Refrigerator Not Cooling? How to Fix It

Fleet Appliance
February 1, 2023
Refrigerator Repair

A refrigerator can help prevent food-borne illnesses by keeping food at safe temperatures. It also keeps perishable items like meat, dairy, and vegetables in a safe environment, preventing them from going bad. When a refrigerator stops cooling, it may cause the food inside to spoil, if not spotted quickly enough. 

Here’s what to do to maintain your refrigerator, and some common solutions to problems that cause your refrigerator to stop cooling. 

Signs your refrigerator has stopped cooling 

The most obvious sign that your refrigerator has stopped cooling is that the food inside the refrigerator is warm. Additionally, if the interior of the refrigerator is not cold it is a clear indication that the refrigerator is not cooling. Another early sign you may notice is that the interior light has stopped working. If the interior light is not working, it could mean that the compressor is not running or that there is a problem with the wiring.

Why has your refrigerator stopped cooling? 

There are several potential causes for a refrigerator to stop cooling, including:

  1. Dirty condenser coils: The condenser coils are responsible for releasing heat from the refrigerator. If the coils are dirty, the refrigerator may not be able to release heat properly, causing it to stop cooling.
  2. Defrost problem: If the defrost system is not working properly, the evaporator coils will frost over, which can restrict the airflow and cause the refrigerator to stop cooling.
  3. Thermostat problem: If the thermostat is not working properly, it may not be sending the correct signals to the compressor to turn on and off, causing the refrigerator to stop cooling.
  4. Compressor problem: If the compressor is not working, the refrigerator will not be able to cool. This can be caused by a variety of issues, such as an electrical problem, a mechanical failure, or a refrigerant leak.
  5. Fan problem: if the fan in the fridge is not working, it will not be able to circulate the air and the fridge will stop cooling.
  6. Door seal problem: If the door seal is damaged or not sealing properly, it can allow warm air to enter the refrigerator, causing it to stop cooling.

What to do if your refrigerator has stopped cooling? 

If your refrigerator has stopped cooling, there are several steps you can take:

  1. Remove all perishable foods: Meat, dairy products, and vegetables. Place them in a cooler box, or another fridge to prevent them from spoiling.
  2. Check the thermostat: Make sure the thermostat is set to the correct temperature and that it is working properly.
  3. Check the condenser coils: Make sure the condenser coils are clean and free of debris. If they are dirty, clean them with a brush or vacuum.
  4. Check the door seal: Make sure the door seal is sealing properly, if not, it might be necessary to replace it.
  5. Check the fan: Make sure the fan inside the refrigerator is working properly.
  6. Check the compressor: Make sure the compressor is running and not making any unusual noises.
  7. Check for any power issues: Make sure the refrigerator is properly plugged in and that the outlet is functioning. If the outlet is fine, check the fuse or circuit breaker.
  8. Check for any leaks: If you notice any refrigerant leaks, it’s important to call a professional to fix it as refrigerant can be harmful to the environment.

If these steps don’t resolve the issue, it’s best to unplug the unit and call a professional to check and fix the problem, as trying to fix other issues by yourself could cause more damage or even void the warranty.

How to look after your refrigerator 

There are several ways to look after your refrigerator to ensure it runs efficiently and lasts for a long time:

  1. Keep the coils clean: Clean the condenser coils at least once a year to remove dust and debris, which can cause the refrigerator to work harder and use more energy.
  2. Keep the door seal clean: Clean the door seals regularly to remove any food or debris that may have accumulated. This will help ensure that the door seal is working properly and keeping the cold air inside.
  3. Keep the interior clean: Clean the interior of the refrigerator regularly to remove any spills or stains, which can create odors and bacteria.
  4. Keep the fridge well-organized: Keeping the refrigerator well-organized will help the air circulate better and keep the food fresher longer.
  5. Keep the fridge at the right temperature: Set the thermostat to the recommended setting, usually between 37 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit, to ensure the food is being stored at the correct temperature.
  6. Keep an eye on the door gasket: Check the door gasket for cracks or tears, if found, replace the gasket to ensure proper sealing.
  7. Check for any leaks: If you notice any refrigerant leaks, it’s important to call a professional to fix it as refrigerant can be harmful to the environment.
  8. Schedule regular maintenance: Schedule regular maintenance with a professional to ensure that your refrigerator is running at peak efficiency and to catch any potential problems before they become serious.

By following these steps, you can help ensure that your refrigerator runs efficiently and lasts for a long time.

When to call a professional to fix your refrigerator?

Although some problems that cause your refrigerator to stop cooling can be easily spotted and resolved, some issues will require professional help. If you have followed these steps and are still finding that your refrigerator is not cooling, a professional will be able to diagnose and fix the problem. 

Additionally, if the refrigerator is making strange noises, it could be due to a more complicated problem with the compressor, the fan, or the evaporator coils. A professional will be able to spot this and quickly fix the issue so that your food doesn’t spoil.


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