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Refrigerator - Adjusting Temperature Controls

At initial startup both fresh-food and freezer controls should be set at the normal setting or mid point settings.
  • On models with two controls the normal settings would be 5 and C or 5 and 5.
  • On models with a single control the normal setting would be 5.
Wait 24 hours for the temperature to stabilize. Check the temperature in each compartment. At this point adjustments may be made.

Note: Always allow twenty-four (24) hours for the temperature to stabilize whether setting the controls for the first time or making an adjustment.

Testing the Temperature
Temperature measurements in either the fresh food or freezer compartment should never be made of the air. Air temperature fluctuates during defrost and during door openings.

The best way to measure temperature is to place a bulb type or candy thermometer that is capable of reading below zero temperatures directly into a container of food or liquid that has been in the refrigerator or freezer compartment for at least twenty-four (24) hours.

When checked first thing in the morning the temperature reading should be between 34-42 degrees Fahrenheit in the refrigerator section and between -5 and +8 degrees Fahrenheit in the freezer section. These temperatures are characteristic of self defrosting models only.

Non self-defrosting style will have slightly higher readings (5-7 degrees).

Temperature Control Location

Temperature controls can be found in the back of the fresh-food compartment or near the top of the fresh-food compartment.

Adjusting Controls

Top Mount and Side by Sides Prior to 1995

Freezer controls: In a refrigerator, the cold air is circulated from the freezer to the fresh-food compartment via a damper.
The freezer control regulates the damper between the two compartments by controlling the amount of cold air that flows into the fresh-food compartment. The freezer supplies cold air to both compartments.

Fresh-Food Controls: The fresh-food setting regulates how long the compressor runs, and in effect, how cold the entire unit (fresh-food and freezer sections) can become.

Example: In times of high food load such as a holiday or during the hotter summer months you may find it more effective to turn this control up to make the entire refrigerator colder.
You will find the best settings to suit your needs through experimentation.

Monogram® and newer Side by Side Refrigerators

Fresh-Food Controls: In a refrigerator, the cold air is shifted from the fresh-food to the freezer compartment via a damper. The fresh-food setting regulates the damper between the two compartments by controlling the amount of cold air that flows into the fresh-food compartment.

Freezer Controls: The higher the setting, the longer the compressor runs and as a result the colder both sections become. The freezer setting determines the compressor and freezer fan running times. Turning the freezer control to OFF shuts off the compressor and consequently, shuts off cooling in both the fresh-food and freezer compartments.

On the Monogram® and newer Side by Side models both controls are numbered controls.

Single Controls Models: Insert a coin into the slot in the middle of the dial and adjust the control.

Note: The simplest way to determine which control determines how long the compressor will run and in effect, how cold the entire refrigerator can become, is to look for the control with the OFF indicator on the control.