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Top Reasons Why Your Refrigerator Isn’t Cool

Apr 2022

It’s unpleasant to realize your refrigerator isn’t cool at crucial points. Imagine realizing this fault at the point where you need a cold drink to quench your thirst. Or you open your refrigerator, and a stench of spoiled food hits you due to the refrigerator malfunction. 

At such points, the prevalent question in your mind will likely be, “why isn’t my refrigerator cold?”. Different reasons can contribute to why your refrigerator isn’t cold. And we’ll highlight those reasons in this article. 

Alongside, we’ll provide DIY fixes that can help you get your refrigerator back in shape in little time. 

Let’s go!

Here are the Reasons Your Refrigerator Isn’t Cool

At times, nothing is worn or spoiled in your refrigerator despite it not cooling. Sometimes you only need to check a component and adjust it to get your refrigerator running normally. 

Therefore, here are some surface reasons your fridge isn’t cold and how to fix them. 

1.  Refrigerator Isn’t Plugged or Properly Plugged

This reason may sound odd and too ordinary. But, several homeowners find themselves enlisting the services of fridge technicians who come to find out they only need to plug in the fridge properly.  

So, don’t jump to conclusions yet. Confirm your fridge’s connection to power before concluding it has a cooling problem.

2.  The Thermostat Has Been Turned Down

This reason may also sound ridiculous to be why your refrigerator isn’t cool. But truly, your fridge can stop getting cold if its thermostat is turned down. 

Therefore, find your refrigerator’s thermostat and set it to the right temperature. 

For refrigerators, the right temperature for ideal food storage is 4 °C (40 °F) or lower. And for a freezer, the best temperature setting is -18 °C (0 °F) or lower.

Meanwhile, side-by-side refrigerators have their thermostats behind them. On the other hand, over-under fridges have theirs under them. 

3.  Refrigerator Door Isn’t Closing Properly

Your refrigerator not getting cold can also be due to a loose gasket. Refrigerator gaskets are the flexible elastic strips around the edges of fridge doors. They ensure there isn’t a leak of air out of your fridge or into the device.

A loose gasket will lead to your refrigerator door not closing properly. And this malfunction can be a reason your refrigerator isn’t cool.   

So, examine the gaskets well for wear or tear. And check that the doors are closing perfectly. You’ll know there’s an issue with your refrigerator if its lights aren’t going off even after closing the door.  

If you notice the above, you may need to replace your gaskets. They may be torn or too slack to properly close your fridge. After replacement, your refrigerator should start cooling normally. 

refrigerator isn't cool

4.  Cold Air Can’t Circulate Proeprly

Most homeowners think anything in a refrigerator must get cool as long as it’s in it. That’s a wrong notion. 

It’s possible parts of your refrigerator aren’t cool due to vent blockage by some items in the fridge. This assertion means you need to arrange items in your refrigerator properly. 

Check that no food box is obstructing the vents in the fridge. Also, constantly declutter your fridge of empty containers or almost empty ones. 

In a nutshell, organize item placements in your refrigerator so cold air can adequately circulate.

The above highlights are surface reasons your refrigerator may not be cooling and how to fix them. But there are times when your refrigerator problem isn’t any of the above. Then, you can ascertain you’re facing more intricate issues with your refrigerator.

The following are deeper problems that can constitute reasons your refrigerator isn’t cool. Please note that the following issues aren’t as apparent as the ones earlier in this article. 

Also, these subsequent problems have DIY fixes. But their complications may need you to enlist refrigerator repair services.

Related Article: How to Fix Your Fridge Leaking Water Problem

5.  Refrigerator Compressor Malfunction

This part of the refrigerator compresses and distributes refrigerant vapour to the coils outside the fridge. 

The distribution pressure forms heat and creates very hot gas. This gas eventually cools and absorbs heat from the refrigerator or freezer.

  • Problem Detection: There’s a problem if your refrigerator fan rotates, but your refrigerator isn’t cool. Your compressor is either bad or its start relay is faulty.
  • Location of Compressor: Most refrigerators have their compressors right behind them. It’s a black steel cylinder-like part. 

The compressor start relay is the part that inputs the cords into the compressor. Simply pull the refrigerator away from the wall to view the compressor completely. 

Additionally, don’t forget to disconnect your refrigerator from the power source before delving into the compressor. This safety precaution is critical. 

How To Fix

Many repair hacks for a hot refrigerator require you to change parts. This hack is one of them. But don’t start by replacing the whole compressor. 

You can first try replacing the compressor’s start relay. This part is cheaper and easier to change, unlike when you need to replace the entire compressor. 

However, your refrigerator may still not get cold after the start relay replacement. This drawback may mean you have to purchase another compressor. 

Compressors are quite expensive, so you should only buy a new one when you’re sure that’s your refrigerator’s problem. Then, go on to replace it carefully.

The first replacement step is disconnecting the old compressor from its suction and discharge lines. Alongside, carefully remove the electric package. Afterwards, cut the low and high lines before unscrewing the bolts holding the compressor.  

Next, remove the ground wire to start the installation of your new compressor. Firstly connect your new compressor to the discharge, process, and suction lines. 

The above lines will need wields to hold them firmly. And don’t forget to use the rubber grommets from your old compressor for your new one. 

Switch over the crossover line before withdrawing the new system and leaving the new charge.  

