8 Reasons Your Refrigerator Isn’t Cooling and How to Fix It

Like the majority of American households, you have a refrigerator with a freezer that you regularly fill with perishable food items to keep cool. Only this time, there’s a problem. For some reason, your refrigerator is not cooling, and you can’t figure it out. Well, luckily for you, Logan Master Appliance is here, and this article is going to cover eight reasons your refrigerator and freezer may not be cooling, as well as how to fix the problem in each individual case. Follow along for information on how to diagnose your refrigerators problems, as well as how to fix issues ranging from the vents to the power source.

Common Refrigerator Problems

Why is your refrigerator not cooling? Is your refrigerator not cooling but the freezer is? There are many common problems that may occur to your refrigerator, preventing it from operating properly. It is important to perform regular maintenance and cleaning on your refrigerator as well as to practice good refrigerator hygiene, which is simply making correct and efficient use of your fridge. You should wipe down every non-electrical part of your refrigerator with a damp rag every few months to make sure that the various parts stay clean and fully functional. You should also check for ice build-up around critical components, as this can potentially cause issues as well. Additionally, you should organize your refrigerator and freezer in such a way that important operating components remain unobstructed. This means not placing food in a way that impedes the function of the vents or bumps the thermostat, as this can cause issues. Here are some common refrigerator problems that can cause your fridge not to cool properly and how to fix them.

1. Power Source

This is the most common reason for a refrigerator to stop cooling. There may be a problem with your fridge’s power source, causing not enough of an electrical charge to reach the instruments for proper operation. Make sure that your fridge is properly plugged in, and then open it. If the light doesn’t turn on when you open the door, then you have a problem with your power source. To fix this, check that all the wire connections are secure, and repair or reattach any that have come loose.

2. Thermostat Isn’t Set

Another common reason for your refrigerator to not be cooling is if the thermostat isn’t set. Ideally, your refrigerator should be set between 32ºF and 40ºF, and if it is not, then it will not cool properly. You may have accidentally bumped the thermostat out of range, depending on its location within the fridge. The best way to fix this issue is to remove the food from your fridge if it is obstructing the thermostat and then make sure that the thermostat is set to the proper temperature.

3. Blocked Vents

Your refrigerator needs proper airflow in order to cool effectively, and blocked vents will prevent this. Overfilling your fridge and freezer with food can block critical vents and prevent your refrigerator from cooling properly, so to fix this, you’ll want to organize your food in the fridge in a way that does not obstruct proper air circulation. Less commonly, your vents may have frozen over. The way to check for this is to simply look at the vents in your fridge and notice any frost that may have gathered on it. If this is the case, to fix it, you simply need to remove the ice, and your fridge should resume normal working order.

4. Dirty Condensor Coils

You might have dirty condenser coils preventing your fridge from cooling properly. Over time various types of dirt and debris may gather on your fridge’s condenser coils, particularly pet hair, and this can cause your fridge to stop functioning properly and not remain cool. Blocked condenser coils can make it more difficult for the heat generated by your fridge’s operation to be released. The condenser coils are generally located on the back or bottom of the refrigerator. The way to fix this issue is to clean your condenser coils. You can use a damp rag to do this, and you should regularly clean your condenser coils every three to four months if you have a lot of pets or a particularly greasy kitchen.

5. Faulty Gaskets

Gaskets are the soft, flexible seal on your refrigerator doors that keep the cold inside it and seal the fridge internally. These gaskets prevent cold air from escaping your fridge, and having an issue with them can absolutely cause your fridge to stop cooling. If you suspect that faulty gaskets are at fault for your fridge’s problems, then you should feel all around the edge of your refrigerator door to try to notice if you feel any air escaping. If you do, then you should clean your gaskets with a damp rag around the affected area. If the problem continues, you may need to have your gaskets replaced by a technician.

6. Clearance Issue

Your fridge needs adequate space to work properly. The way a fridge works involves heat being released as the coolant condenses into liquid form, and this requires adequate clearance. Your refrigerator needs at least a half inch of clearance on the sides and at least an inch in the ABC in order to operate properly. To fix a clearance issue, check your fridge’s installation manual and see how much clearance it requires. Then you should move your fridge so that it has adequate space to work properly.

7. Faulty Condenser or Evaporator Fan

Another reason your refrigerator is not cooling properly is problems with the condenser fan(s) and compressor. Almost all refrigerators have at least one condenser fan, and these fans are essential for the operation of the machine. This fan keeps the condenser coils cool, thereby preventing the compressor from overheating, which can easily prevent your fridge from operating properly. To address this problem, you should check behind your fridge (where the condenser fan is typically located) and observe whether the fan is working. The same goes for the evaporator fan motor behind your freezer wall, which can build up frost. If either is not working, then you should schedule an appliance repair appointment with Logan Master Appliance.

8. Circuit Board Issues

The final most common cause of cooling issues in fridges is an issue with the circuit board or temperature control board of the fridge. The circuit board is more or less the brains of the refrigerator, regulating the temperature controls as well as the operation of the individual fridge parts. A circuit board malfunction can have catastrophic effects on a fridge’s operation. Finding this issue is really a diagnosis of exclusion. Meaning if, after checking all of the other possibilities on this list, you still cannot diagnose your refrigerator’s problem, then you may have a circuit board problem. Unfortunately, there is not much in terms of home fixes for refrigerator circuit boards, so you will have to make an appointment with a Logan Master Appliance technician if this is the issue.

Logan Master Appliance

We offer all the latest and greatest in appliance technology, as well as repair and replacement parts for dishwashers, dryers, washers, ovens, and more. If you are looking for new home appliances or are experiencing a failure with your current ones, we should be your first call at (937) 853-8987. As a family-owned business for over one hundred years, we value our customers as individuals and devote personalized care to each and every customer. Our technicians are highly qualified and trained, and they are always our own employees, never contracted out.