Refrigerator Normal Run Time

For refrigerators and freezers to maintain proper temperature, the compressor will run much of the time. Newer refrigerators have compressors that are designed to run 80% to 90% of the time. This makes them more energy efficient because the greatest amount of energy is used when the compressor cycles on as opposed to when the compressor is actually running.

Average operating temperatures:
  • Upright or Chest Freezer: 0 degrees F
  • Refrigerator: -5 to +8 degrees F (Freezer); 34 to 42 degrees F (Fresh Food)
 
Factors that contribute to run time:
  • In extremely hot, humid areas, run time may approach 100%.
  • Loading the refrigerator or freezer with a large amount of food, especially warm or hot foods.
  • An empty or lightly-loaded freezer. The freezer should be at least 3/4 full to maintain proper temperatures and reduce time.
  • When the door is opened, some of the heavy, cold air slides out of the cabinet, pulling warm air in at the top.
  • Damaged or dirty door gaskets. See Refrigerator Interior and Gasket Care and Cleaning.
  • Blocked air vents in the freezer section.
  • Dirty condenser coils on models that do not have a NeverClean condenser. See Cleaning Condenser Coils on Refrigerator
  • Interior light not turning off when the door is closed.