A fridge that won’t cool is useless. When your refrigerator won’t stay cold, you need to address the problem immediately to keep your perishables from perishing. Some problems can be solved with some simple maintenance while others require professional intervention, so to help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the 6 reasons your fridge isn’t cooling.

Why Your Fridge Isn’t Cooling

Fridge Not Cooling

Thermostat setting
It seems like an obvious thing, but sometimes the thermostat dial gets set too low. This may happen if you have children or inconsiderate house guests. Often people find the thermostat numbers confusing and consequently go the wrong direction when making adjustments. Just remember that the numbers indicate power level, so higher numbers will make your fridge colder

Blocked Vent

Blocked vents
Air temperature is maintained through a series of internal and external vents. To maintain a consistent temperature, it is important that these vents remain open. Often people will unknowingly block the vents either when storing food internally or storing other objects around the refrigerator (i.e. grocery bags). These vents may be partially blocked by debris such as dirt or spilled food. Any blocked vent can impact internal temperature, so it is important to keep them clear and clean.o.

Fridge Coils

Condenser coils
The condenser coil, located either in the back or on the bottom of the unit depending on your model, releases the heat from inside the refrigerator. If the coils are dirty, the refrigerator will have to work harder to release the heat. The condenser coil should be cleaned once per year (more if you have a lot of dust or pet dander in your kitchen). A dirty coil may affect performance, but you can easily clean it using a vacuum or long brush (available at most hardware stores).

Fridge Vent Fan

Condenser Fan Motor
If the refrigerator isn’t cool enough, there might be a problem with the condenser fan motor. The condenser fan motor draws air over the condenser coils to cool them. Without a functional fan, the refrigerator can overheat.

Refrigerator Fan

Evaporator fan motor
Depending on your model, your refrigerator will have one or more evaporator fan motors. If your unit only has one fan, it will be located in the freezer compartment. The evaporator fan motor circulates the cold air from the evaporator coils throughout the compartment. If the fan motor isn’t working, you may have a cold freezer, but no cool in the refrigerator compartment.

Refrigerator Repair

Control boards
A modern refrigerator uses at least two circuit boards: the main control board and the temperature control board. Although uncommon, damage to either of these boards could be responsible for temperature issues. These issues are not easy for a novice to diagnose or repair, so we recommend contacting a service professional if you suspect a control board failure.