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Why Does My Fridge Temperature Keep Changing

Immad Amir
Written by
Immad is a talented home cook and editorial director at Specially Fried. With his culinary expertise, love for gadgets and creative flair, he brings a fresh perspective to the world of food blogging.
Reviewed by

Amelia is the kitchen appliance expert behind Specially Fried. She thoroughly reviews the latest appliances, making sure readers have access to the best appliance insights.

Why Does My Fridge Temperature Keep Changing
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Are you thinking “Why does my fridge temperature keep changing?”

Your procrastination to clean the fridge may be leading you to take it for granted. You will realize this once your fridge starts acting up. Temperature fluctuation is just the beginning of your problems. Understanding the reason behind it may help solve half the problem unless it is a result of something extremely technical. In that case, you will have to take out your fridge’s warranty or get it checked out by a professional.

One of the primary and the most common reasons for such a problem is the clogging of the vents. Sometimes the door seal has become loose and is unable to trap the cool air within the fridge cavity. Another reason for such a problem is the constant opening and closing of the fridge door. This tampers the ability of your fridge to maintain its temperature. Worst case scenario, an electrical component is about to fail.

Do not worry, this article is not here to scare you off but rather to help you understand “Why my fridge temperature keeps changing”. It will focus on the key problems that may be resulting in such frequent changes in temperatures. Along with solutions on how you can solve them at home.  

A quick diagnosis

  • Look around the fridge door for any gaps or loose rubber. Close the door of the fridge and check if it is completely shut. Ensure that the fridge is completely sealed and there are no gaps that are allowing the cool air to leak.
  • Check the thermostat, rearrange the items that are blocking the vents, and clean the coils. For an in-depth guide, read this article on how to do it.
  • Try keeping the temperature at an ideal level for preserving the food for a longer time. You can fix the temperature on your own too by following this insightful guide.

These are some recommended remedies that you can try at home. However, if these fail to work then chances are your fridge needs to take a trip to the service center. But, before finalizing that the problem is out of your hands, continue to read this article on “Why does my fridge temperature keep changing?”.

Some of these questions have been commonly asked by people going through a similar fridge trauma.

Possible reasons why your fridge is changing temperatures

If your fridge temperature is fluctuating, then it is likely that something is blocking your vents. Cleaning the coils might help solve the problem however this may not always be the case.

Sometimes temperature fluctuations happen because you have been opening the fridge doorway too often. It is possible that someone other than you is toggling the temperature knob. Worst case scenario an electrical component is on the verge of failing.

Following are some common reasons that may help you. You can determine what is causing your fridge to constantly change temperatures. I have also written some solutions to further help remedy the problem.

1. Frequent door opening

The most common factor that causes unstable temperatures is the frequent opening of the fridge door. This usually happens when you are hosting a dinner or sorting the groceries. This constant opening and closing of the fridge door cause drastic changes in fridge temperatures.

In such a case refrigerator fails to maintain the fridge temperature therefore resulting in an error on the fridge. This means that the fridge is no longer able to maintain the target temperature

The electronic temperature monitors also have faster response times and display the temperature changes instantly. The temperature jumps can be as high as 5-10 degrees which are understood as abnormal by the monitor. If this problem seems to be on a greater scale, then you might want to consider installing a thermal buffer.

This can be done by attaching a nylon block at the end of the probe, or a bottle of glycol to slow down the response of the system to changing temperatures. This will help measure temperatures much more accurately and precisely without giving you a heart attack!

Here is a guide on transporting a mini fridge that you may find helpful.

2. Improper probe positioning

A poor working compressor is another major factor that can result in the variation in the temperature of your refrigerator. The response time of the electronic temperature monitor hides the actual temperature fluctuations in the fridge cavity.

If you calibrate the readings into a temperature vs. time graph. You will realize that the fluctuating temperature change is periodic. Sometimes the probe of the electronic monitor is wrongly put. E.g. near the evaporator coil or in the air stream coil fan.

You might want to reconsider the position of the probe. The location may not be an ideal one and might be causing the ranging temperatures. Relocating the probe to a place away from the coil or out of the airstream will help curb the issue.

3. Electrical noise

The last issue that we think might be causing the problem is the noise in the monitoring system. This is identified by the large temperature jumps that appear over short periods. This noise in the monitor is a result of the wires from the sensor itself. The signal receiver is in millivolts. If the monitor wires and the appliance wires are way too close to each other. Then there might be a chance that these signals are interfering with the temperatures displayed on the monitor.

To fix this, you need to carefully replace the temperature monitor away from the AC power supply. The use of twisted pair wiring helps. So does shielding the temperature sensor wires. While doing so it is important to keep in mind that cables are earthed in a way that is free from ground loops.

Why does my fridge keep switching off?

The sound through which you may determine that your fridge is turning off is the compressor. The compressor does not operate constantly. Rather, it shuts down once it reaches the target temperature and then switches on again when the temperature drops. This happens to maintain the fridge temperature and also to use the least amount of electricity possible.


Here is an interesting review article on the best mini fridge with glass door for dorms and offices!

How do I reset the temperature on my refrigerator?

  1. First, locate the power cord on the back of the fridge.
  2. Then switch it off and disconnect the power cord from the wall outlet.
  3. Rotating the knob controls the temperature of the freezer and the fridge back to “0” reading. The control is on the inside of the fridge.
  4. Now adjust the temperature that you require.
  5. Allow the fridge some time to adjust to the new temperature.

For more elaborate instructions head over to this article on how to adjust refrigerator temperature control.

If you come across this problem get your fridge an automatic refrigerator temperature monitoring system and still, you’re worried about its unsatisfactory results, then don’t lose hope just yet. These data loggers are sensitive devices and take some time to adjust. The temperatures are recorded without the consideration of external factors interfering with its accuracy.

Final thoughts

Above are possible reasons that answer your question as to why your fridge’s temperature keeps changing. Following these solutions and diagnosis steps can help minimize temperature fluctuations. That is without you having to take your appliance to a service center. The solutions are easy to follow and require the least amount of effort to solve the issue.

Immad Amir
Written by
Immad is a talented home cook and editorial director at Specially Fried. With his culinary expertise, love for gadgets and creative flair, he brings a fresh perspective to the world of food blogging.
Reviewed by

Amelia is the kitchen appliance expert behind Specially Fried. She thoroughly reviews the latest appliances, making sure readers have access to the best appliance insights.

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