Refrigerators are generally dry environments. That's why certain foods—especially leafy greens and other delicate produce—tend to dry out and wilt over time, especially if they're not stored in a crisper drawer.
But there are a number of factors that make it difficult to determine the average humidity level in a refrigerator, including:
- Fridge contents: Certain foods will affect the humidity levels in your fridge. An open container of still-warm soup, for example, will release its moisture content as vapor, raising the level of humidity.
- Door opening: If you recently had the fridge door open, the humidity level will be higher than usual. This is because warm, moist air has made its way into the main fridge compartment. Most fridge models are designed to capture this moisture as condensation and funnel it out of the fridge interior.
- Relative humidity: Humidity is actually a measurement of how much moisture is in the atmosphere compared to how much moisture there could possibly be at that temperature. For example, 50% humidity at 35° F is actually a lot less moisture than 50% humidity at 70° F because warm air has the potential to hold much more moisture. The humidity levels in your fridge are always proportionate to the interior temperature, which fluctuates several degrees over the course of a day.
The most important thing to know is where to store particular food types—and what to do if you suspect you have relatively high humidity in your refrigerator.
WHAT FOODS GO IN THE CRISPER DRAWER?
Many fridges come with crisper drawers with vents you can open (to lower humidity) and close (to raise humidity). Use the high-humidity setting for leafy-green vegetables—anything you usually see kept under water spritzers at the supermarket—and use the low setting for fruits or anything that might rot.
- Green onions
WHAT CAUSES HUMIDITY IN A REFRIGERATOR?
Wasted food is the main symptom of high humidity in your fridge, but it's not the only sign. You may also notice excess moisture and leaks. If so, here's what could be causing your refrigerator humidity:
Faulty door seal: If your fridge door doesn't form an airtight seal, warm air could be getting inside and causing excessive condensation.
Broken thermostat: Bacteria and mold thrive if the temperature fluctuates too much. If your thermostat isn't working properly, it could cause condensation to repeatedly freeze and thaw, spiking the humidity levels in your fridge.
Blocked vents: Ice build-ups can eventually cause internal components to become clogged, including vents and drains. Without proper air circulation, your fridge will work harder to stay cool, which means humidity problems could indicate a larger problem.
FRIDGE STILL TOO HUMID?
You may be able to stabilize the humidity levels in your refrigerator by simply adjusting the temperature settings and storage drawers. If the obvious fixes don't work, book an appointment with one of our local specialists and we'll likely get the job done in just one visit.*
*GE Appliances technicians carry an extensive parts inventory on their service trucks. In the event a part is not available on the service truck, a follow-up service call may be required.