Refrigerator Not Cooling? Know Your Reasons And How to Fix Your Refrigerator

Refrigerator not cooling? You are not alone, and this is not the first time either. Most often, especially when the Summer heat is full-swing, we discover that our cold water is not ‘cool enough. Wait, dint you place it in the fridge last night, and it is not cool enough yet? Well, it is time to take a look ‘inside your machine’ to know what could be wrong.


First things first. What should the temperature of your fridge be at? Well, it should be maintained at 40 F or even lower with the Freezer temperature at 0 F. Sometimes, due to certain ‘conditions,’ your refrigerator does not cool enough. This could be due to numerous reasons. So, How do you fix a refrigerator that is not cooling? Let us help you with a few quick fixes

1. Problems in the Plugs

Sounds silly? But sometimes, the reason for the refrigerator not cooling enough could indeed be simply because it is not plugged in. Double-check the plug point and the power supply to your refrigerator before you jump to unwanted conclusions.

2. The Thermostat

What are the reasons for Refrigerator Not Cooling? Sometimes, the problem is simply that the thermostat of your refrigerator has not been set to the right temperature. So, the best solution is to locate your thermostat and check its temperature settings. If you are not sure about where the thermostat is, check the back of your refrigerator machine if it is the ‘Side-by-side’ type. As for the Over-Under types, the thermostat is a piece of machinery located on the machine’s underside. 

3. A Door Of Possibilities

Has the door been shut properly? Probably not. Quite often, in a hurry, we tend to leave the door open. This can lead to major cooling issues as the warm air is allowed to sneak into the refrigerator. There could be various reasons for this; maybe you dint close the door well enough, or maybe the Gasket lining of the fridge has torn off. So, if you wonder, Why is Your Refrigerator not cooling? Either way, try and recognize and issue and replace the Gasket if need be. 

4. Blocked Circulation

Stocking up too much in the insides? Well, try and leave the ‘vents’ alone. Sometimes we block the air circulation due to boxes and containers crowding too much. For this, it is best to organize and arrange the contents of the refrigerator properly so that enough circulation can take place without and blocks. 

Now, these were some of the ‘lighter issues.’ Sometimes, the issues are much deeper than anticipated. This calls for some professional assistance and in-depth inspection. For the refrigerator not cooling, the problems could be because of certain cases of malfunction or replacement of parts:

The Compressor

What to do when the refrigerator is not cooling? Well, give your Compressor a deep ‘check-out. This is one of the most important parts of the refrigerator that deals with compressing and pushing the refrigerator vapours into the coils. This compressing leads to the increase in pressure that causes the gas to heat up, which cools down and absorbs heat in the process. Consequently, this leads to the ‘cooling effects’ within the fridge. Sometimes the freezer fan is running, but the ‘cooling does not happen. This is mainly because the Compressor start relay has gone bad. 

Where It Is : 

The Compressor is a tank-like part located at the back of the refrigerator. The ‘compressor start relay’ is that part that allows the cords to enter the Compressor. 

What You Need To Do:

Unplug your machine before you check out the Compressor. Push the refrigerator away from the wall to access the required part. Replace the Compressor Relay with a new one. This is cheap and will allow you to understand if it is your Compressor at fault. If not, well, now you have got yourself the right fix without having to shell out a bomb. In case the new Compressor Relay has been fixed, and yet it fails to cool the right way, then you need to replace your Compressor altogether. 

The Coils

It is the Condenser coils that transfer the Hot gas from the Compressor over to the Evaporator coils. During its journey through the coils at high pressure, it eventually cools down and converts back into the liquid state. Sometimes, the Condenser coils get clogged, and the circulation of the cool air is restricted. 

Where It Is: 

The Condenser coils are either located at the bottom of the machine or the back. These are fixed from the Compressor to the freezer. 

What You Need To Do:

You simply need to clean the coils. For this, disconnect the machine and remove the ‘Toe Grill.’ Use a coil brush, clean the insides of the coils as you ‘throw out the dust’ from within the Condenser coils. Now reinstall the toe grill and fix back the condenser coils after you have cleaned up. 

Condenser Fans

With all that rapid heating and cooling taking place, you do need a ‘fan’ to offer an overall cooling effect. This job is done by the Condenser Fan that runs along with the Compressor. In case the fans are not working properly, the subsequent temperature rise is not checked. This leads to overheating with the fridge not working properly.

Where It Is:

The Condenser fan can be located in between the Compressor and the Condenser coils at the bottom cabinet. However, one must take note that refrigerators that have condenser coils at the back do not have a fan. 

What You Need To Do:

Check if the Condenser fan is spinning freely and does not have any obstacles that restrict its movements. Sometimes, dust accumulation can lead to the fan not working properly. If there are no obstacles, then maybe you need to replace the Condenser fans. 

Evaporator Fans

Ever wondered where the blast of cold air comes from as you open the fridge door? Well, it is because of the Evaporator fans blowing the cool air from the fridge. It functions by pulling the sir across from the Evaporator coils, cools it, and then pushes the cool air through the freezer and refrigerator. In case the Evaporator fan does not work along with the Compressor, there are chances for your machine to overheat over time. 

Where It Is:

The Evaporator fan can be found behind the Freezer wall. To reach out to it, one must empty the contents of the refrigerator. 

What You Need To Do:

In case the Evaporator fan is not working, you will need to replace the fan. To do this, get yourself a new motor. Do the right fixing up, and your cooling will be as good as new. 

