Solving the Mystery Why Refrigerator Is not Cold

Last Updated on February 13, 2023 by Jahangir

Solving the Mystery: Why Refrigerator Is not Cold

Refrigerators that are not cold enough can be frustrating, to say the least. It is one of the most common complaints among consumers. While the primary reason for this issue is temperature control settings, there are other factors that you should keep in mind. In this blog, we will discuss the causes and solutions for a warm fridge.

Solving the Mystery Why Refrigerator Is not Cold

Common Causes of a Warm Refrigerator

If the refrigerator is not cold, the likely reason could be the dirty condenser coils and/or the fan. The coils are the part of the refrigerator that absorbs the cold air from the outside. If the coils are dirty, it can affect the efficiency of the appliance. A dirty fan can also result in a warm fridge.

Malfunctioning compressor, thermistor, start relay, defrost timer, and/or defrost heater can also cause a warm fridge. In this case, it must be checked by an expert immediately to avoid any damage to the refrigerator.

Refrigerator may take up to 24 hours to reach optimal temperature after initial installation. Hence, it is important to do thorough cleaning of condenser coils and fan at least once a month to keep your refrigerator cold.

Troubleshooting Your Refrigerator

If the fridge is not cold, the first thing you should do is check the fridge for any problems after a recent power outage. KitchenAid refrigerators may need manual resetting after losing power. This can be done by turning the appliance on and off several times, or by manually switching it to the off position and back to the on position.

The condenser fan and compressor should also be monitored. If the compressor is not running, the fan may be stuck or worn out or the relay or compressor may be faulty. To troubleshoot this issue, try cleaning the condenser coils with a coil brush or vacuum cleaner. Also, inspect the condenser fan motor for any signs of damage and replace any faulty parts as necessary.

Tips for Preventing a Warm Refrigerator

If the fridge is not cold enough, the first thing to do is to check the thermostat setting. If the fridge is left running for too long, the thermostat may become inaccurate and the fridge will stay on longer than it should. This can cause the compressor to overheat and shut off. To prevent this from happening, make sure the fridge door is closed when it’s turned on. Also, make sure the thermostat is set to the coldest temperature possible.

When troubleshooting a cold fridge, try checking the condenser fan blades and compressor for any obstructions. If they are free of debris, this may be causing the fridge to become too warm. Finally, clean the condenser coils and seal them with refrigerator tape to ensure air circulation.

If none of these tips help, you may need to call a repairman or appliance repair shop for assistance.

What to Do When All Else Fails

If the fridge is not cold, there are several steps you can take to rectify the issue.

Start by checking the evaporator coils for frost and remove built-up frost if present. If the coils are frosty, the fridge is not getting enough air flow, and this can cause the compressor to turn on more frequently or the temperature inside the fridge to drop below the desired setting. Also, this will affect the functioning of the refrigerator overall.

Also, ensure that the door gasket and seal is intact and properly installed. This will help prevent air from escaping while also preventing cold air from entering the fridge. Additionally, check the damper for any obstructions and ensure cool air is flowing into the appliance. If this is not the case, it could lead to condensation inside the fridge or frost on the freezer vent fan blades, which would result in inadequate airflow, again affecting its functioning. Finally, inspect the compressor for any issues and fix them as soon as possible to keep your fridge running smoothly.

Common Causes of Refrigerator Not Cooling

A refrigerator’s evaporator fan is the key factor in the appliance’s ability to cool efficiently. When the fan is faulty, it leads to inefficient cooling and can cause the appliance to not cool properly and shorten its lifespan. Also, a stuck damper control may lead to the refrigerator not functioning as efficiently as it should. A faulty thermistor may also be the culprit when a refrigerator does not cool properly. This is because the thermistor measures the temperature of the fridge and freezer and determines whether or not the appliance is working efficiently. If it isn’t, the fan will continue to turn on even if there is no need for air circulation. A dirty evaporator fan or condenser fan can also lead to an inefficient refrigerator, especially if they become covered with dust and debris.

A faulty motor may also be responsible for an inefficient refrigerator. This is because when the motor is not functioning properly, the fan does not have enough power to turn on and off quickly or smoothly.

What Causes a Refrigerator to Not Cool?

When a fridge is not cold, the temperature control thermostat is the likely culprit. This device controls the temperature inside the fridge, and if it’s faulty the appliance will not be able to cool properly. If you suspect that the thermostat is the issue, you can remove it from the fridge and try plugging it into another appliance to test it. If the thermostat isn’t the issue, you can also check for any other problems with the appliance, such as a bent fan blade that’s preventing air flow. The fan blade needs attention in order for the fridge to function properly, so be sure to repair any issues with your fridge as soon as possible.

