Refrigerator Is Not Cold Enough

cold refrigerator

What Are The Consequences Of Poor Cooling?

Refrigerators are perhaps one of the most essential appliances in your home. If you have children, you know the endless demand for food.

You are likely well aware of the fact that, at the end of the day, you need to keep your food cold enough if you want to make sure that it does not go bad and to make sure that you do not risk getting sick. When you open up your fridge only to find that it is lukewarm, you may worry about the cost of the food loss.

You may worry about the cost of the repairs, or even of getting a new appliance altogether. However, there is a chance that you can bring the chill back to your fridge without breaking the bank, using just the tools that you already have at home.

It is certainly worth a try before potentially shelling out all of that money!

What Are The Reasons This Issue?

Reason #1: Air Vents Are Blocked

Your fridge works because there are air vents that allow it to circulate air throughout the fridge and freezer. The fridge needs to be able to properly circulate air if it is able to keep your food cool.

If you end up with vents that get blocked off somewhere or somehow, you can cause some areas within your system to be unable to properly cool. This can lead to problems with temperatures in some areas.

This usually happens due to food being pressed against a vent—if your fridge is too full, it will not be able to circulate enough air to keep everything chilled. However, there are other causes as well, such as frost building up or clogs developing.

Reason #2: The Condenser Coils Are Dirty 

Another common reason that your fridge may be struggling to keep everything cold is because of the condenser coils becoming dirty.

Fridges work because they have condenser coils within them that are typically filled up with refrigerant. That refrigerant is what will keep the system cold. However, over time, because typically the coils are not actually sealed within a system, they can become dirty.

They can become covered in all sorts of dust, or even fur from your pets, that then cake to them. Without the ability to produce that cold air in the first place, the fridge becomes too warm.

Thankfully, this is a relatively simple fix. 

If all else fails, however, calling an appliance repair shop may be your best bet. Nevertheless, try these two quick and simple fixes before you make the call.

Reason #3: Your Refrigerator Door Isn’t Closed

This one is unlikely, but still a possibility. If your fridge is not properly sealed or closed, either because of residue buildup around the door seal (gasket seal), make sure this is not the case.

Sometimes the fridge is not properly leveled and the door will slightly open letting out all the cold air. The back of the fridge is generally higher than the front which is done on purpose, but if you notice an unusual level difference and your door always slightly opens this is an issue.

The next reason you will want to determine is if your door seal/gasket seal is dirty or dented.

Look at the rubbery part around your door and see if it is broken or has food build up around the edges. If you’ve noticed this, I’ve provided you some instructions to replacing your door/gasket seal.

Reason #4: Evaporator Fan Isn’t Spinning Properly

The evaporator fan is generally beside the condenser coils and can be seen behind the freezer when you remove the back cover. Its purpose is to provide air circulation from the evaporator coils into the rest of the refrigerator.

In this situation you will need to either clean your fan because it has frosted, or replace it because it is broken. You can easily find evaporator fan replacements, but I would suggest cleaning it first just to make sure. You will notice a problem with the fan when you start to hear weird noises coming from it.

Now if you are in a situation where you need to replace your evaporator fan motor, see the steps here.

Reason #5: The Compressor Isn’t Feeding Hot Air

The refrigerator compressor is near your condenser coils, which is responsible for generating and pushing refrigerant gas from the refrigerant coolant. It compresses this refrigerant gas to increase temperature to then allow it to flow up to then enter the evaporator coils for cooling. 

The evaporator fan then takes lead and draws this cool air from the evaporator coils to flow cold air throughout the refrigerator.

How To Solve/Fix These Reasons?

If you are having issues with your self-cleaning oven whether it be a gas range or an electric range, I have included some reasons and solutions below. These are issues that we’ve seen occur as a result of a frequent use of the self-cleaning feature.

Repair #1: Cleaning The Air Vents

The vents in the fridge often go completely unnoticed. They get overlooked because they are usually pretty inconspicuous. However, just like with your freezer, you can run into problems with your fridge not cooling if your air vents do not get the proper air flow. 

