June 6, 2024

Why Is There a Refrigerator in My Bedroom?

The photo on the left was taken from my bed yesterday (Wednesday). It shows a refrigerator parked just inside the door of my bedroom. Therein lies a story.

I noticed recently that the freezer compartment of my refrigerator was collecting frost all around. At the same time, the compartment below seemed warmer than usual.

My Monday lunch consisted of a sandwich and some leftover potato salad. The potato salad, which was about a week old, tasted spoiled. I threw it away after one bite. Since the refrigerator seemed warmer than usual, I increased the temperature control to its maximum setting.

By Tuesday—in retrospect, I was slow on the uptake—after trying to measure the refrigerator’s temperature, I concluded that there was something seriously wrong. I reported the problem to the building’s maintenance man, Kyle, who suggested that my refrigerator had a bad fan. We went immediately to my apartment with a replacement fan in hand.

After emptying the freezer—this was an obnoxious operation—we learned that ice was blocking the passage of cold air into the compartment below. The reason for this was unclear, but the freezer was quite filled and the weather had been very humid. My adjusting the refrigerator temperature upward had only made matters worse.

At this point, it became clear that living in an apartment building has advantages I had overlooked. Kyle offered to deliver a refrigerator as a temporary replacement. Happily, he had one available that was empty but operative, so it was already cold. The plan was to transfer my food to the temporary refrigerator and defrost my own refrigerator overnight.

The matter of where to put the temporary unit was tricky. Many of my outlets were in use, and I couldn’t find an extension cord on short notice. The solution we hit upon was to unplug my portable vacuum and put the refrigerator just inside my bedroom. The placement allowed me to get in and out of the bedroom, but I couldn’t easily get to one side of the bed to make it up. This explains the unmade bed in the above photograph.

Once Kyle left, I began transferring food from one refrigerator to the other. I then cleaned the sides of my refrigerator and the floor area that had been underneath it. Mercifully, only a modest quantity of water accumulated on the floor.

On Wednesday, Kyle came back to put my refrigerator back together—he had removed a panel at the rear of the freezer—and to return it to its proper place. I cleaned the interior and, once it had cooled down, I moved food from the temporary refrigerator to my own. This gave me the opportunity to do a degree of triage, discarding old or seemingly useless leftovers. It also allowed me to better organize my refrigerator, both top and bottom. 

Today (Thursday), Kyle returned to retrieve the lent refrigerator. Having put my refrigerator back together, I now have to put my apartment back together. 

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