Have you recently noticed that your milk, eggs, and other refrigerated items seem a little warmer than usual? This is certainly a problem, as certain foods need to be stored at the optimal temperature to avoid spoiling. Have you checked the freezer temperature, but it’s still cold? If so, you may have a refrigerator stop cooling on refrigerator side problem on your hands.
So what causes the refrigerator to stop cooling on refrigerator side issue? There are actually several things that can cause the refrigerator not cooling problem. Much depends on the make, model, and brand of your refrigerator, but there are a few more common failures that lead to a failing fridge. Repairs range from defrosting refrigerator evaporator coils to replacing the refrigerator thermostat.
We’ve outlined some of the most common reasons a refrigerator isn’t cooling on refrigerator side for you here. Use this list to troubleshoot and see if you can fix it yourself, or if you’ll need to call a professional refrigerator repair service near you.
Common Causes of Refrigerator Stop Cooling on Refrigerator Side
There are a variety of issues that may cause your refrigerator warm, but freezer cold issue. We’ve narrowed the list down to three of the most common ones, including frozen evaporator coils, broken thermostat, or faulty evaporator fan.
#1 – Overstuffing
The first thing to look for if only one section of your refrigerator is cold is overstuffing. Free, unrestricted airflow is the key to even cooling throughout the entire refrigerator. If you squeeze too many items into the fresh food section, it could cause a blockage between compartments and restrict the flow of cool air.
We recommend that you keep your refrigerator at around 3/4 of total capacity. And if you’re faced with a holiday or situation where you must get as much into your refrigerator as possible, just be sure to not block the vent that brings cold air int the fresh food section.
#2 – Frozen Refrigerator Evaporator Coils
While it may sound like this would make your refrigerator cooler, it actually does the opposite. When the refrigerator evaporator coils have too much frost on them, air is blocked from passing through and becoming cold. The air stays warm, and thus your refrigerator can’t cool the food as it should.
You can typically fix this issue yourself by manually defrosting the refrigerator evaporator coils. Use a hair dryer to melt the frost or ice that has accumulated on the coils. Once they are defrosted, let your refrigerator run normally, and check back to see if ice starts to form again. If not, you’re good to go. If it does, there may be a problem with the defrost heater assembly. A local refrigerator repair service will be able to help you out with this.
#3 – Refrigerator Thermostat Broken
The thermostat is in charge of maintaining the refrigerator temperature at all times. If the refrigerator thermostat is broken or has some kind of fault, the temperature cannot be regulated. Thus, the refrigerator is warm but freezer is cold.
The faulty thermostat will need to be replaced. Your owners manual will tell you where the thermostat is located, but it’s usually on the back of side-by-side units and beneath the unit on over/under units. Be careful if you attempt to remove the old thermostat and replace it with a new one yourself, as there is some wiring that will need to be done. Consult your manual or call a local refrigerator repair company.
#4 – Faulty Refrigerator Evaporator Fan
The evaporator fan circulates cold air through your refrigerator, helping the contents inside stay at their optimal temperature. However, if the evaporator fan is broken or has some other issue, the air cannot be pushed around enough to cool the unit properly.
An appliance repairman can replace the fan for you, but if you’re fairly handy, you can try to replace the evaporator fan yourself. This video from Parts Select hs great instructions on how to replace a faulty refrigerator evaporator fan.