Freezer Temperature Fluctuation


Several conditions affect the temperature inside a refrigerator and freezer.  Depending on any one of the possibilities, temperature’s inside a residential refrigerator will vary.  A refrigerator’s temperature is adjusted using the cold control knob. Listed are several refrigerator not cooling possibilities.


-Dirty/clogged condenser coils
-Stalled condenser fan motor
-Evaporator fan motor
-Air flow problem.

The new 134a refrigerant used in residential unit’s boil’s at a different point then the older R12 refrigerant used in older residential refrigerator sealed system. Listed below, you will find the normal operating temperature for both freezer/refrigerator.


The temperature in the freezer can vary slightly, 0 to 10 is considered normal operating conditions. Since the fresh food temperature is controlled by the freezer’s air (one compressor units) if the freezer temperature goes above 10 deg Fahrenheit the fresh food temperature will suffer.

Depending on how cold you like your milk, the fresh food side of the unit should be 36-37 degrees.  Groceries kept on the door will be several degrees warmer than items on the refrigerator shelf.

Note, the air vent above the top shelf, this is where the freezer air circulates into the fresh food. Keeping item’s clear of the vent will allow the unit to circulate the air properly,this will help maintain a constant temperature in both sections.

Finding groceries or food related items shoved back against the vent on a service call happens more than you would think. Often times I have had customers come back from the grocery store pack both sides to the max, two days later there unit stopped cooling, forgetting about the item that blocked the refrigerator air vent.

  One Response to “Freezer Temperature Fluctuation”

  1. I bought a brand new Whirlpool model WRB322DMBM with bottom freezer. I put a thermometer ( with external read, so that I could check temp without opening the doors) and loaded refer and freezer to half capacity. On third day I started watching thermometer read out and I observed the freezer temp fluctuate every 10 minutes from -8 degrees to 0 degrees. Every ten minutes or so I would check it and it would change 8 degrees back and forth.

    This does not seem right. I wonder if the defrost switch or something is defective. Anyone?

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