Thermostat Set Incorrectly
The thermostat is the part of the refrigerator that regulates the internal temperature. Modern digital thermostats are easier to set --- you simply adjust the controls to the desired temperature. Analog, dial-controlled thermostats are a little more difficult --- you select a level of cooling, not a temperature --- and it may be necessary to purchase a thermometer to achieve precise temperatures. The refrigerator should be set to 37 degrees Fahrenheit or 3 degrees Celsius for ideal food storage conditions.
A GE refrigerator with an automatic defrost function occasionally pauses cooling to melt ice from the internal components. The temperature rises slightly during this period while a small heater works to reduce ice. You might hear a frying, sizzling or dripping sound during defrosting as ice drips onto the heater and into the evaporator pan. Defrosting should end automatically after half an hour.
Door Left Open
Misplaced food, packaging or bottles on the door or refrigerator shelves may hold the door slightly open and allow cool air to escape. Rearrange any bulky items that are touching the door, and make sure the rubber door seal touches the refrigerator when the appliance is closed. Split, torn or missing door seals will cause serious problems maintaining a temperature. Minimizing the number of times you open the door will also help sustain a regular temperature.
The refrigerator should be kept in a well-ventilated environment away from heat sources such as radiators, ovens, clothes dryers, boilers and furnaces. Choosing a bad location for the refrigerator will likely cause temperature fluctuations, ice buildup or excessive sound from the motor. Some temperature fluctuation is normal during periods of hot weather.