Refrigerator Won’t Cool? Try Fixing Your Warm Fridge with These Tips

If your refrigerator won’t cool, you may not know how to troubleshoot the problem and get your fridge running again. This guide will walk you through some tips on determining why your refrigerator is warm and how to fix it. We’ll also cover common refrigerator problems that can cause the unit not to cool properly. So if your refrigerator is running but not cooling, keep reading and give a few of our fridge troubleshooting tips a try!

Refrigerator Won’t Cool? Try This…

The average refrigerator, depending on the model and how you maintain it, last for 9 to 13 years. Even though you’d like to go through your refrigerator’s entire life without incident, that’s not a reality in most cases. One of the most common complaints is when a refrigerator won’t cool properly.

A refrigerator not cooling correctly poses a serious health and safety risk. Undercooled food can quickly grow microorganisms, especially in meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products. To properly cool your food, the fridge’s temperature should reach no higher than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

warm refrigerator

Why Is my Refrigerator Running but Not Cooling?

There are a few reasons your refrigerator might be running but not cooling. One possibility is that the refrigerator’s condenser fan motor isn’t working properly. The condenser fan helps circulate air over the refrigerator coils so heat can be released outside the fridge. If the coils are full of dust or lint, they won’t release heat as efficiently, causing the refrigerator to run longer without cooling.

Another possibility is that the refrigerator’s evaporator fan motor isn’t working right. The evaporator fan helps circulate air over the refrigerator coils so they can absorb heat from inside the fridge. If this fan isn’t working properly, it can cause the refrigerator to run without cooling.

It could also be that the refrigerator’s start relay is defective. The start relay helps the compressor start up when the fridge is turned on. If this part is faulty, the refrigerator won’t cool.

Finally, the refrigerator’s temperature control thermostat might be faulty. This part controls how often the fridge’s compressor turns on and off. If it’s not working properly, the refrigerator won’t cool.

How Do You Fix a Refrigerator That’s Not Getting Cold?

You can try a few things if your refrigerator isn’t cooling properly:

1) Check the Refrigerator Temperature Setting

The ideal refrigerator temperature is between 35 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit. This range keeps food safe from bacteria and allows the refrigerator to run more efficiently.

If your fridge seems warmer than usual, the temperature control may need to be adjusted. Another household member might have changed it, or you might have accidentally bumped the dial and moved the setting.

If the setting isn’t where it usually is, or you want to see if changing it affects the overall temperature, try adjusting it. Most refrigerators have a temperature control dial that can be adjusted by turning. Keep in mind that a colder setting doesn’t take effect immediately. The temperature can take up to 24 hours to adjust accordingly.

2) Check the Refrigerator Door Seal

Next, check the refrigerator door seal to ensure it is functioning correctly. Refrigerator door seals, also known as gaskets, are important for keeping the refrigerator cold.

How to Check a Refrigerator Door Seal:

The easiest way to check your refrigerator door seal is by closing the refrigerator door on a dollar bill. If you can pull the dollar bill out easily, the fridge door seal is most likely defective and needs to be replaced.

Next, visually inspect the entire door gasket. Check for rips, tears, or cracking. If there is any damage to the gasket, cold air will be able to escape, making the refrigerator not cold enough. A damaged or defective door seal will need to be replaced by a professional refrigerator technician.

fix fridge door seal

3) Overstuffing the Refrigerator or Freezer

Another possibility is that your refrigerator or freezer is overstuffed. When a refrigerator or freezer is too full, cold air can’t circulate properly, causing the refrigerator to run without cooling.

To fix this issue, simply remove some of the food from your fridge or freezer. Once there is more space for air to circulate, the refrigerator should start cooling again.

If you find that you are constantly overstuffing your refrigerator or freezer, it might be time to upgrade to a larger model.

4) Cleaning the Refrigerator Coils

If you have a warm refrigerator, it may be in need of some simple condenser coil cleaning. The condenser is located on the back of the fridge and can become covered with dust and lint.

clean fridge coils

To clean fridge coils:

  • Unplug the refrigerator and move it away from the wall.
  • Vacuum the coils with a brush attachment. Be sure to get rid of all the dust and lint that has accumulated on the unit.
  • Wipe down the area around the coils with a damp cloth to remove any debris that might have fallen on the floor.
  • Plug the refrigerator back in and turn it on.
  • The refrigerator may take approximately 24 hours to reach its temperature setting.

How Do I Know if My Refrigerator Compressor Is Not Working?

If your refrigerator isn’t cooling and you suspect the compressor might be at fault, there are a few ways to tell. First, check to see if the compressor is running. The easiest way to do this is to listen for a low humming noise. If you don’t hear anything, the compressor might be defective.

Another way to tell if the compressor isn’t working is to feel the back of the refrigerator. If it feels warm, the compressor might be overheating. If your refrigerator doesn’t cool due to a compressor issue, you will need to call a professional refrigerator technician to diagnose and repair it.

At Capital City Appliance Repair, our refrigerator technicians are experienced in diagnosing and repairing a variety of refrigerator problems. We will come to your home, diagnose the problem, and provide a solution that fits your needs. If your refrigerator won’t cool, contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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