Your refrigerator likely comes set at the factory-recommended temperature, probably a “mid-setting,” but what is that?
If you set the temperature too low, your food will freeze. Set it too high, however, and your food will spoil quicker due to increased bacterial growth.
The recommended temperature for your refrigerator ranges from 35 degrees to 38 degrees.
I keep my refrigerator at 37 degrees and try to keep it stocked well with food, because — believe it or not — a fully stocked fridge holds its temperature better than one with a couple condiment bottles in the door.
But the best test for your refrigerator’s temperature is a beverage. If you don’t like the temperature of your beverage, adjust the fridge. If you think your refrigerator is too cold, increase the temperature by 1 degree and allow 24 hours for the compartment to adjust. Obviously, do the opposite if you think your refrigerator is too warm.
To ensure proper temperatures, air has to be able to flow between the refrigerator and freezer sections.
As shown in the super sweet illustration, cool air from the refrigerator enters through the bottom of the freezer section and moves upward. Most of the air then flows through the freezer section vents and recirculates under the freezer floor. The rest of the air enters the refrigerator section through the top vent and flows down the back of the refrigerator compartment.
Make sure the air vents aren’t blocked by some errant food thing. Otherwise, it might block the flow of air to the refrigerator, which in turn causes temperature and moisture problems and melty ice cream, etc.
Also (word to the wise), last time my refrigerator was too warm — and I had cranked it up to the coldest setting — I (my dad) finally popped off my kick-plate to find a veritable lint blanket.
Lesson: if your refrigerator can’t exhaust properly, it can’t cool properly. So, vacuum the condenser every three months!