It’s important to keep food stored at the right temperature to avoid meat and dairy products from developing or growing unwanted bacteria or enzymes. Or, freezing and damaging foods such as salad and dairy products. A fridge that won’t cool down, or one that’s too cold, won’t do its job properly, meaning the food you store in it might have to be thrown out.
Although, generally, fridges do a good job of maintaining temperatures, there are a range of issues that can cause too high or low temperatures in your household fridge.
Knowing how to check a fridge’s temperature will help you determine whether it is suffering from a temperature keeping issue and decide whether you need to repair it.
Most refrigerators that are part of a combination fridge freezer get cooled by the freezer itself, with an evaporator fan in the freezer circulating cold air into the fridge through vents. The air is cooled by several other components, including the condenser fan motor and the compressor, and the temperature they cool the air to is set by the thermostat.
There are several methods of measuring your fridge’s temperature.
Generally, fridges should be between 0° Celsius and 4° Celsius (32°-40° Fahrenheit). Above this level, food will begin to go off. Temperatures above 4° Celsius creates the optimum temperature for bacteria to grow in. Below it, food will start to freeze.
Keep in mind that some temperature fluctuations are to be expected from the door being opened, or new uncooled items being placed into the fridge.
If your fridge is at the wrong temperature, adjust the thermostat accordingly.
The numbers don’t correspond directly to degrees but generally the higher the number, the lower the temperature
If your thermostat doesn’t seem to be changing the temperature, it could be broken and may need replacing. You can confirm whether it’s broken by testing it with a multimeter, which is a basic handheld device for finding basic faults in electrical devices.