USING THE RIGHT REFRIGERATOR & FREEZER TEMPERATURE SETTINGS
Your fridge and freezer are invaluable appliances that perform best when using the correct refrigerator temperature range of 32ºF - 40ºF (0ºC - 4.4ºC) and a freezer temperature of 0ºF (-18ºC). Learn how to set your fridge and freezer temps for optimal food conservation and how to adjust your settings.
What temperature should a refrigerator be?
Your refrigerator temperature should stay between 32ºF - 40ºF (0ºC - 4.4ºC), with 37ºF being the ideal spot for most foods. Also take into consideration where you’re placing items, since there are certain compartments that will be cooler than others.
Refrigerator doors are slightly warmer, so things that have a longer shelf life like condiments and soda are great items to place in the door compartments. Your deli drawer and back of the fridge are typically the colder parts and should be used for items that are more perishable, like dairy products and cold cuts.
Organize your fridge for optimal performance
Once you have your refrigerator and freezer set to the ideal temperature, organize your food in a way that allows maximum airflow for optimal cooling. Not sure how to do that? Use this fridge organization guide to start.
How cold should a freezer be?
Freezer temperatures should be set at 0ºF (-18ºC) to conserve the quality of your frozen food. A range of -1ºF- 1ºF is still acceptable, though to help minimize freezer burn, it’s better to have your freezer on the colder end of the spectrum.
How do I set the recommended refrigerator and freezer temperatures to keep food safe?
To set or readjust the temperature on your fridge with electronic controls, use the touchpad buttons to update the settings. If you need to lower the temperature and your control pad is the kind that doesn't show temperature degrees, set the control a level higher. If you need to raise the temperature, set the control a level lower.
If you’re not sure how to adjust your settings, refer to your manufacturer’s use and care guide for specifics on how to modify your temperature. Use an appliance thermometer to find the ideal temperature for your freezer, and update your settings accordingly.
Using the recommended refrigerator and freezer temperatures can help ensure your food items do not grow foodborne bacteria. Colder temperatures will slow the growth of the bacteria in food, so that you can enjoy it for a longer period of time. Knowing how long food lasts in the freezer and keeping it in the recommended range will help it taste better and it can help reduce unwanted fridge smells.
How can I keep my fridge and freezer temperatures stable?
Regularly check your refrigerator and freezer’s temperature to make sure that they stay within the recommended range. If your fridge or freezer is one that lists a number 1 through 5 instead of degrees, use an appliance thermometer to figure out which number to keep your settings at.
Avoid cramming food into the fridge or blocking the air vents, since doing so can prevent the air from flowing freely between freezer and fridge compartments. Keep in mind that after restocking your fridge it can take several hours for the temperature to go back to normal levels. Read more on how refrigerators and freezers work and learn how long food lasts in the freezer.
My refrigerator isn’t keeping food cool. Now what?
If you notice that your refrigerator isn’t staying as cool as it needs to, check to see what your refrigerator settings are. Use an appliance thermometer to make sure that fridge temperature is below 40ºF.
If the temperature is above 40ºF, try adjusting the settings, and wait 24 hours before checking again. However, if your fridge is already on its lowest temperature setting, or if adjusting the setting doesn’t fix the issue, read your owner’s manual for more detailed information and troubleshooting.