Updated: Jan 27, 2022
Power Outage - If the electricity is out for a brief period of time keep the refrigerator and freezer closed and everything will be all right. The time everything will stay frozen or cool will depend on the type of freezer or refrigerator, the thermostat setting, and the temperature surrounding the appliance.
Only use dry ice if the power is expected to be off for a longer period of time. Follow the directions for each appliance below:
FREEZER NOT WORKING
Do not touch Dry Ice directly. Use insulated gloves, potholder, towel, etc. Use the following guidelines for each type of freezer. For each 24-hour period:
(1) Freezer on bottom: use 15 to 25 pounds.
(2) Freezer on top: use 20 to 30 pounds.
(3) Side by side Freezer: use 30 to 40 pounds. Place each slab, starting with the top shelf, on top of the food to be kept frozen. Bottom shelves will be kept frozen by the Dry Ice above it.
(4) Chest Freezer: use 40 to 50 pounds. When taking out the frozen food, carefully lift the dry ice slab up with gloves, potholder, towel, etc., without touching the dry ice directly.
REFRIGERATOR NOT WORKING
For each 12-to-24-hour period, place a ten-pound slab of Dry Ice on bottom shelf of the refrigerator to cool. Do not touch Dry Ice with bare hands. Do not place it directly on the glass shelf but use newspaper or other insulated protection such as a hot pad between the Dry Ice and the shelf. When the Dry Ice is sublimated replace it with a new slab. Keep extra Dry Ice in an ice chest. Because Dry Ice is frozen CO2, it will carbonate open containers. Carbonated water is OK but carbonated milk sure tastes different! Also, anything too close to the Dry Ice may freeze. Watch out for items below the bottom shelf as they may freeze too. Regular block ice is better for the refrigerator - the old fashion "ice box" - but then the melted ice water must be removed.
When finished with the Dry Ice, unwrap and leave it at room temperature in a well-ventilated area. It will sublimate from a solid to a gas. DO NOT leave Dry Ice unattended around children.