Inspect the Temperature Control Setting

If the temperature of the refrigerator is not cold, there are several things you can try to get the temperature of the fridge to the desired temperature.

First, check the temperature control setting on the refrigerator and make sure it’s set to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below. This will ensure the fridge stays at the optimal temperature range of 35-37 degrees Fahrenheit.

Also, test the thermostat to make sure it is functioning properly. This can help you determine if the fridge is off or on too long, which could cause it to malfunction. If the thermostat is working properly, you can use a digital refrigerator thermostat to more accurately read the temperature in your home. A digital thermostat will allow you to customize the temperature of your fridge, ensuring it stays at the optimal level for the food inside. Finally, make sure your fridge is not placed in an environment where the temperature is below 60 degrees or above 110 degrees. This will help ensure your fridge stays at the optimum temperature for the items inside.

Check the Condenser Coils

If the condenser fan is not turning, inspect the condenser coils for any obstructions. Make sure the fan spins freely. Clean the fan blades and spin the fan to see if it’s stuck.

If the fan still doesn’t turn, try testing the temperature of the installation area. Start the compressor and allow it to run at its normal operating temperature for a few minutes. Then, check the temperature of the freezer or fridge compartment with a reliable thermometer. If the freezer or fridge compartment is below 60°F, consider purchasing a separate refrigerator thermostat to test the temperature of the appliance.

Test the Door Gaskets

If the door gaskets of your refrigerator are not cold, the first thing to do is to test them. You can do this by inserting a paper bill halfway into the refrigerator door and closing it. If the gaskets form a tight seal, the bill should be difficult to remove. However, if there is resistance to the pull, the gaskets are faulty and need to be replaced.

Also, check the seals around the door gasket for signs of wear and tear. If they look damaged or worn, they should be replaced too. Faulty door gaskets cause the air inside the refrigerator to leak out and affect the temperature of the food items stored inside it.

This could lead to spoilage and food waste, which can be costly and harmful to the environment as well.

Clean the Evaporator Fan and Coils

If the evaporator fan motor is broken, replace it. In the event the coils are covered in frost, empty the freezer and fridge and let the coils thaw. Use a handheld vacuum to clean the condenser coils located under or behind the refrigerator. Clean the coils multiple times a year to prevent damage to the fan motor and coils.

Also consider cleaning the evaporator fan itself with a brush or cloth. It may be necessary to clean the fan more frequently if it becomes dirty or is damaged.

Inspect the Compressor and Refrigerant Lines

If the fridge is not cold, the most common issue to focus on is the compressor and refrigerant lines. You can start by checking the power cords and breakers to ensure the refrigerator is receiving the correct voltage. Once the power supply has been verified, you can inspect the compressor and refrigerant lines for any blockages. This includes dust, pet hair, and frost build-up. You should also check the fridge’s door seals to make sure it is level, as this may affect the seal of the door. Finally, you should inspect the condenser fan to see if it turns freely and if anything blocks its path. By taking these simple steps, you can fix your fridge’s not-cold problem quickly and easily.

Troubleshoot Electrical Connections

If the fridge on your home is not cold, there are a few simple things you can do to troubleshoot the issue and fix it. The first step is to make sure the appliance is plugged in and the plug is secure in the outlet. If the fridge isn’t cold after doing this, the next step is to check that the outlet type is not a GFCI outlet as this may shut off power to the appliance.

Another simple fix if the fridge isn’t cold after connecting the appliance to power is to listen for the compressor running after the door has been left open for a while. If no sound comes from the fridge, it could be indicating that the condenser fan or relay are stuck or worn out, or that the compressor itself is failing. Another simple fix for not cold fridge would be to replace the evaporator fan if it’s noisy or doesn’t spin. Lastly, you can unplug the fridge before performing any of these fixes to ensure there are no electrical shorts or other issues with your appliance.

Final Steps for Fixing Refrigerator Issues

If the refrigerator isn’t cold, the most common causes are a dirty evaporator or condenser fan motor, a dirty fan coil, a dirty compressor, or a thermostat stuck on defrost. To troubleshoot the issue, you can follow the tips below.

– Replace the water valve if the refrigerator is not maintaining the desired temperature.

– Check the thermostat and adjust it as needed.

– Clean the evaporator and condenser coils using a cleaning solution and a soft brush.

– Re-test the refrigerator and repair any issues that arise.

Dirty Condenser Coils

– The coils in the refrigerator are the key to efficient, cold air circulation.

– They are the part of the fridge that cools and condenses the refrigerant, the gas that powers the fridge.

– Dirty condenser coils can lead to a refrigerator that is difficult to maintain its temperature. This happens when the coils become dirty and no longer release heat as efficiently.

