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.
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
23 hours ago