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Why Your Fridge Isn’t Staying Cold

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Fridge not staying cold?

At the right temperature, your refrigerator can keep food cold and safe to eat by slowing the growth of bacteria. But what if your fridge is having difficulty staying cold? Between spoiled food and costly repairs, it can be downright frustrating. Don’t lose hope just yet. There are several steps you can take to troubleshoot the problem before calling a repair technician.

Here are some common things to consider if your fridge isn’t staying cold.

Refrigerator Not Cooling? 8 Possible Causes

Your refrigerator has no power.

The first thing to troubleshoot is your refrigerator’s power. Make sure the fridge is plugged into a live receptacle. A good way to ensure you have power is if the light turns on. If the appliance is plugged in but still not staying cold, move on to the following steps.

Improper Temperature Control

The second thing to inspect is your refrigerator’s temperature control settings, keep in mind some models have the control in the freezer. It’s possible it was accidentally bumped. If so, check the inside panel of your fridge to locate the thermostat. Shift your refrigerator to a colder setting, and allow 24 hours for adjustments. If turning down the thermostat doesn’t lower the temperature, move on to the following troubleshooting tips.

Door Gaskets Not Sealing

The door of your refrigerator has a rubber gasket designed to trap the cold air in and keep the heat out. When this gasket gets torn, the cold air trickles out, jeopardizing the quality of your perishable food items. If you’re unsure whether or not your refrigerator’s door gasket is sealing, keep an eye out for cracks, brittle sealing strips, small tears, and abnormal frost. Also, look for objects that are blocking the door from closing.

Faulty Appliande?

Broken Door Switch

Believe it or not, a broken door switch could lead to cooling issues. To determine if your door switch is faulty, check to see if the light turns on and off when you open and close the door. If it doesn’t, you most likely have a broken door switch. If the switch isn’t working right, the fridge won’t resume cooling at the right time. Plus, if the light continues to stay on when the door is closed, excess heat will circulate inside the fridge. Fortunately, replacing your fridge’s door switch is a relatively easy repair and should only take a few minutes.

Dirty Condenser Coils

Although fridges are one of the most beneficial appliances, they often get neglected and end up with a large amount of lint, dust, and foreign objects underneath them, causing problems with air circulation. That’s why it’s crucial to clean your refrigerator’s condenser coils regularly. You can find the condenser coils underneath and the condenser fan behind a cover behind the rear of the unit. Pull your fridge out of its normal position, and look underneath the appliance near the rear. Use a vacuum to clear out any debris. This should be done at least annually. Allowing excess heat and poor air circulation can eventually damage the compressor resulting in expensive repairs or replacement. Don’t forget to unplug the fridge when you clean to prevent any unintentional damage. Never lay down your refrigerator to clean the condenser coils.

Frost On Evaporator Cover

If you have frost or snow beginning to buildup in the freezer on the rear panel, you likely have a defrost issue. If the unit can’t circulate the air, it won’t keep consistent temperature, which can result in food loss. It is best to have these issues professionally diagnosed so as to avoid replacing unnecessary parts. Many times you have to access special programs to diagnose defrost issues.

Hot Compressor

A hot compressor is usually caused by a faulty condenser fan or dirty condenser coils. It is important to keep coils clean and clear as to not overheat your compressor. Overheating the compressor may cause permanent damage. If you suspect your compressor is overheating it is best to get it service as soon as possible. 

The Takeaway

Keeping foods appropriately chilled, at the right refrigerator temperature, helps them last longer, and stay fresher. Sticking to the ideal refrigerator temperature can help you avoid potential foodborne illnesses, too. When the above problems have been ruled out as the root cause, it’s likely a more in-depth repair. In these cases, you’ll need to call in a repair technician. Our technicians are trained, certified and have the experience to properly diagnose and repair your appliances. If your fridge isn’t staying cold, call today for any appliance repair needs.

What Temperature Should a Refrigerator Be?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says the recommended refrigerator temperature is below 40°F. For optimal performance, aim to stay between 35° and 38°F. This temperature range is as close as you can get to freezing without being so cold your food will freeze. It’s also cold enough to prevent bacteria from multiplying at a rapid pace.

Call in the Appliance Repair Pros at iFiX!

We believe in taking on each job like it is our own home. We know the same headaches and frustrations of waiting for a service company to arrive. We always give you a heads up when we are on our way to avoid you having to wait at home. Our technicians are honest, reliable, and dependable. We work hard to provide our customers with the best appliance repair possible. If you’ve given your home appliances TLC and they’re still malfunctioning, give iFiX a call today for all your appliance repair needs.

If this article helped you extend the life of your appliances, please share it or leave a comment below! Make sure to check out our other articles that you might enjoy on our blog.

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One Response

  1. Thank you for explaining how dirty condenser coils could be the reason why your refrigerator isn’t staying cool. I’ve been wondering why our fridge isn’t cooling things like it used to. I’ll be sure to see if this is why or what kind of repairs may need to be done.

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