Warm Refrigerator Troubleshooting


  • A fan in the unit not working properly
  • Temperature sensor or thermostat malfunction
  • Compressor, evaporator, or condenser issue
  • Problem with door seal or gasket

Core Issue:

  • What to do when temperatures rise in a refrigerator
  • Warm or high temperatures reported in refrigerator section
  • Why is the refrigerator not cooling or won't hold set temperature?
  • Unit does not cool well in warm months or humid, warmer temperatures
  • Food spoils before expiration date or food going bad quickly
  • Refrigerator stopped working

Steps to Verify Issue:

Only a Factory Certified Service technician can determine the exact cause of a cooling issue. For any warm temperatures in a Sub-Zero refrigerator:

  1. Verify the unit is turned on and running for at least 24 hours. If not, wait 24 hours for unit to cool properly.
  2. Verify the unit is not in Showroom mode. This is likely if unit was a product on display in a dealer showroom.
  3. Clean the condenser if not done in the last 6 months.
  4. Verify there are no error codes or service indicators on the electronic control panel. If so, address them individually.
  5. Check the setpoint temperatures for the compartment.
    • On an electronic control panel, 38°F is the factory setting.
    • For a dial control, set the dial between 4 and 6. 1 is warmest, 10 is coldest.
  6. Correct or remove anything obstructing the door from closing.
  7. Verify the door is closed and not left ajar for a long period of time. Turn the door ajar alarm on if it is not on to ensure the door is closing all the way.
  8. New groceries or warm food will raise temperatures for a period of time. Temperatures should return to normal after several hours.
  9. Verify if only one or all sections are not cooling. This information is helpful if service is needed.
  10. Wait 24 hours for the unit to return to normal temperatures after correcting any or all of the above.

See also:


After completing these steps, if the refrigerator is still warm, no further troubleshooting advice is available. Contact Factory Certified Service to schedule an appointment for repair.

Thank you for your request. A Customer Care representative will contact you.

An error occurred. We were unable to submit your request.

Related Questions

Customer Service


Whether you’re shopping for appliances or have questions about those you already own, we’ve got the resources you need. Talk directly to a customer care expert at the Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove service center, or connect with an appliance consultant at an official showroom near you. Get quick answers online, or reach a certified service provider or installer. And much more.

Call us at (800) 222-7820

Customer Care and Support