Refrigerator is Not Cooling – Possible Reasons and How to Fix

Refrigerator is Not Cooling

Having a best fridge in 2020 is a great thing but what should you do when you realize that it is not cooling? A refrigerator that is not cold enough may cause the food inside the fridge to spoil. The good thing is that this is something that you can easily fix even without the help of a technician. In this article, we shall guide you on how you can solve this problem through some simple DIY procedures.

What Causes Refrigerators Not to Cool?

  1. Power– The first thing you should check immediately after you have realized that your fridge is not cooling is the power connection. Unplugged power cord can cause the fridge not to cool. You can open the door of your fridge to see if it will light up. In case it does not, you should check the power cords to ensure they are plugged correctly.  If that does not solve the problem, you should move to the electrical panel and check if there is a flipped breaker.
  2. Faulty gaskets- The work of the door gasket is to keep your fridge sealed when you close it. This gasket wears out with time which means that you need to replace it in case you are not able to close the door of your fridge completely. A faulty gasket may cause your fridge not to cool. You can test this by placing a paper between the door and your fridge. Close the door and then try to pull out the paper. In case you are not able to remove it, the gasket is in good condition. However, you should replace the gasket if the paper slips out.
  3. Dirty condenser coils– All refrigerators are equipped with condenser coils which features a refrigerant. Condenser coils are located at the back or underside of your fridge. Since this part is not usually sealed, it is likely to get clogged which means that you need to clean it regularly to remove dust, hair and pet dander. When cleaning the coils, you should always use a condenser brush. Also remember to unplug the appliance before you start cleaning.
  4. Blocked vents – Refrigerator vents are located between the freezer and the refrigerator part which distributes cold air within the fridge. These vents can easily be blocked by ice and this can affect the flow of air in the fridge. The best thing up you can do in such instances is to switch off the refrigerator and allow the ice to turn into liquid. After you have defrosted the fridge and soaked up all the water, you can then turn it on to check whether the refrigerator will cool.
  5. Overstuffing– You should avoid keeping many items in your fridge than it can hold. This will limit the airflow and may cause it not to cool. A refrigerator that is packed with so many items may fail to maintain the required level of coldness. The items that you have placed on the upper part may become very cold while those ones you have placed on the lower part may be a bit warm. Again, a fridge with only a few items may also fail to function as required. It is also likely to consume more power. Therefore, you should always ensure that it always has enough food but is not overstuffed.
  6. Damaged door switch – A door switch turns the lights off inside the fridge after you have closed the door of the refrigerator. This switch is normally located at the bottom and if it is broken, it may cause your fridge not to cool.
  7. Faulty thermistor– This is a sensor which helps to control the air temperatures in a refrigerator. It also controls the start and the end of a cooling cycle. If it is faulty, the refrigerator will not cool at all.
  8. Incorrect temperature control – Every refrigerator features a thermostat which helps to maintain the required level of coldness inside the fridge. You should always ensure that the temperatures are set correctly. Most refrigerators are set at 0°C(32°F) while the temperatures around the freezer are about -17°C(4°F).
  9. Damaged evaporator fan– You may have realized that once you have opened the door of your refrigerator, there is a bit of cool air that is blown out. This is the work of an evaporator fan which helps to push air inside the fridge. In case this fan in not functioning or damaged, it will not generate cool air. The evaporator fan is normally located at the back of the freezer wall. You can access it by first removing all the items from the freezer and in case you find that it is not in good condition, you should replace it with a new fan motor.
  10. Non-functional defrost system- All refrigerators contain a defrost system which controls cooling inside the refrigerator. The defrost system comprises of a defrost heater and a defrost timer. A defrost heater enables the frost on the evaporator coil to melt. In case it is not working, the excess frost will accumulate on the coils which may reduce the flow of cool air inside the refrigerator.

On the other hand, a defrost timer switches the fridge between the defrost and cooling mode. Once it stops working, the cooling mode will be stopped, and this will cause excess frost to accumulate on the evaporator coils. When this happens, the airflow will be reduced.

  1. Defective start relay– A start relay is a very small device that is located around the compressor. The work of this device is to start up the compressor. If this device is defective, the compressor will not work, and this may prevent the refrigerator from cooling.
  2. Defective start capacitor– The capacitor helps the compressor to start and in case it is burned out, the compressor will not start. This will also prevent the refrigeration cycle from commencing.

Also Read: Common Refrigerator Problems & Difference between frost free and direct cool fridge


If your refrigerator is not cooling, chances are that one of the issues we have mentioned in this article might have caused the problem. However, if the problem persists even after you have tried all the above methods, you will need to call a technician to do an in-depth repair. You must also ensure that the person is well conversant with refrigerators and if possible, look for a licensed professional.

Refrigerator is Not Cooling - Possible Reasons and How to Fix