How to Adjust the Temperature on a Kenmore Refrigerator


Across the spectrum of home refrigerators, most brands, including Kenmore, have similar temperature problems and solutions. Learning to regulate the temperature control is the first step. Food placement within it can make or break your refrigerator. Avoid common mistakes and keep your refrigerator running smoothly and avoid unnecessary repairs.

Things You'll Need

  • Refrigerator
  • Thermometer
  • Set the temperature control. Dials range from "cold" at 0 to "colder" at the highest number. If the refrigerator is new, initially set the dial half way, said Christina, a home appliance specialist at Sears in Silverdale, Washington. Dial indicator numbers vary. Some go up to 5 or 6, some to 10. Select the midpoint and wait 24 hours before readjusting. If the model has a digital control system, follow Kenmore's instructions for set up. Many are preset at the factory.

  • Check the internal temperature by placing a thermometer in the center of the refrigerator. Leave it overnight to get an accurate reading. A temperature between 32 degrees F and 40 degrees F in the refrigerator is recommended for food quality and safety. On dial models, the control regulates both the refrigerator and freezer temperatures. Roll the dial one number, clockwise for colder and counterclockwise for warmer. Wait 24 hours before adjusting again. For electronic panel models, use the arrow keys saying "cold" or "colder." Temperatures for each compartment may be shown numerically on the panel.

  • Keep food away from the rear of both the refrigeration and freezer compartments. Air needs to circulate for proper temperature function. Many models have fans in the rear of the freezer. Don't block fans or vents with food. Wipe up spills as soon as they happen because liquids can gum up or freeze in small vent holes that are necessary for temperature control.

Tips & Warnings

  • The indicator words of "cold" and "colder" can be baffling. Generally, "cold" is the warmest and "colder" is the coolest. On dial models, "cold" may be at number 0 or 1 and "colder" is shown at the highest number.
  • Changing the temperature too abruptly will put undo stress on the equipment.
  • Warmer weather will require most refrigerators be checked and adjusted seasonally.
  • Fill the freezer at least three quarters full at all times. Use bags of ice if necessary. This will help the refrigerator run most efficiently and will lower the cost of electricity.

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