A few weeks ago, my wife put something in the freezer, but managed to not close it completely. The door alarm didn’t sound as the door was “almost” closed. When we got home, I found that the freezer had started to defrost. I figured that there had to be a way to sound an alarm if the temperature increased too much. I had a Z-Wave Wireless Temperature / Humidity Sensor sitting in my server closet to alert me if the temperature got too hot, so I decided to throw it in the freezer. The specs on the device said it would get down to 14°F, but I gave it a shot anyway.
I set an alarm for > 0°F, 5°F and 10°F. To my surprise and delight, I saw that the device read down to -4°F. However, I kept getting alerted that the temperature was rising and even hit 20°F every few days. This, of course, worried me so I called for service (the refrigerator/freezer is less than 1 year old).
The repair guy came out yesterday and was very patient explaining to me a feature called “adaptive defrost”. This is where a heater in the freezer turns on periodically to defrost the freezer (raising the temperature, obviously). When the heater turns on is based on how often the door is open, how long the compressor has been running and when the heater came on last. So, the huge temperature swings is expected and normal. I kind of felt dumb for having called, but the guy did say that the display has burn in and needs to get replaced, so it wasn’t a complete waste.
I’m really surprised that when I called service, they didn’t flag this and explain the issue. I spoke to my dealer twice and Samsung twice; out of 4 reps, no one mentioned it. I guess they aren’t trained in troubleshooting and find it costs less to just send someone out.
In any case, now that I know the reason for the temperature changes, I set my alarms for 25°F and 30°F and will see what happens; that should be high enough to know if the door was left open.