Every refrigerator has a built-in temperature adjustment, but it doesn’t offer any guidance to what temperature you should keep it at.
So what temperature should your refrigerator be set at?
Proper Refrigerator Temperature
The best temperature range for a refrigerator is between 36 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit (2.2 to 4.4 degrees C).
Why Not Lower?
The temperature of the refrigerator should not be too low because 36-40 degrees F is sufficient to keep your food fresh. If you go colder the refrigerator can cause the food to freeze and thaw in cycles as it turns on and off. You don’t want your fridge to freeze food in the cold sections (usually in the top back) as this can damage food and make it less palatable or even unusable, for instance with eggs.
One reason you might want to set your refrigerator on the low side is if it is being opened often. Larger families will have people opening the refrigerator more, so you might want to go closer to 36 in order to keep the temperatures of the food more stable — never going above 40 degrees F.
Why Not Warmer
This might seem obvious, but you don’t want the temperature in the fridge to be too warm. Higher temperatures means that food will not last as long in the fridge, this is particularly true of meats, dairy, and vegetables, all of which will see slower mold growth at low temperatures
Warmer temperatures will save electricity cost, but this could come at the expense of more food waste.
Warm fridge temperatures can also come at the cost of some enjoyment in your food. Pulling a nice, cold beer or glass of milk out of the refrigerator is a particularly wonderful experience for many of us, and this doesn’t happy at 44 degrees F.
My Refrigerator Doesn’t Have A Thermometer
It’s a common problem that a refrigerator will have a temperature setting dial, but no visible thermometer. With this method you’ll set the number of the temperature, but not the temperature directly.
The best thing do to is to set the dial in the middle of the temperature range.
Any standard refrigerator thermometer will work, just make sure you don’t buy an oven thermometer because they generally only work from 100 degrees F and up.
Now, you should also check the temperature of the refrigerator by using a thermometer. The thermometer should be placed in the middle of the refrigerator.
Check the temperature. If it is too hot you should turn the dial down. If it is too cold you should turn the dial up.
The temperature of the refrigerator should be checked every few days during the initial setup period. After you know the temperature range then you should check the thermometer and adjust the temperature only as needed.