Fridge Not Cooling? Here's What to Check and How to Fix It

Your refrigerator is an important home appliance that operates 24/7. It's an essential kitchen application that stores food, and keeps produce fresh. They are exceptional in that they can function for long periods without requiring repair. However, it is critical to repair them if they experience a problem.  

In this article, we are going to highlight and discuss various DIY hacks to help you keep your refrigerator in perfect working order. This includes answering questions such as, Why is my fridge not cooling? How to fix a warm fridge, and FAQs about fridge not cooling. However, it's essential to understand that the first step begins with selecting the refrigerator you need that best serves your needs.  

Why Is My Fridge Not Cooling? 

Before contacting a specialist to take a look, there are many simple diagnostic tests that must be performed to identify the issue and resolve it. Establishing precisely what's wrong is the first step in proper refrigerator repair work.  

A loose connection or a defective socket could be the source of the problem. All you need is to fix the plug and prevent the issue. 

Skilled technicians also use these basic techniques to determine whether the issue can be resolved quickly before moving on to more complex techniques.  

Here are some reasons why your refrigerator is not cooling:  

  1. The power source is turned off 
  2. Electronic circuit board fault 
  3. Broken or jammed condenser fan  
  4. The thermostat is incorrectly set 
  5. Obstructed vents limiting air circulation 
  6. Dirty condenser coils 
  7. Defective or soiled gaskets 
  8. Insufficient room 

Even though most of these issues can be resolved and handled similarly to a refrigerator that isn't cooling, keep in mind that if you examine all these parts, and they are all in good working order, you may need to replace the circuit board, which a technician should address. 

How to Fix a Warm Fridge 


Warm refrigerators can spoil food, incurring expenses and creating stress. However, most people are unable to repair a refrigerator's electronic control board since these boards are intricate and require professional attention. Be sure to get help from a reputable home appliance repair if you feel that a broken control board is the cause of your refrigerator's issues. 

To help resolve this issue, we compiled some valuable tips on the typical causes of a warm refrigerator. 

  1. Overstocked refrigerator 
  2. Faulty evaporator fan 
  3. Malfunctioning electronic control board 
  4. Frosted-over evaporator coils 

Check the Refrigerator Thermostat 


The US Department of Agriculture states that food bacteria begin to multiply more quickly at a temperature of about 40° F (4.4° C); therefore, you should maintain your refrigerator at 37° (2.7°) and the freezer at zero° F (-17.7° C). If the temperature reading on your refrigerator is different from how the interior feels, check to see if the problem is actually with the thermostat. 

Purchase a separate refrigerator thermometer to determine the temperature difference. If the inside of your refrigerator is brighter than the display, lower the temperature by a few degrees and wait 24 hours to see if the temperature drops. If the refrigerator temperature marginally decreases, continue lowering it gradually until you reach the required 37° F (2.7° C) level. However, if the refrigerator's temperature doesn’t change, consider cleaning the compressor coils, as dirty coils might reduce cooling. The coils are positioned at the back of the fridge. Clean with a soft-bristle brush. A professional repair may be necessary if the refrigerator still doesn't cool down. 

Ensure the Fridge Is Getting Power 

Checking to see if the power supply is on can allow you to determine whether your refrigerator is working. In most cases, the socket could be turned off or faulty, which is why your fridge is not working.  

You may also test the grill's temperature on the back of your appliance by placing your hand there. You don't have a power problem if the back of it is warm and the light is on. Here are quick steps to help you ensure that your fridge is getting power. 

