How do coolers work? How to keep it cold for a long time


Coolers help you store food at the best temperature to keep it safe and meet food safety rules.  Imagine being on a camping trip, opening your cooler only to find that it is not cold inside at all? Your sandwiches are soggy, and your fruit and veggies are rotten and gross. Fortunately, you can get coolers to keep your stuff at the right temperature for a longer time. Let’s learn how coolers work and how you can keep it cold for a long time.


How cooler works

Coolers retain cold through insulation and ice. The insulation, which is typically made from plastic or foam, lines the inside of the cooler, decelerating warm air circulation. Meanwhile, the ice makes the inside of the cooler chilly. The insulation in the cooler decelerates the warm air through a process known as convection. This helps stuff stay colder for an extended period of time.

How to Keep Your Cooler Cold for Longer time

Insulation and ice work great; however, they can’t just stay long in keeping your cooler cold. Nobody would like to have a miserable experience while on a camping trip. Fortunately, there are several super easy techniques to make your cooler remain cold for an extended period of time:

Pre-Chill the Food and Drinks

A night before your trip, but the food and drinks you intend to carry in a freezer or a refrigerator. It will help guarantee that all pieces of stuff stay colder for an extended period of time.


Avoid spaces

Ensure your cooler is full to the top. Stuff the cooler with lots of food and treats. Make sure it is full completely. This helps to reduce empty spaces which can be filled with hot air.

Put Freeze bottled water in empty spaces.

In case you have any extra space, use frozen bottles of water. They will not just serve as extra ice packs, but they will, in addition, keep away warm air from entering your cooler.

Place your cooler away from direct sunlight.

Keep your cooler in the shade; this will help it to hold ice longer. If there is no shade, you can cover the cooler using a towel or a light-colored blanket. Coolers are made to stop heat transfer, but you should minimize the amount of heat energy the cooler is being exposed to. Heat energy will enter into the cooler and melt the ice and thus warming up your cooler.

Use Larger Ice Blocks, Cubed Ice, and Dry ice.

Large ice blocks have less surface area when exposed to warm outside air than small ice cubes. As a result, larger ice blocks typically melt much slower than cubed ice. Big blocks of ice can keep food cold for about two days, while dry ice will keep your food cold even longer. However, dry ice produces too much carbon dioxide gas in the cooler. When the pressure of gas increases, it might cause the cooler to burst and open at the lid. As a result, your cooler fails to fulfil its purpose. Don’t use too much dry ice in your cooler.

Put the ice in last.

Many people put the ice all over the cooler. However, it is a good idea to wait until the end. Why should you wait? Because cool air travels down thus, the entire cooler will be much chillier while ice is on top.   

If the ice melts, don’t drain the water. 

The cooler will, in the long run, maintain its temperature longer if you allow that cold water inside. That water is practically as cold just like the ice and can help to insulate the remaining ice. Use a water-tight container or tray to ensure your meat and food is not exposed to the water.

Put all the essentials on top.

All the essentials should be at the top for easy reach.  All the other things that you do not plan to use right away, like desserts and fruit, should be at the bottom.

Keep the cooler closed.

Warm air can enter and travel in your cooler quickly if the lid remains propped open. Take your snack or drink and ensure the lid closes tightly when you are done.

Limit Opening times

Regular Opening is a major ice killer and especially on a hot day. Warm air replaces cold air, which accelerates the melting of ice. Take what you require for everyone every time you open the cooler. This will help to retain ice for an extended period. Make sure you just open your cooler when you absolutely have to.



How long will ice packs keep the cooler cold?

Ice packs are not equal. Some are made to keep food cold for a period of 24 hours. Others might last up to 2 days, hours or longer. 

How does a cooler keep things cold?

Coolers differ in styles, size, and brands. However, all of them use insulation to keep things cold.

Can I add rock salt to my cooler?

If you would like your cooler to get colder and cold enough to freeze your ice cream in your cooler, adding salt in the cooler can significantly lower the temperature. When salt is sprinkled on melting ice, it helps to lower the freezing point. So, in about 30 minutes, you will have purely chilled drinks.


Combining These Techniques Can help to keep your Cooler Cold for a longer time than it would have lasted. For best results, don’t use just one of these techniques to keep the cooler colder for longer. Use many combined with each other since the combination of all these items will actually work better than just using one by itself. Your cooler will be the coolest and coldest out there. It will still have ice even when all other coolers have warmed up. After all, no one enjoys a soggy sandwich or drinks at a lukewarm temperature.