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How to Adjust Fridge Temp

Dial thermometer sitting on shelf in fridge next to strawberries, eggs, and a tomato

To store your food safely most people around the world have a refrigerator to help them keep their food from spoiling. Yet, those appliances are not foolproof as someone can accidentally move the temperature control to the wrong setting and warm the interior of the fridge.

When that happens, food spoils. Knowing how to adjust your fridge’s interior temperature is vital for food safety. To learn how to do it, just continue to read our article. It has the information you should know about.

All Refrigerators Are Not the Same

Flat wooden thermometer laying on wire wrack shelf in fridge

No matter where you go in the world, you will find refrigerators in different shapes, sizes, and colors. Then, they may all have different ways to control the interior temperature levels. It can get confusing when it comes to monitoring the interior temperature and where to set those controls.

Some of the fridges have dials you turn one way or the other to raise or lower the temperature. Others may have a slide you move back and forth, and more sophisticated models may have a touch pad where you use your fingertip to set the temperature level.

No matter the style of the temperature control you still need to learn how to adjust your fridge’s temperature level. In all cases, you should read your owner’s manual to learn which direction to go to turn the temperature down and which way to go to turn it up.

A little caution is needed as you can adjust the temperature to a level that is too low for your food as well as go too high.

The Best Tool to Help You

Close up of dial thermometer reading 0 degrees

There is one special tool that will be vital in your adjusting the temperature no matter what type of control you have in your fridge. That tool is a thermometer designed to work in a refrigerator.

It has a special marking that lets you know when you have reached the right temperature level and that marking is very clear, so you have no confusion. The letters REF will indicate when your fridge is at the right temperature level.

To use this thermometer, simply place it on the middle shelf and wait about 5 hours before checking it again. The best thermometer to use would be metal as they are sturdier and give more accurate readings.

After 5 hours check to see where the needle is pointing and if it is pointing to the REF letters then you do not have to make any adjustments. If the needle is pointing to the warmer end of the scale, then you know you have to adjust the temperature to a cooler level.

Then when it is pointing to freezing, you know you need to reverse the control and go a little bit higher.

How to Adjust the Temperature in Your Fridge

Finger pressing button on fridge controls to change temperature

Most fridge models have one of three ways to adjust the temperature level in your fridge. These controls are simple to operate, and you should be familiar with your owner’s manual as it will tell you the directions you need to go to adjust the temperature.

1. The Dial Control– This is probably the most well-known method of adjusting the temperature, but they do not all look the same on every fridge. Normally, you turn the dial to a higher number to cool the fridge down.

Use the thermometer to double-check the setting to make sure you get it right. Adjustments should be made in small increments

2. The Slide Control– This is as easy as the dial to use. When you want to go colder or warmer you simply move the slide in the right direction. If you are lucky, your fridge model should have the word colder on one side of the slide.

That tells you the direction to go to make the interior of your fridge cooler.

3. The Touchpad Control– Technology is always upgrading how appliances work. Many modern fridges come with a touchpad that controls all the settings inside your refrigerator.

All you have to do to reset the interior fridge temperature level is to get to the screen that controls that function. Once there, you tap the + or the – buttons to adjust the temperature.

If you are not sure how to get to that screen, read your owner’s manual. It has the directions for your particular model.

In all cases, you should have the fridge thermometer inside the appliance. After you have reset the temperature level go back a few hours later and see if you made the correct adjustment.

The thermometer will guide you and make sure you have the temperature at the right level, so your food does not spoil.

Teal colored fridge against a blue-grey wall

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