Air Damper

This is the part of the refrigerator that deals with controlling the amount of cold air that is shared from the freezer to the fridge. In case the Air Damper fails to function as required, chances of the temperature rising within the machine can occur. 

Where It Is:

You can get hold of the Air Damper in between the fresh food section and the freezer of your fridge. In the case of the side-by-side fridge, the air damper can be found on the upper left corner of the insides of the machine. 

What You Need To Do:

Simply get a brand new Air Damper and replace it with the new one in your fridge. You might want professional help to do so. 

The Defrost System

How to Fix Refrigerator Not cooling? Maybe you need to fix the defrost system first. 

The Frost-free refrigerator type comprises the Defrost system. The main purpose of this system is to initiate the cooling, and the defrost cycle. The two main parts of the Defrost system are Defrost timer and Defrost heater. During this cycle, the Defrost timer switches between the defrost mode and the Cooling mode. Sometimes the Defrost timer stays stuck at the cooling mode. This causes frost build-up all across the Evaporator coil, thus, causing a block to the regular airflow. 

What You Need To Do

Get in touch with your electrician immediately. This might require immediate attention as the refrigerator system fails to understand if it needs to ‘cool’ or ‘defrost.’ 

The Thermister

This is the part of the refrigerator that controls the temperature within. It comprises a sensor that detects the temperature changes and sends signals to the Control board accordingly. The Control board, in turn, regulates the amount of power that needs to be sent to the evaporator fan and the Compressor. Is your refrigerator not cooling recently? Maybe it is the Thermister to be blamed. This happens as both the Compressor and the Evaporator fans fail to function as required. 

What You Need To Do:

You can easily detect a faulty Thermister by using the Multimeter. In case the readings show the change in the Thermister resistance, you need to replace it. 

The Low Refrigerant Levels

Refrigerants or Coolants are the liquids that are responsible for the actual cooing to take place. This is done as the coolant circulates across the evaporator coil during the refrigeration cycle. Cooling takes place as the heat is absorbed from within the fridge and is converted into high-pressure gas. Sometimes, the refrigerant levels are too low in the evaporation coils, which contributes to the cooling not taking place regularly. The refrigerator not working might be a major issuebut you can easily do simple repairs and get into the root of the issue. 

What You Need To Do

Be sure to measure the Coolant levels regularly when you wonder about ‘how do you fix a refrigerator that is not cooling?’.

Refrigerator Not Cooling?: FAQs

The reasons for the refrigerator not working properly could be any of the following:

    • Frosted evaporator coil: The reason for the refrigerator not cooling could be the excessive frost development within the evaporating coils.
    • The Evaporator Fan: The main function of the evaporator fan is to circulate the cool air within the refrigerator. In case the fans stop working as they should, the temperatures within the fridge compartments can rise, leading to ‘low cooling effects. 
    • The Defrost System: Basically, the Defrost timer does not work as required, causing it to not work under the Cooling mode. This causes frost development within the Coils leading to the circulation of airflow being blocked. 
    • Faulty Compressor: The Compressor is the ‘heart’ of the refrigerator. In case the fridge compressor running but not cooling can lead to the cooling cycle will not being initiated as expected.
    • The Refrigerant levels: Sometimes, the quantity of coolant within the coils reduces, causing insufficient cooling. 
    • The Dirty Coils: The condenser coils get ‘choked’ with dirt over time. This can cause a blockage in the flow of heat out of the coils during the cooling cycle.

The first thing to check is probably the plug and the power supply to the appliance.

The best way to diagnose the refrigerator problem is to check all the parts of the appliance regularly before you zero on the main issue.

Well, the best way to know if the fridge compressor is not working is by paying attention to the ‘noises’ it makes. Usually, the Compressor switches on and off. In case the Compressor stops working, you will fail to hear the regular ‘Humm’ or the motor running. In case you have a doubt, pull the fridge away from the wall and stay close to listen to the right sounds. 

Free, if you could do some inspection yourself. However, the average cost is:

The gas stove can be deep cleaned by the following steps:

For the Stovetop:

    • Take a cleaning agent like Baking soda and sprinkle it on the gas top.
    • Cut lemons in half and use the same to give the top a good scrub.
    • Wipe clean using cloth soaked in water.

For the Insides of the stove:

    • Take two to three containers and fill them with three parts vinegar and one part water
    • Preheat the Oven up to 200 F
    • Place the containers inside for 20-30 minutes and turn off the stove.
    • Leave overnight and wipe clean with a water-soaked cloth the next morning.

For the Grates and the Burners:

  • Make a solution mix of Baking soda and Vinegar.
  • Remove the grates and the burners and place them inside zip lock bags.
  • Spray the parts generously with the cleaning solution and close the zip lock bag.
  • Leave overnight and rinse well with plain water the next morning. 

To remove oil stains, it is best to make a paste of three tablespoons of Vinegar, Three tablespoons of Baking Soda, and some hot water. Apply this paste over the oil stains and leave for a few minutes before you wipe them off.

Refrigerator Not Cooling?: The Conclusion

The reasons for the refrigerator not working properly can be plentyHowever, one must bear in mind that it is an electronic appliance at the end of the day and needs maintenance accordingly. Sometimes, all you need to do is simply replace your unit. The average life span for the refrigerator is 12 years. This greatly depends upon the kind of care you have ‘offered’ to the machine. So, if you still are facing repeated problems from various parts of the refrigerator despite repairs and replacements, simply get a brand new fridge altogether.

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