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Why is My Refrigerator Not Cooling?

Imagine one fine day you open your refrigerator and smell a pungent odour, the food is stale now and the milk has gone bad. Yes, your refrigerator isn’t cooling anymore or at least not the way it should be. Your fridge is supposed to keep your food fresh and long lasting, hence you need to be aware of the reasons that can prevent it from functioning properly.

Having said that, your food won’t go bad the very second your refrigerator stops cooling, but you’ll know eventually. The first step towards refrigerator repair is figuring out what’s causing it. While some of these problems may require the assistance of a certified expert, others may be found and fixed with a little bit of effort.

Effects of a Refrigerator Not Cooling

A refrigerator that’s not cooling can be very troublesome. There are a few signs you can look out for:

  • It will spoil your food to an extent of super bad odour
  • There will be excess condensation of food packing destroying its texture and taste
  • Your refrigerator won’t feel cool upon opening the door instead it will be lukewarm and humid

Furthermore, according to FDA rules, freezers should be set to zero degrees Fahrenheit or lower, and refrigerators should have an internal temperature of no more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Reasons Why Your Refrigerator is Not Cooling and Steps to Troubleshoot

Let’s now go through all the possible reasons why a refrigerator stops cooling, one by one. There might be a few reasons that can go beyond the understanding of a non professional, but we will try to break it down nice and easy:

Refrigerant is Leaking

1. Location of the Refrigerator

One might wonder what the location of a refrigerator has to do with its cooling. But it does! Many times when a fridge is installed in the wrong location it might not function as efficiently as you want it to.

For instance, an indoor refrigerator, what happens if you install it in your backyard or garage? It will not cool the way it is meant to because the setup is not controlled and the temperature might rise and fall rapidly.

What to Do?

  • Install your refrigerator in locations where the temperature is mild and controlled
  • Check power fluctuations in circuits where you plan to plug it
  • Avoid installing it in places that are too hot and humid
How to Fix If Your Refrigerator is Not Cooling

2. The Condensor Coil is Dirty

You might have heard this term more often than not. Well in refrigerator terms a condenser coil regulates the cooling of a refrigerator and over time it might accumulate dust and debris, which might hamper its functioning. Experts at Appliance Medic suggest that these coils should be cleaned after every six months.

What to Do?

  • Unplug the refrigerator
  • Remove the toe grill if the coils are beneath the refrigerator
  • With a coil brush gently push the tool into the condenser coils
  • Clean all the dust and dirt
  • Replace the toe grill once you are done
  • You can try vacuuming the coils too


3. Food Items Blocking the Air Vents

Unlike some refrigerators, side-by-side refrigerators receive cool air from vents located in the freezer. Some double door refrigerators too, have a system where the cool air travels through vents available separately in both the scections. Now these can be blocked when you stuff too much food in it.

get the Refrigerant Leak Fixed

What to Do?

  • Avoid storing large boxes or containers in front of the freezer vents, if you have remove them
  • Try a different section to store such large items where there are no vents
  • Thick layers of ice can also block or clog the air vents. In such a case you can chip the ice clean or try turning off the refrigerator for a while and wait for the ice to melt

4. Door Not Closing Properly

You get something from the fridge, close the door, come back only to see the door didn’t stick properly. This might be due to broken or dirty gasket seals. Gasket seals help prevent cold air from seeping out of the closed compartments.

When these wear out or accumulate dirt they lose their adhesive touch and the refrigerator does not close properly. This directly hampers the cooling efficiency of the refrigerator.

What to Do?

  • Take a damp cloth and gently clean the dust/dirt from the gasket seals
  • In case it has worn out, contact us immediately and let us handle the replacement

5. Refrigerator Supplies Running Low

This is not common knowledge but a good amount of food items stored in the refrigerator actually helps with maintaining its coolness. Less items in the fridge makes it harder to keep a cool temperature, takes too much out of it. But this doesn’t mean overstocking your refrigerator is the key. An optimum amount of food storage is good enough to keep the cooling temperature at bay.

What to Do?

  • Rule of thumb is to keep your refrigerator stocked with up to three quarters of food so that the air can circulate sufficiently.
  • If you don’t have enough items to maintain the optimal storage in your refrigerator you fill up water bottles to give your fridge something more to cool.
  • Overstocking can hamper the cooling effectiveness, so try to keep it balanced.

