Reader Christopher from North Carolina wrote in to ask, “How do outdoor vending machines keep beverages from freezing in cold weather?”

Vending machines are pretty well insulated, which helps keep the products at the desired temperature set by a thermostat in the machine (the recommended serving temperature for a Coke is around 38 degrees F). When the outside temperature is lower than the machine’s inside temp, the insulation also helps keep the product from getting too cold by holding in some of the heat generated by the machine’s electrical equipment and the lights inside. For more extreme environments, there are machines that have heaters in addition to refrigeration units.