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Warm Refrigerator? Common Causes of Appliance Issues

Man Opening Fridge

The refrigerator is an appliance that often gets taken for granted. It's used almost constantly. But, if it does its job correctly, you might not even think about the cooling power of the fridge.

The average refrigerator, depending on the model and how you maintain it, last for 9 to 13 years. Some homeowners get lucky and never have a problem with the fridge. Even though you'd like to go through your refrigerator's entire life without incident, that's not a reality in most cases.

At some point in your appliance's lifetime, you may notice that it's just not cooling like it should be. A refrigerator that's working at a subpar level poses a serious health and safety risk. Undercooled food, especially meat, poultry, fish and dairy products, can quickly grow microorganisms.

To properly cool your food, the fridge's temperature should reach no higher than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The freezer should stay at a frigid zero degrees. If your refrigerator is missing the mark when it comes to cooling your food, take a look at what some of the common culprits are.

Temperature Setting

Not all cooling problems are serious issues. Sometimes a warm fridge has a simple cause that any homeowner can easily remedy. The temperature setting is one such problem.

Your fridge has a temperature control. Depending on the model, the fridge may have a cold-normal-colder type of setting or a number dial. If your appliance seems warmer than usual, take a look at the temperature control. Another household member might have changed it or you might have bumped the dial and moved the setting by accident.

If the setting isn't where it usually is or you want to see if changing it affects the overall temperature, try adjusting it. Keep in mind, a colder setting doesn't take effect immediately. The temperature can take up to 24 hours to change noticeably.

Door Seal

Is the door closed? Overstuffing the door storage compartment or leaving food items sticking out and off of shelves can stop the door from closing completely. Before calling in the repair professional, make sure that nothing is keeping the door from closing properly.

If the door closes properly, check around the exterior to feel for cold air creeping out. A door seal that is no longer working allows air to escape, making it a challenge for the appliance to fully chill the food that's inside. Fixing a worn or broken seal is not a DIY job. You will need a professional appliance technician to either repair or replace it.

Clogged Coils

When was the last time you cleaned the coils? Debris or dust-filled coils can lead to a fridge that doesn't cool effectively. If you've never cleaned the coils or haven't done so in months, clean them before assuming that your fridge needs a full replacement.

Depending on the model, your appliance's coils are either under it or on the back. If they're underneath the refrigerator, you need to either remove the front vent plate and go in through the front or remove the back cover and go in that direction. Coils that are located on the back are either visible or behind a removable panel. Always unplug the appliance from the electric source before cleaning the coils.

If you can't find the coils to clean, don't know where to look, can't remove a back cover, or are in anyway anxious about this process, always call a professional appliance repair technician. The expert will be able to locate the coils and clean them for you. They can also assess the appliance and recommend additional repairs/replacements as needed.

Is your refrigerator too warm? Capital City Appliance Service can assess potential problems and make the necessary repairs.‚Äč