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What is the right temperature for your refrigerator?

5 minute read |

Keeping your refrigerator at the right temperature not only helps you keep your food fresh, it also contributes to a more sustainable lifestyle in the process. In this article, Electrolux will explain everything you need to know about refrigerator temperature setting and extra helpful tips to keep your refrigerator cool.

What is the right temperature for a refrigerator?


1. What temperature should a refrigerator be?


The ideal temperature setting for a refrigerator is between 1.7-3.3°C. This temperature range helps to slow down the growth of bacteria and prevent food from spoiling.

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It is important to note that different parts of the refrigerator may have slightly different temperatures, so it is a good idea to use a thermometer to check the temperature in different areas of the fridge. For example, the temperature in the door shelves may be slightly higher than the temperature in the back of the refrigerator.

2. What temperature should a freezer be?


The ideal temperature for a freezer is -18°C or below. This temperature helps to keep food frozen and prevent the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms that can cause foodborne illnesses. It is important to note that while the temperature in the freezer should be at or below -18°C, it is also important to keep the temperature as consistent as possible to ensure that the food stays frozen and safe to eat. It is recommended to use a thermometer to check the temperature in the freezer regularly and adjust the temperature settings as needed to maintain the proper temperature.

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3. Should a refrigerator be set to min or max temperature?


A refrigerator should not be set at the minimum or maximum temperature. Setting the refrigerator temperature too low can cause your food to freeze, which can damage the texture and flavor of some foods. On the other hand, setting the temperature too high can lead to the growth of harmful bacteria and spoil your food. It is important to set the refrigerator temperature to the appropriate range of between 1.7-3.3°C and use a thermometer to ensure that the temperature remains consistent over time. If you're not sure about the right temperature setting for your refrigerator, refer to the user manual or contact the manufacturer for guidance.

Read more: How to choose right refrigerator for your home

How do you check your refrigerator temperature?


Based on the ideal temperatures mentioned above, it’s important to know what temperature your fridge is maintaining. Modern fridges such as French door refrigerators or side-by-side refrigerators often have a digital temperature readout inside or sometimes even on the outside of the appliance, making such temperature checks super easy.

If you don’t have a refrigerator with such a readout, we recommend that you buy a refrigerator thermometer. These are specifically designed for use with refrigerators, and you can find them in kitchen supply stores or online. Place the thermometer in a place inside your refrigerator for which you want to monitor the temperature. Leave it there for a few hours before you take the first reading. You can then use this information to decide whether your refrigerator’s temperature control needs to be adjusted.

Read more tips on taking care of your fridge properly:

 

Understanding your refrigerator temperature controls


To make sure that your refrigerator is always at an ideal temperature, it’s very important that you learn how to use it correctly – and that means understanding the temperature controls. Depending on the make and model of your refrigerator, these controls can look quite different, but they usually work either with numbered or named power levels.

Where are the temperature controls on my refrigerator?


On most modern refrigerators, the temperature controls can be found on an interior control panel or on a slider control panel on the outside. Some refrigerators have a temperature control found inside the freezer compartment, which controls both the freezer and refrigerator temperatures. In some older models, the temperature control may be at the bottom or back of the refrigerator. This control may be a dial or slider, and it may be labeled with temperature ranges or numbers.

How do you use refrigerator temperature controls with numbers?


Usually, the numbers on your refrigerator’s temperature controls don’t directly correspond to temperature. That means that if you set your refrigerator to “1”, it will not automatically cool the inside of the appliance to 1 degree. Most often, these numbers are power levels ranging from 1 to 5 or 9, with the highest number standing for the highest power level.

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How do you use refrigerator temperature controls labeled with words?


If your refrigerator temperature controls are labeled with words such as "cold," "colder," or "coldest,", or “low”, “medium”, and “high”, you should first refer to the user manual. See if it provides guidance on how to use the temperature controls. It may also give recommendations for the best setting for different types of food. If you’re unsure, start with the middle setting, which is often labeled as "normal" or "recommended."

Extra tips to keep your refrigerator cool


To make sure the temperature inside your refrigerator stays evenly cool, it is important to make sure that the appliance is not overloaded, as this can interfere with the circulation of air and cause some areas to be colder than others. It’s also a good idea to keep the refrigerator door closed as much as possible so the cold air can’t escape.


An Electrolux refrigerator offers a wide variety of technologies that help you keep your refrigerator cool and your food fresh and tasty. The EvenTemp technology minimizes temperature fluctuations by cooling each shelf individually, creating a more consistent temperature. TwinTech Cooling keeps temperature and humidity levels stable while QuickChill lets you cool large amounts of fresh food quickly.

Browse our range of Electrolux refrigerators:

  • TasteSealFlex ideal storage with 5 temperatures.
  • TasteLockAuto keeps vegetables fresh for 7 days*.
  • TwinTech cooling help preserves taste and texture.
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  • TasteLockAuto keeps vegetables fresh for 7 days*.
  • EvenTemp reduces temperature fluctuations.
  • TasteGuard keeps your fridge smelling fresh*.
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  • TasteSeal keeps fish for 7 days* without freezing.
  • TasteLockAuto keeps vegetables fresh for 7 days*.
  • EvenTemp reduces temperature fluctuations.
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FAQs about refrigerator temperature setting

  • What temperature should I set for my refrigerator?

    The recommended temperature for a refrigerator is between 1.7-3.3°C. However, some refrigerators can go lower than this temperature. It's important to note that setting your refrigerator to a temperature that is too cold can cause your food to freeze, which can affect its quality and safety. If the temperature inside the refrigerator rises above this range, it can cause food to spoil more quickly, and can also create an environment that is conducive to bacterial growth.

  • How can I check the temperature in my refrigerator?

    You can use a refrigerator thermometer to check the temperature in your refrigerator. Place the thermometer in the main compartment or in the area where you want to monitor the temperature.

  • Why is it important to monitor the temperature in my refrigerator?

    Monitoring the temperature in your refrigerator is important to ensure that your food stays fresh and safe to eat. A temperature that is too warm can cause food to spoil, while a temperature that is too cold can freeze certain foods and affect their quality.

  • How often should I adjust the temperature controls on my refrigerator?

    You should adjust the temperature controls on your refrigerator as needed, based on the temperature readings and your specific needs. Check the temperature periodically and adjust the controls if necessary.

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