the freezer, but I can tell you from personal experience that if you block the interior vents by stuffing too many plastic bags of hamburger buns against them so that the plastic blocks the flow of air, your freezer will overheat, the drain will clog, and water will leak out all over the floor. It will do this again if you fail to learn from the first experience, too.

Anonymous said...

freezer needs to be repaired its not working properly the freezer is insulated and things up next to it or around it will not hurt it in any way but it makes it easyer to get to, to make these repaires with no clutter.

Copperhead321 said...

I have a tiny kitchen and have always stored tastefully (?) arranged extra mugs, quiche dishes, pitchers, and a large picnic basket filled with once-a-year-used dishes on top of my very large upright freezer. It finally showed signs of age (32 years old) recently and I purchased another. Ugh! 10 cubic feet smaller--the largest I could find--and the manual states "No stuff on top." I've always given it plenty of side and back room. REALLY? In a quandry, as I am a person who ruins Christmas by yelling, "Don't touch it until I have read (all 142 pages of) the instructions" and never pull off mattress tags for fear of night police dragging me out in my pj's. However, as I just lost a huge amount of cubic storage space, I'm teetering on ignoring this one. Obviously, I was searching for someone who did them same with no adverse effects. May let you know in a year or two if it worked or not. (Hmmm. May be a good way to trade freezers, as this one sounds like we're warming up to leave for Mars at any moment.) Yep, up goes the stuff.

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