Lastly, not everyone can go through these processes. Apart from the stress, it’s also a bit risky, especially if you don’t know about appliance repairs. If you feel this way, kindly enlist refrigerator repair services


6.  Condenser Coils Malfunction

Refrigerator compressors produce very hot gas. After the production, the condenser coils’ function is to transport the hot gas to the evaporator coils. 

The hot refrigerant gas travels through the condenser coils at high pressure. In the course of movement, it cools and transforms into liquid. 

Therefore, your refrigerator can stop getting cold if there’s a clog in your condenser coils. Essentially, the device will stop getting cold because there’s poor production of cold air for circulation.  

  • Location of Condenser Coils: Usually, you’ll find condenser coils at the bottom of a fridge or behind it. They pass from the compressor into the refrigerator.

How to Fix

Here’s what to do when your refrigerator isn’t cooling due to malfunctioning condenser coils. 

Firstly, there may be a clog in your condenser coils. And that automatically signifies a need for a thorough cleaning job.

To clean, first, disconnect your refrigerator from the power source. Afterwards, remove the toe grill. You may need to check your owner’s manual to know if your toe grill is a straight pull-off or procedural. 

Use a coil brush to dig into the condenser coils and break down the debris. In addition, you can vacuum the filth and reinstall the toe grill. 

You may need to call a technician if your refrigerator isn’t cooling after this fix.

7.  Condenser Fan Malfunction

The compressor and condenser coils get extremely hot while executing their functions. But the condenser fan acts as a coolant for both of them while they work. 

A refrigerator can increase in temperature if the condenser fan stops working. Subsequently, the compressor can overheat, damaging the condenser coils during the temperature spike.

  • Location of Condenser Fan: The condenser fan is behind most refrigerators. It’s just right beside the compressor and condenser coils. 

Some refrigerators may not have fans, though — refrigerators with condenser coils behind the unit fall under this category.

How to Fix

When a refrigerator isn’t cooling due to non-rotating condenser fans, here’s how to fix it.

Firstly, ensure there’s no obstruction to the rotation of the condenser fan. This examination is important because dust accumulation or random objects can hook the fan and stop it from spinning.  

You may check the fan and find nothing hindering its blades from rotating. In this situation, your refrigerator isn’t cool due to a faulty condenser fan motor. 

You can easily get one from a random appliance parts seller. Or you can get one from your fridge manufacturer if you can reach them.  

Installing a new condenser fan motor is relatively easy too. Simply loosen the fastening screws holding the old fan first. Then, disassemble the fan from the motor compartment. 

Lastly, remove the binding bracket of the old motor blades and install the new motor.

condenser fan malfunction

8.  Evaporator Fan Malfunction

You’ll notice a pleasantly cool air hits you when you open your refrigerator door. That air is a production of the evaporator fan. 

The evaporator fan drives air across the evaporator coil and cools it. Afterwards, it pushes the air through the refrigerator and freezer. 

Therefore, the reason your refrigerator isn’t cool could be a faulty evaporator fan. When it doesn’t work, your refrigerator can’t become cold.

  • Location of Evaporator Fan: Simply check behind your refrigerator/freezer wall to find the evaporator fan. 

Accessing the evaporator fan isn’t difficult. You’ll only have to empty your refrigerator of all items, including its shelvings.

How to Fix 

The evaporator fan motor may need replacement once you confirm it’s faulty. To replace, first remove the evaporator panel from the refrigerator back. 

After that, find the fan and detach the mounting clip, fan blade, and wire harness.

Furthermore, fix the new motor into the wire harness and encase the motor back into its housing. Then, affix the fan blades and hold them properly with mounting clips. 

Lastly, re-install the evaporator panel and return all the refrigerator items.

9.  Air Damper Malfunction

The air damper is the control panel for air apportionment between the freezer and fridge. Therefore, your air damper needs to seamlessly open and close or else it’ll impact the refrigerator’s temperature. 

The above malfunction will affect the refrigerator’s ability to get cold because air needs to travel from the freezer to the fridge. The fridge can become warm when it doesn’t receive enough air due to a faulty air damper. 

  • Location of Air Damper: You’ll find the air damper just between the freezer compartment and the fresh food part in your fridge. 

Sometimes, the air damper location may be different if your fridge is a side-by-side freezer/fridge. You’ll find it in the upper left part of the refrigerator for this kind. 

How to Fix

Confirm your refrigerator isn’t getting cool due to a faulty air damper. Once sure, firstly remove the air damper by unscrewing the bolts holding the damper cover. Also, ensure to pull off the covers carefully after unscrewing. 

You’ll find the thermostat sensor around the damper. Gently take it off and remove the ice bucket if there’s one in your freezer. 

Unscrew and unplug the motor to move the compartment out of your way. Further, unfasten the rear duct panel to free the tabs fastening the air damper. 

Finally, remove the old air damper and replace it with a new one. Afterwards, carefully reassemble all other parts.

Related Article: How To Repair Fridge Making Loud Noises


We understand how unpleasant it is to realize your refrigerator isn’t cool suddenly. So this compilation of possible refrigerator faults and fixes will keep you one step ahead. 

However, there are times you don’t want to go through DIY repair stress. 

Some of the processes may prove too complex for you as a homeowner. Yet, you still need to get your refrigerator working. That’s where our refrigerator repair services at Prime Appliance Repair come in. 

At our company, we don’t just have competent technicians. Our appliance repair services are the best, from contact to post-repair. 

Call 647-931-8820 to book a technician today.

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