– C Cleaning the condenser coils every six months is recommended to ensure efficient cooling and you should do it regularly to keep your fridge running smoothly.

– To clean the coils, use a brush attachment on your vacuum or a soft, dry cloth to gently wipe them down.

– Do not use harsh cleaning products or abrasive cleaning methods as this can damage the coils.

Faulty Thermostat Settings

A faulty thermostat setting can lead to a refrigerator not cooling properly. When the thermostat is set too low, the refrigerator won’t be able to regulate its temperature and the freezer compartment may be too cold or the fridge compartment may be too warm. When the thermostat is set too high, the appliance will remain on and the compressor will run continuously. This can cause condensation to form on the evaporator fan motor, which can hamper its performance.

To check if the thermostat is faulty, you can rotate the temperature control from the lowest to the highest setting and listen for a click. If the thermostat doesn’t click, further troubleshooting may require using a multimeter to test for thermostat continuity. By adjusting the thermostat settings back to normal, you can restore optimal performance of your appliance.

A faulty evaporator fan motor can cost between $100 to $150 to repair. You can fix a fan motor issue by cleaning or replacing the motor or fan housing depending on the issue.

Poor Airflow in Refrigerator

When the airflow in the fridge is reduced, the temperature inside the refrigerator can increase significantly. This can result in condensation on the fridge walls and condensation on the food items, which can cause freezer burn and food spoilage.

The fan motor of the evaporator fan can become faulty and need to be replaced if the air circulation is reduced. This can also lead to temperature and moisture issues, as the evaporator coils cannot cool down quickly enough. The condenser fan motor may also become faulty and need to be replaced if the air circulation is reduced.

The easiest way to improve air circulation in a fridge is to clean the fans properly. This will help push more air through the fridge easily, leading to less chances of breakdowns and longer appliance lifespan.

Blocked Vents

If the temperature inside your refrigerator is inconsistent, it could be a sign of a blocked air vent in the fridge. When the air vent gets blocked, the cold air cannot flow properly, causing the temperature to become unreliable and uneven.

These are the common causes of an air vent getting blocked: items in the fridge too close to the air vent, items blocking the air vent between the freezer and the fridge, or items blocking the air vent from the back of the fridge to the front. However, there are some other factors that can also cause an air vent to get blocked.

Overstuffing the fridge with food can cause the air vent to get clogged due to excess moisture. And if you organize your fridge in a way that’s not optimal for airflow, it can also lead to an air vent becoming blocked. To fix this issue, make sure your fridge is 3/4 full and check if there’s anything blocking the air vents.

Too Much Space Clearance

Your refrigerator may not be cold because the air venting system is blocked. Insufficient clearance can cause the fridge’s components to overheat and affect the refrigerator’s overall temperature. Too much food in the fridge can also block air vents and limit airflow, which can lead to the fridge’s contents becoming warm or even hot. To solve this problem, it’s vital to keep the fridge half full, adjust the leveling feet on the fridge properly, and inspect for cracks, loose adhesive, holes, or gaps in the gasket. Different models may require different amounts of space than one inch, so check your fridge’s owner’s manual for specific requirements.

Broken or Stuck Condenser Fan

If the condenser fan has stopped working, it could be a sign of a faulty condenser fan motor. A condenser fan is connected to the compressor via a fan motor to help keep the condenser coils cool and prevent the compressor from overheating.

The fan motor is an integral part of the appliance and should never be tampered with. It can also become outdated or worn out, which may result in inefficiencies or faults. The cost of repairing a broken condenser fan motor varies between $100 and $150, depending on the make and model of the appliance.

It may take mechanical knowledge to replace a broken condenser fan motor. Also, you should not attempt to fix it yourself as this could damage the appliance.

Faulty Circuit Board

There are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the issue of a refrigerator not working. When the fridge is not cold, the first thing to check is the freezer compartment, as it could be the source of the problem. Another possible culprit is the evaporator fan motor. If the fridge’s temperature control or timer isn’t working properly, the evaporator fan motor could be faulty and causing the fridge to not cool properly. If the freezer compartment and refrigerator compartment aren’t getting cold evenly, the thermostat or temperature control may need to be checked.

The Cost Of Refrigerator Compressor

If the fridge’s electrical plug doesn’t light up or switch on, it could be due to a burnt-out bulb or a faulty plug. Finally, if the fridge is making an unusual noise or smells burning, there may be other problems such as a dirty evaporator fan motor or damper control.


It is imperative to check the refrigerator temperature control setting before you start troubleshooting the refrigerator. Setting the temperature too high or too low will impact the refrigerator’s performance and prevent it from working well. It is also important to inspect the coils, fan motor, thermostat settings, air circulation and air vents of the fridge. If the issue persists, you can consult a professional appliance technician for assistance.