6. Inaccurate Temperature Settings

When a refrigerator isn’t cold enough, the first and simplest thing to do is usually reset the temperature dial. Find out what temperature the fridge is set at by looking at the dial or the digital control panel. This is no one’s fault, sometimes to balance the cooling in one section we tend to change the settings in another. It skips our mind and we suffer consequences.

keep the Clogged Condenser Coils Clean

What to Do?

  • Adjust the temperature to an optimal level
  • Maintain a balance of temperature between different sections
  • Check the freezer and refrigerator to keep a separate temperature in both
  • Temperature resetting takes time, it may tak up to 24 hours to restabilize, so, don’t be hasty.

7. Insufficient Electricity Supply

The plug is the easiest thing to blame for the issue. Perhaps the plug is loose or the refrigerator isn’t plugged in. This could be the problem if the refrigerator light is off and the interior is not cool. The likelihood of an exhausted lightbulb is high if the refrigerator is cool inside but there’s no light.

What to Do?

  • Check the electrical socket on your refrigerator and if it is securely plugged into the outlet.
  • Explore the type of outlet
  • Refrigerators shouldn’t be hooked into GFCI outlets since doing so could cause the refrigerator’s power to be cut off


8. Refrigerator is Leaking

We know what you’re thinking. Big trouble! But this is more common than you think. Small cracks or corrosion in the copper tubing that transports the refrigerant throughout the system, or in the evaporator or condenser coils, are frequently the source of refrigerant leaks.

replace Old Gaskets

What to Do?

It is strongly advised that you should not attempt to repair a refrigerant leak yourself as refrigerants are dangerous substances that need to be handled carefully. Make contact with a qualified service provider who has the tools and is qualified to handle these compounds properly.

9. Faulty Condensor Fan

Condenser fans are meant to run while the compressor is operating because they help to cool the compressor and condenser coils as they operate. The compressor may overheat and the refrigerator’s temperature may rise if the condenser fan isn’t operating properly.

The compressor and condenser coils are housed in the bottom cabinet, which houses the condenser fan. You should remember that refrigerators without fans that have condenser coils on the back are not very common.

What to Do?

  • Check whether any trash or other things are blocking the condenser fan’s ability to spin the blades in the proper manner.
  • Replace the condenser fan motor if nothing is preventing the blades from rotating.
  • Get assistance with this operation from your nearby Appliance Medic to guarantee a secure and appropriate installation.

10. Clearance is Important

In order for the refrigerator to cool well, there should be adequate space for air circulation on the sides, particularly at the rear.

store Food Properly

What to Do?

  • Generally, you’ll need the sides to be at least 3/8-inch.
  • In the back, you’ll need at least a 1-inch tolerance.
  • Make careful to reset the anti-tip brackets at the lowest two front corners of the device after sliding it back into position.

Refrigerator Repair Service Near Me

We at Appliance Medic are honored to be New York and New Jersey’s top pick for appliance repair. We are prepared to tackle any refrigerator-related difficulties quickly and effectively thanks to our team of knowledgeable technicians and years of experience.

Our skilled specialists are qualified to identify and fix a variety of refrigerator difficulties, such as malfunctioning ice makers, cooling problems, and water leaks. Our crew possesses the necessary skills to repair any type of refrigerator, including high-end French door models, side-by-side models, and conventional top-freezer models. We work with all major refrigerator brands, including Samsung, LG, Whirlpool, GE, and more.


Reputable repair services can be located in your area by looking online or getting referrals. Appliance Medic is a reputable company in New York and New Jersey that specializes in appliance repair and is known for its dependability. You can rely on us to quickly identify and resolve any problems with your refrigerator.

Absolutely, in order to guarantee your happiness and peace of mind, we provide warranties on appliance repairs. Speak with us now to find out more!

Yes, in order to cause as little inconvenience as possible to your daily schedule, we offer same-day repair services.
Make sure the thermostat is set correctly and the refrigerator is plugged in before trying to cool it down. Get in touch with us for a qualified diagnosis and repair if the problem continues.
A refrigerator that needs repair may make strange noises, produce a lot of condensation, have uneven temperatures, or have obvious seal or component damage. It’s recommended to have a qualified technician check your refrigerator if you see any of these symptoms.

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