  • Step 1: Begin by checking your manual to identify where the air vents for the fridge are. Then, check to make sure that, in your own fridge, you have not blocked them off with food or other containers. If they are blocked off, clear out the space. If not, then keep moving. 
  • Step 2: Check for ice or other blockages within the vent. Oftentimes, these vents can become icy thanks to the air circulating from the freezer, especially if there is a lot of moisture in the system. 
  • Step 3: If there is ice in the system, you need to allow for it to thaw out.
  • Step 4: If there are no blockages in the refrigerator itself, check the vents in the freezer, which send air down to the fridge too. Make sure that the freezer vents are not blocked.

Repair #2: Cleaning The Condenser Coils

The condenser coils should be cleaned regularly, especially if you have pets thanks to the dust and fur that can clog them up. When these coils get too dirty, they cannot function properly. These should be cleaned regularly—try to do so at least every few months to help maintain your system instead of running the risk of needing to rush to do so due to system failures or other concerns.

  • Step 1: Remember to start by turning off your system. Any time that you are dealing with an appliance, you should always take this precaution. 
  • Step 2: Locate the coils. They are typically on the bottom of the fridge, which is accessible by removing the grille attached to the base in the front. Take it off and see if you can see inside. 
  • Step 3: With a refrigerator coil brush, gently make sure that you are able to clean out the system. You will gently be dusting away the grime and gunk that is preventing them from working. 
  • Step 4: Vacuum inside of the system, if possible, and vacuum up any of the dirt that you have dislodged. 
  • Step 5: Reattach the grille that was on the base and turn the refrigerator on.
  • Step 6: Give the fridge a few hours to test if, what you have done has worked.

Sometimes, however, the coils are on the back of the fridge instead, or sometimes atop the fridge. Either way, you will need to take certain precautions to ensure that you can properly clean them out.

When they are on the back, you will simply unplug the fridge and pull it away from the wall, cleaning it out with the coil brush. When the coils are on the top, however, you will need to turn off the power and then carefully raise the panel that is on the top of the fridge.

Keep in mind that they are typically sharper, and you will want to wear long sleeves and protective gloves. You will need to reach into the machine and use a bristle brush and a vacuum hose to remove the debris while being mindful of sharp edges to keep yourself protected. Then, close it up, turn on the fridge, and test it out. 

If all else fails, you may need to contact a repair person to fix it up for you.

Repair #3: Ensuring Your Door Closes Properly

With several reasons for why your door might not be closing properly, the main 2 are generally because the refrigerator is not leveled and the gasket seal/door seal is either broken or has a lot of residue build up creating small air pockets for the cool air to escape.

Here is a video demonstrating the steps to replacing your door/gasket seal:

Repair #4: Fixing Your Evaporator Fan

Remember to unplug your refrigerator or freezer when removing the fan.

  • Step 1: Locate the freezer section of your refrigerator and remove all the food items from your freezer. You will want to find the screws or clips holding the back cover of your freezer, to then remove it.
  • Step 2: Once you remove the back cover, you should see the evaporator coil and fan. Be careful when dealing with the fan as it can easily break if not careful.
  • Step 3: Remove the cover on the fan if there is, and unscrew the fan. You will want to detach it from its wires and slowly bring it out.
  • Step 4: If you notice your fan is frosted, leave it on a few towels to defrost.
  • Step 5: If you need to replace it fully, hopefully you have a new one in hand. If not I have provided a link here for you to purchase online from one of our recommended companies.

Repair #5: How To Replace Your Compressor

When it comes to replacing or repairing a compressor, we would suggest you hire a professional repairman to fix this for you as it can get quite complex and stressful. We don’t want you to damage your current compressor if its still working, or even damage a new compressor you may have purchased.

Call your local appliance repair company, but if you are based in Ontario we will be able to help you. Click here for a free estimate.

Where Can I Find Refrigerator Cooling Parts?

Refrigerator parts can easily be found online or at a local replacement retail store. A lot of times especially with refrigerator leakage repairs, you can replace it yourself by watching a few videos and knowing which parts to purchase. However if you don’t feel comfortable, do not worry. This is why professional serviceman exist to help you with your appliance needs.

Now whether you choose to purchase an appliance yourself, or you want to hire a appliance repairman, purchasing parts yourself can save quite a bit on upfront costs. Here are the parts you would want to look for for the listed examples above:

  1. Evaporator Tray
  2. Evaporator Tank
  3. Door Sealing
  4. Drain Hose

If you can’t find what you are looking for, try reaching out to your local appliance parts retail store.