Why Does My Fridge Temperature Keep Changing? (And How You Can Fix This)

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Annoyed by a fridge whose temperature just won’t stay put? Maybe it is too warm, and fresh foods spoil faster than expected. Or maybe things are too chilly, freezing condiments and forming icicles, you’re going to have a problem.

If your refrigerator temperature fluctuates often, you’ve come to the right place. We will help you answer the question: Why does my fridge temperature keep changing? 

But that’s not all. You will also learn how to reset refrigerator settings for the ideal temperature and environment for your food.

Whether you are dealing with Frigidaire refrigerator temperature control problems, or you want to change your Samsung double door refrigerator temperature settings, keep reading to learn more.

What is the Ideal Normal Fridge Temperature?

Normal Fridge Temperature

Most people ask, what temp should my fridge be? According to the FDA, you should keep your fridge temperature at 40F/4C or under. This temperature inhibits microbial growth and slows decay, preventing eggs and fresh produce from going bad.

At the same time, it keeps condiments and preserved items like jam, cream cheese, and butter at the right consistency. Anything lower than these temperatures will freeze the vegetables and fresh produce and alter their texture, making them much harder to use.

Similarly, if the temperature inside the refrigerator is higher, your food has a serious chance of spoilage and you risk getting sick from eating things stored incorrectly. In short, the best temp for fridge and walk-in freezers is between 0 and 4C.

Why Does My Fridge Temperature Keep Changing? 

why does my fridge temperature keep changing

A fluctuating fridge temperature is both annoying and dangerous. The constant rise and fall in temperature can result in bacterial growth and make your food go bad quicker. Similarly, the change in temp can also alter the texture, flavor, and quality of condiments and processed foods.

Moreover, it can be very annoying to throw in a cold beer or brewed tea for a chilled drink, only to realize that the fluctuation in temperature prevented the drinks from cooling. And if you have a refrigerator turning on and off constantly, call customer service to find out what to do.

Here are a few reasons why your refrigerator gets warm then cold again or keeps alternating between different temperatures:

You Keep Opening the Fridge Door:

If the fridge door is opened and closed repeatedly or is kept open for a long time, the fridge will be unable to maintain a steady and constant temperature. It can also result in a fridge overcompensating by generating more cold air, so there is a sharp drop in temperature.

To test this idea, simply close and open your fridge door only when necessary. If the issue was frequent opening and closing, then the temperature should stabilize in a day or two.

The Thermostat Setting was Altered:

Maybe it’s not your fridge. Maybe a housemate or family member changed the fridge’s temperature setting. For people saying: ‘My fridge is not cooling,’ or if you have a refrigerator not staying cold, check the thermostat.

If the temperature is different, find out who is changing it and why. If you want to find out how to make the fridge colder with a dial, this video may help. But if your refrigerator has a bad temperature sensor, you may need to contact the manufacturer for a replacement.

The Thermostat Sensors are Blocked:

Blocked thermostat sensors can result in a refrigerator getting too cold or too warm. If food containers or jars and bottles are too close to the fridge’s thermostat, they can make it less functional.

Placing warm food containers by the thermostat will result in the fridge getting too cold. But if cold food is placed too close to the sensor, the thermostat will warm the fridge instead.

To fix this issue, just don’t place any food near the thermostat or by the back of the fridge. Then check to see if the temperature stabilizes.

The Vents are Blocked:

If you’re stuck with a refrigerator temperature at 50 degrees, and nothing is wrong with the thermostat, maybe you’re dealing with blocked vents. Warm air is released through the vents during the cooling process. If this air can’t escape, it’ll build up and heat the fridge instead.

To prevent this from happening, ensure your fridge has a few inches of ‘breathing room’ on all sides so that it gets proper ventilation.

The Compressor Coils are Dirty:

To create cool air, your fridge needs to use a refrigerant system to transfer heat from inside. A constant cycle of gas compression and evaporation makes your fridge function. The heat from the cycle is pushed out through compressor coils.

These coils are the wrapped metal tubes at the back bottom of your fridge. Dirty and dusty compressor coils will make your fridge’s temperature oscillate wildly. Here’s how to get them clean.

How to Reset Temperature on Frigidaire Refrigerator 

To reset the temperature of a Frigidaire refrigerator, press the “∧” or “∨” indicator to adjust it to the temperature setting you need. Once you touch it, the indicators will start blinking. After about 5 seconds of inactivity, the display will beep and be set to the new temperature.

If you want to factory reset your Frigidaire refrigerator, the display panel has a button for default settings that you need to press. All the customized settings of your fridge will go back to the default settings.

 How to Adjust Refrigerator Temperature Control

  1. Find the dial inside the refrigerator. It is generally in the upper part of the refrigerator, near the back, close to the light bulb. Dials have either numbers or notches showing the temperature settings.
  2. Turn the dial up to cool down the refrigerator or down to increase the temperature. The higher the number or setting, the colder the refrigerator. If your refrigerator has a temperature range of 1 to 5, your best bet is to set the dial to the middle.
  3. Adjust the setting until it is just right. You should be aiming for a temperature around (3 to 0 °C). Place a thermometer in a glass of water on the center shelf and wait at least 6 hours for the new temperature to set. 

    Then, check if the temperature is satisfactory. Adjust the dial to keep the refrigerator’s temperature within the recommended range.
  1. You might have to repeat the process a few times to hit on the ideal temperature for your food. Let the refrigerator rest for 6 hours after each change in setting.

You may also like: How to defrost a mini fridge freezer

Frigidaire Refrigerator Temperature Setting

If you just got a Frigidaire fridge, it can be a little confusing to set the temperature for the first time. Use the manual to set the fridge to its recommended setting and then let it stabilize for 24 hours before measuring the temperature.

Frigidaire fridges have temperature control that can be adjusted with a dial, slider, and or electronic pad. Simply adjust the dial or slider or press the button on the electronic pad to increase or decrease the temperature.

Still Have Questions?

Below you’ll find answers to questions we get asked the most about my fridge temperature keep changing.

01. What is the Best Refrigerator Temperature?

The optimum temperature for a fridge is between 0C and 4C or 40F and 32F.

02. How to Test a Refrigerator Thermostat?

Put a glass of water with a thermometer in it in the middle rack of the fridge. Wait 5-6 hours before measuring to see what temperature the thermostat is set to.

03. What Would Make a Refrigerator to Stop Getting Cold?

Food blocking the thermostat sensor, a dirty compressor coil, or even opening and closing the fridge door too often.

04. How to Check Fridge Temperature without the Thermometer?

You can put a glass or bottle of water in the fridge to estimate the temperature. After 5-6 hours, take it out of the fridge and have a look at the container of water. 

Keep an eye out for condensation, as the faster it appears on the surface, the colder the temperature.

05. Why is My Fridge Not Cold?

Make sure there is no food at the back of the fridge, blocking any sensors. Also blocked vents and coils can cause fridges to heat up.

06. How Do I Find the GE Profile Refrigerator Troubleshooting Temperature?

If your fridge isn’t cooling properly, make sure the thermostat and sensors are working properly and the temperature is set to the right number. If this doesn’t work, contact customer service.

In All

Whether your fridge or freezer temperature keeps going up and down or stops cooling your food altogether, this issue can cause lots of undue stress. The simple troubleshooting options outlined in this article offer quick fixes to small issues that can become serious later. 

The next time your cold brew is too warm for your liking you won’t have to ask yourself: why does my fridge temperature keep changing? You’ll know just what to do.

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