I checked my freezer temp., when it was somehow empty the thermometer indicated range between -20 to -4C (depend on opening and closing the door) and when I put stuff inside (50% full) indicated -6 to -10C, I have located the thermometer in the freezer, my fridge is a 12ft regular refrigerator and freezer with separate door, the refrigerator works well, my concern is if the thermostat or timer works? since I could not reach -18C when there are stuff in the freezer

  • 1
    How long did you give it to come to equilibrium after filling it? If it had to freeze half its volume worth of food, it might take quite a while, but eventually it should come to the same temperature as it would empty. Also, assuming you can't control freezer and fridge temperature separately, what temperature is your fridge holding?
    – Cascabel
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 4:50

1 Answer 1


-18C (0F) is ideal, but freezer temps fluctuate, usually with -18C at the low end of that fluctuation. It sounds to me that your freezer is fine. Your food will be fine while you scope out and buy a thermometer that you can move to different parts of your freezer, like this:


Note from that picture that the "safe" zone includes a range just below freezing. The ideal temp of -18C is about quality, not safety.

One like this takes a bit of installation, but it monitors the temperature of your freezer constantly, without you having to open the door to read it: $25 Refrigerator/Freezer Monitor

For more information from a very reliable (if very conservative) source, see what the FDA has to say.

  • This is a very minor point, but there are a few bacteria types that cause foodborne illness which can grow (very slowly) even at 30-32F, depending on the texture of the food. It's hard to note that on a thermometer dial, but you do want to keep everything in your freezer at least at 29F (-2C) or below for food safety reasons. Of course, if your freezer gets warmer than that, you'll likely see the significant degradation of food quality due to temperature cycling before any bacterial hazards would grow enough to be significant.
    – Athanasius
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 16:07

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