Where people own their homes, it is usually desirable to install the machine in the basement or some other out-of-the-way place where the sound and vibration will be less noticeable. The cabinet should preferably be placed in a refrigerator room or other separate unheated space. The kitchen is not a good location for a cabinet; in some climates the summer temperature there frequently rises to 900 or even 100° F.
For use in a rented dwelling it would seem desirable to buy the self contained units (machine installed within the cabinet) as these are not rigidly attached and may be moved like any piece of heavy furniture.
The electric connection to a domestic refrigerating machine is best made through a convenience outlet, as with washing-machines,vacuum cleaners, flat irons, and all household electrical appliances; it is, however, possible to connect through an ordinary lamp socket.
The average domestic refrigeration machines will consume approximately 50 kilowatt hours of electricity per month, taking the year through. Ordinarily, of course, more electricity will be used in warm summer weather than in the winter. In midsummer the consumption may reach 75 units or more per month. If the cabinet is installed in a kitchen, the seasonal variation in the use of electricity will not be so great, but the average for the year is likely to be higher. In a northern climate, with the cabinet installed in a separate, unheated room, the machine may not run at all for two months or more in midwinter. From the above data, anyone who knows the cost of electricity in his community can easily make a fair estimate of the cost of the electricity required to operate a machine.
The selling price usually includes the cost of servicing the equipment for a period ranging from three months to one year. Manufacturers' practices differ as to the period thus allowed. There are wide variations in maintenance costs between individual machines just as there are in any other mechanical equipment, but data from various parts of the United States indicate that after the free service period these should not average more than $5 a year.
An electrical refrigerator requires little attention on the part of the owner. Usually this amounts only to putting a few drops of oil in the motor bearings once a week during hot weather, less frequently in cold weather. Some machines are now put out with bearings guaranteed to operate a year without oiling; others are being put on the market which require no oiling whatever.
When an electrical refrigerating machine is in service and properly adjusted, it is continually freezing the moisture out of the air in the cabinet. This forms a deposit of frost or ice on the cooling element, which will continue to increase as long as the machine is in operation. Too great an accumulation of this frost or ice will prevent a free circulation of air over the cooling element, thus stopping proper refrigeration in the food storage compartments, and perhaps causing foul odors. To avoid this, the cooling element should be defrosted periodically. This operation requires only the opening of the electric switch which controls the supply of electricity to the motor, and allowing the machine thus to stand idle until the accumulated frost and ice melt off.
The interior of the cabinet should be periodically washed out as would be done in any ice box. The drains, however, do not clog up but need regular cleaning as where ice is used.
Electrical refrigerating devices for the household are automatic in their operation and when properly installed and adjusted should require no attention except oiling, defrosting, and cleaning indicated.
The temperature maintained within the cabinet of a good electric refrigerator depends entirely on the quality of insulation in the cabinet, the temperature of the air surrounding the cabinet, and the frequency with which the doors are opened.
Any of the well-known machines installed on a cabinet with good insulation will maintain satisfactory temperatures in the warmest part of the cabinet. The warmest point in the cabinet is the top of the food compartment and that should never be over 500 F. The coldest point is immediately under the cooling element and ranges from 30o to 35o F.
The working range of temperatures within the cabinet can, if desired, be changed either up or down by adjusting the thermostat, ....