cooling cycle of a refrigerator

The defrost timer of my side-by-side refrigerator is not working. I have ordered one but it'll take a week to arrive. In the meantime, I use a screw driver to manually switch between the cooling and heating cycles.
I notice that if the refrigerator stays on the cooling cycle, the temperature of the refrigerator side (as opposed to the freezer side) seems to rise. In other words, the refrigerator needs to go through the heating cycle for the refrigerator side to get cool.
I wonder why it is so.
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On Tuesday, June 5, 2018 at 9:33:49 AM UTC-4, Oumati Asami wrote:

The refrigerator side is typically cooled by moving some air past the coils on the freezer side and into the refrigerator side. So, if you put the heater on at the coils in the freezer, the air temp will rise. And you're looking at the air temp in the fridge, which is going to react quickly. The temp of the contents, eg a quart of milk, isn't going to change that much during the brief defrost cycle.
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On Tue, 5 Jun 2018 06:58:45 -0700 (PDT), trader_4

It may just be that those coils are iced up and without the defrost cycle running enough, so no air is getting to the fridge side. It is a common problem with side by sides. The only way to know for sure is to take that cover off the back of the freezer and look. You may find the port at the top partially or totally iced over. When the fan in the freezer is running, you should feel a pretty good breeze at the louvers in the top of the fridge. If it blows significantly harder with the freezer door open, the port at the bottom may be plugged up.
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On 05/06/18 23:29, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

That sounds like it. I just wonder how big the opening is. It seems the opening is blocked within 24 hours of compressor running.
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On Wed, 6 Jun 2018 02:28:01 +0630, Oumati Asami

Without the defrost cycle, humidity is not reduced and it will ice up again pretty fast. Bad door seals will make that worse.
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On 05/06/18 20:28, trader_4 wrote:

What I was trying to say is if the refrigerator doesn't go through the heating cycle, the refrigerator side doesn't cool down. Its temperature actually goes up.
Remember, the defrost timer doesn't work. So, I have to switch the two cycles by using a screw drive. If I let the refrigerator stay on the COOLING CYCLE, when the compressor keeps running non-stop, for, say, one day, the refrigerator side temperature actually RISES, not cool. If I then let the refrigerator go through the heating cycle, the temperature drops.
In short, heating cycle somehow lets the refrigerator side cool down. This may not happen when the heater is on but it is necessary to go through the heating cycle so the refrigerator side will cool.
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