I can understand your concern about the sides getting hot. The information you have received is good. The sides and mullion will be warm and sometimes can get hot, which is normal. The reason for this is because there is a hot gas line from the compressor that runs in this area. This is a very hot gas and as long as the compressor is running, this hot gas is flowing through this line. It can cause the area to get very hot, if the compressor stays on for an extended period of time. This can happen when, there is a lot of food put into the refrigerator that needs to be cooled or during times when the doors are frequently opened, for long periods of time. As it starts cooling back down inside, the cabinet will also cool down. If the condenser fan quits, it will cause the cabinet to get excessively hot but the refrigerator and freezer will also stop cooling. If both sections are cooling, it's working ok. If you would like more assistance, additional details will be needed.