Troubleshoot a side-by-side refrigerator that is not cooling by ruling out some common causes of the problem. If a side-by-side refrigerator is not cooling, taking some time for troubleshooting and repairing the problem can save the cost of a service call.
Newly installed refrigerators take some time to reach the ideal operating temperature. If the refrigerator has been out of service, the doors have stood open for an extended time or it is new, ensure the plug is in the power outlet and allow it to run at least 24 hours. Use an inexpensive refrigerator thermometer to check the inside temperature.
Give the unit time to cool hot food. Moving large amounts of hot food into a refrigerator causes it to operate at a higher than normal temperature. Divide food into small flat containers to cool it quickly so the unit returns to its normal operating temperature.
Check the ambient temperature. Manufacturers design refrigerators to operate at room temperatures between 55 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit. If the home is outside of this range, the inside could be warmer or cooler than normal.
Keep the vents between the refrigerator and freezer open. These vents allow the cold air to move from the freezer into the refrigerator. Large containers of food on either side of the vent block the airflow, causing the refrigerator side to get warm.