Methods of operation for refrigerator appliance configurations with a controller, a condenser, at least one evaporator, a compressor, and two refrigeration compartments. The configuration may be equipped with a variable-speed or variable-capacity compressor, variable speed evaporator or compartment fans, a damper, and/or a dual-temperature evaporator with a valve system to control flow of refrigerant through one or more pressure reduction devices. The methods may include synchronizing alternating cycles of cooling each compartment to a temperature approximately equal to the compartment set point temperature by operation of the compressor, fans, damper and/or valve system. The methods may also include controlling the cooling rate in one or both compartments. Refrigeration compartment cooling may begin at an interval before or after when the freezer compartment reaches its lower threshold temperature. Freezer compartment cooling may begin at an interval before or after when the freezer compartment reaches its upper threshold temperature.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
 This invention was made with government support under Award No. DE-EE0003910, awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.