  1. Verify that the plug is correctly inserted  
  2. If not, make sure the plug is correctly positioned  
  3. You will also need to test the socket to determine if it's properly working  
  4. If it's working, move to the next step 

Check the Seals on Your Fridge Doors 


The seal, also known as the gasket, seals your refrigerator and stops the cool air produced by the refrigerator from escaping. It also helps maintain a constant temperature that saves electricity use. Therefore, you need to check the seal to ensure it fits snugly. If not, proceed to implement the following quick fixes: 

  1. Purchase a one-size-fits-all gasket  
  2. Cut it to the necessary length  
  3. Carefully unscrew the old seal  
  4. Install the new seal around the doorway, starting from the top of the door and down the sides, ensuring that it lies flat and is free of any ridges before snipping it off 

Check the Condenser Coils 

It would help if you always keep your coils clean. For the refrigerant to cool the air inside the refrigerator, the condenser coils must release heat. The refrigerator's condenser coils are either on the bottom or at the rear of your fridge. You can use a vacuum cleaner adapter as well as a coil brush to clean the condenser coils. The key is to ensure you first turn off your refrigerator.  

It's recommended you clean your coils frequently, at least twice a year. Of course, you can ask an appliance repair expert to clean the coils if you don’t feel capable of cleaning them yourself. 

Ensure the Air Vents Are Clear 

The cooling capacity of a refrigerator depends on proper air circulation. Adequate cooling and drying occur from the flow of cold air. The unit won't be able to circulate cool air if the vents at the back are obstructed. Check if there is a draft of cool air by placing your hand behind the refrigerator. If there is little to no airflow, a clogged vent is probably to blame for the cooling issue. This can affect the refrigerator’s capacity to cool. Fortunately, this is simple to rectify by clearing the obstruction. 

Check the Condenser Fan 

Remove the back panel of the refrigerator and unplug it. The condenser and compressor fan are now within reach. The fridge must be turned on after a brief delay to allow the compressor to start. 

Make sure the fan is also operating. Purchase a replacement fan if the compressor operates but the fan malfunctions. Turn off the refrigerator and direct a pedestal fan toward the compressor if none of the previous steps worked and it continues to get warmer. 

Wait a few moments for the compressor to stop before trying again. Replace the fan if it’s malfunctioning. You need a new compressor relay if neither the fan nor the compressor operates. 

Note Any Unusual Noises 

Finding the source of the noise is the first step you should take. Is it in the refrigerator's interior, bottom, or back? This will help identify the probable problem. 

Noise from the bottom part of your fridge that sounds like a loud rattling suggests a loose drain pan. Any loud noises from the back may indicate an issue with the defrost timer, condenser fan, or compressor.  

Squeaking or rattling sounds from the fridge interior suggest that you need to check the evaporator fan, which pumps air through the fridge and freezer. 

FAQs About Fridge Not Cooling 

Can a Warm Fridge Be Fixed? 

A warm refrigerator could signify a malfunctioning electrical control board, a faulty evaporator fan, or frosted-over evaporator coils, all of which can be fixed. 

How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Fridge That Is Not Cooling? 

The price of refrigerator repairs depends on a few things, including diagnostics fees, parts, labor, and the problems and repair required. These prices may vary from the estimated national average of $250. 

What Is the First Thing to Check When a Refrigerator Stops Working? 

First, inspect the refrigerator's power source, electrical cord, and circuits. Ensure the electrical cord is firmly connected to the socket and also if the socket has a power supply. If the power is working properly, ensure the refrigerator's temperature hasn't been inadvertently changed from its ideal setting. Finally, look out for unusual sounds and check for water leaks.  

Why Is My Refrigerator Running But Not Cooling? 

Most refrigerators commonly have the issue of the compressor not freezing or cooling. Even when it is operating, it occasionally or suddenly may stop cooling. You can typically reset it to solve the issue. If the issue continues, check the evaporator coils to ensure they are in good operating order. Consider cleaning the unit if it has been some time since they were last cleaned. 

Why Is My Refrigerator Not Cooling, But the Freezer Is? 

There may be many reasons why your fridge is not cooling, but the freezer works. In such a situation, you may need to check the evaporator coils, evaporator fan, defrost timer, vents, or thermostat, as they are the major causes of this problem. 


If you have tried to resolve these typical refrigerator problems, but your refrigerator is still not properly cooling or is overheating, consult a professional repair service for assistance. You can also browse through Coast Appliances for the best refrigerators that fit your needs. 

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