Common Reasons Your Refrigerator Won’t Cool

refrigerator not cold enough

Why is your refrigerator not cooling properly? Dirty condenser coils can prevent the refrigerant from releasing heat, warming the internal temperature. But just because the refrigerator loses its cool doesn’t mean yours will follow. Determine the most likely reasons your refrigerator won’t cool with these troubleshooting tips.

Refrigerator Won’t Cool? This Could Be Why…

When your refrigerator won’t cool it can seem like there are infinite reasons why. However, the most common culprits come down to several specific causes. Here’s how to pinpoint what’s behind cooling issues and find the right course of action.

1. Dirty Condenser Coils

Dirty condenser coils are often the reason your refrigerator won’t cool sufficiently. The refrigerant dissipates heat as it flows through the coils, enabling it to create cool air for the refrigerator. Coils that are covered in dust and dirt can prevent the refrigerant from releasing heat and producing cool air. In addition to warming temperatures, you may also notice your refrigerator runs constantly in an attempt to cool down.

refrigerator won't cool

Fortunately, cleaning the condenser coils is a fast and relatively easy process that can restore cooler temperatures.

Here’s how to clean condenser coils quickly and easily:

  1. Refer to your user manual to determine how to access the coils on your model refrigerator. Most are found behind a rear access panel or a front grille.
  2. Disconnect the refrigerator’s power.
  3. Remove the grille or access panel.
  4. Brush in and around the coils with an appliance brush.
  5. Vacuum the coils with a brush attachment.
  6. Use the vacuum’s hose attachment to remove any fallen debris from the floor.
  7. Replace the panel or grille.
  8. Restore the refrigerator’s power.

2. Fan Motor Malfunctions

Refrigerators use two fans to assist the cooling process. The condenser fan keeps the condenser coils cool so the refrigerant can release heat. Meanwhile, the evaporator fan draws cool air from the evaporator coils and blows it into the freezer and refrigerator. If either fan’s blades are blocked or their motors malfunction, you’ll find the refrigerator not cold enough to preserve food.

Most condenser fans are located near the condenser coils, while the evaporator fan can usually be accessed behind a rear freezer wall panel. Check both fans for obstructions like dirt or debris that can prevent the blades from turning. If there are no blockages and the blades don’t turn freely by hand, the motor may have malfunctioned. If multimeter testing confirms motor failure with a lack of continuity, each requires professional replacement.

3. Temperature Control Thermostat is Faulty

The temperature control thermostat monitor’s the refrigerator’s internal temperature, signaling the control panel for more cool air if the temperature climbs too high. If the thermostat malfunctions and doesn’t accurately read the temperature, it won’t signal the control panel and the refrigerator won’t cool as needed.

To test the temperature control thermostat, turn it from the lowest to the highest setting and listen for a clicking sound. If the thermostat is silent and has no continuity, it’s faulty and must be replaced.

4. Start Capacitor Failed

Refrigerator compressors run intermittently, pressurizing and circulating refrigerant to produce cool air. When signaled by the control board, the start capacitor provides the compressor with the electrical current it needs to start running. What happens if the start capacitor fails? The compressor won’t receive power to turn on, leaving the refrigerator unable to produce cool air.

If the start capacitor shows a lack of continuity with multimeter testing, it requires replacement.

5. Broken Temperature Control Board

If the above components are all functioning properly, it’s possible that the refrigerator’s temperature control board is broken. This computerized board processes signals and relays to govern power to the compressor and condenser and evaporator fans. If the control board fails, these components won’t receive the power they need to produce cool air. 

A professional refrigerator repair service should assess all other possibilities before testing and, if necessary, replacing the control board.

Refrigerator no cool? No problem! Schedule fast and reliable service with the experts at American Appliance.

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