What to Do if Your Refrigerator is Not Cooling Properly

refrigerator repair
Fred's Appliance
December 20, 2016

Opening your fridge to discover that its inside, and all of its contents, are warm rather than cool, is many homeowners worst nightmare. Not only will you be worried about all of your food going bad, but you will likely also be wondering why your refrigerator is not cooling properly, and what you can do to fix this problem. What can make a malfunctioning refrigerator so problematic is that a wide variety of issues can cause this appliance to not cool properly. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot your refrigerator and try to get it running properly again; here are a few troubleshooting ideas you can try on your refrigerator.

Check the Temperature

The first place to start when trying to get your refrigerator working normally again is to check your refrigerator’s thermostat. You may get lucky and discover that your refrigerator’s temperature setting was altered by mistake. Resetting the temperature in your refrigerator to your manufacturer’s recommended level should return your refrigerator to normal after a few hours.

Check the Food Load and Placement in Your Refrigerator

If your refrigerator is not running as cool as you would like, you should also make sure that your refrigerator is at least half-full. As unusual as it sounds, your refrigerator actually has an easier time staying cool if it is full of food, as food containers absorb the cold, and help your refrigerator to maintain a stable temperature. However, at the same time you do not want an overly full refrigerator, as this can prevent the circulation of cold air, and can prevent your refrigerator from cooling properly.

Food placement is also important in helping to keep your refrigerator cool. If you have a lot of food jammed against the back wall of your refrigerator, this could be causing your problem as this can significantly limit air circulation throughout your refrigerator. Ultimately, to help ensure a cool refrigerator, you will want to neither over, nor under, fill your fridge, and you will want to make sure that food is away from your refrigerator’s rear wall, in order to facilitate proper cooling.

Make Sure Your Refrigerator is Closing Properly

Another common cause of refrigerator cooling problems is that, unbeknownst to you, your refrigerator has not been closing all the way. Check very carefully to make sure that large items such a trays, plates, food containers, and pizza boxes that may be preventing the refrigerator door from closing are out-of-the-way. Check to see that the doors can close all the way, and that they do not pop open on their own. It could be that your refrigerator door is not sealing properly and is in need of repair.

Clean the Condenser Coils

The condenser coils are usually located bellow or behind your refrigerator. When these coils become dirty, they will not be able to dissipate heat effectively. Once they become dirty enough, they can actually prevent your refrigerator from maintaining a low enough temperature. Thusly, if your refrigerator is not cooling properly, try cleaning the condenser coils. For safety purposes, unplug your refrigerator first, and then follow the instructions in your owner’s manual for cleaning your refrigerator’s condenser.

These troubleshooting tips can help you to solve some of the most common problems that lead refrigerators to not cool properly. However, if these troubleshooting tips do not work, you will want to have your refrigerator professionally serviced, as there is likely something seriously wrong with your refrigerator, such as a failed part that may need replacing. Contact us to learn more about troubleshooting tips for your appliances, as well as to find out about having your refrigerator inspected and repaired.

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