Inspiring Ideas for Modern Home

Why Is My Refrigerator Not Cooling + Fix | A Complete Guide

One of, if not the most important kitchen appliance is a refrigerator. It keeps our food and drinks chilled and fresh at all times, even if it's just mini freezers.

Why Is My Refrigerator Not Cooling

We've relied on them for so long one can't imagine a life without this kitchen appliance.

Is your refrigerator not cooling properly? Today, we'll explain why they might not be cooling and how to fix them.

Reasons Why Your Refrigerator Is Not Working + Solutions

Reasons Why Your Refrigerator Is Not Working + Solutions
© Homesthetics - Monica Hewitt

You don't always have to buy a new fridge when your current one doesn't cool properly. There are a few simple solutions for it to start cooling and have fresh food again!

1. Temperature Control Is Improperly Set

The number one rule to owning a fridge is knowing what temperature it should be in. It might be running too high or too low, which can cause many problems.

How to Fix

  1. Check the owner's manual for the proper temperature setting of your fridge and freezer compartment.
  2. Adjust the temperature controls based on the desired temperature setting. Check if each compartment has separate controls.
  3. Wait several hours or up to a full day until both the freezer and fridge produce cold air.

2. Condenser Coils Are Dirty

If your fridge stops cooling properly, it's probably because of dirty condenser coils and a defective condenser fan. The dust and dirt are usually very visible. 

How to Fix

  1. Check the condenser coils for any accumulated dust or cobwebs.
  2. Pull the refrigerator out from its position and clean the dirty condenser coils using a vacuum cleaner.
  3. Wait and check until the fridge regains its proper cooling temperature. In the meantime, you can put baking soda in the refrigerator to keep it odor free.

3. Door Gaskets Are Not Clean

The door gaskets on your fridge can wear down, especially if dirt and food are stuck in between. 

When this happens, the door seal of your fridge stops working properly, and cool air escapes. This drastically affects your refrigerator's temperature.

How to Fix

  1. Prepare a mixture of warm soapy water in a separate container. Grab a sponge or any non-abrasive cleaner.
  2. Wipe your refrigerator's door gasket until they're clean. Go through each section properly.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until all dirt is removed and the refrigerator has a tight seal when closed. 

4. Food Items Are Blocking the Air Vents

Rearranging the contents of your refrigerators can help maintain the cold temperature inside. 

Your fridge might not be cooling because containers block the air vents. 

How to Fix

  1. Check where the air vents are in your refrigerator.
  2. Remove any huge containers blocking the air vents and move them elsewhere. Also, check for any large ice particles you should chip away.
  3. Alternatively, you can do a general refrigerator cleaning for more space.

5. Refrigerator Is Understocked

Your refrigerators work twice as hard to keep your appliance cold if it's severely understocked and nearly empty.

To achieve its optimal performance, stock your fridge three-fourths of the way.

How to Fix

  1. Stock up your refrigerator with your favorite food and beverages.
  2. Add water pitchers if you don't have enough items to put inside.
  3. In all cases, be careful not to overstuff your refrigerator to ensure air can circulate properly.

6. Door Gaskets Are Faulty and Need Replacement

Sometimes, your refrigerator's door gasket can still end up faulty even after cleaning them. It means they already need to be replaced.

A good test is to put a dollar bill between the door and see if the bill slips easily.

How to Fix

  1. Look for a door gasket that's for your refrigerator model. Clean the new gasket by soaking it in hot water.
  2. Carefully remove the old door gasket from your refrigerator. Scrub clean the door so no dirt will stick to the new gasket.
  3. Install the new gasket, making sure to follow any installation instructions.

7: Refrigerator Is Out of Level

Your refrigerator should always be level. It can keep your food cold, increases the average lifespan of your appliance, and keeps it shut properly. 

It ensures that that door switch functions properly to keep your fridge cooling all day. 

How to Fix

  1. Check each side of your appliance using a laser level.
  2. Adjust the level accordingly until your door shuts properly.

8. Clearances Are Not Maintained

Make sure your refrigerator has enough clearance on all sides. This ensures your refrigerator receives enough air circulation, even from the back.

More importantly, it ensures that both evaporator fans and your condenser fan aren’t overworked.


A clearance of 3/8 inch on the sides and 1 inch on the back of your refrigerator is recommended.

How to Fix

  1. Check the recommended clearance for your refrigerator on the owner's manual.
  2. Adjust your refrigerator based on the clearance, and be careful when moving your equipment.

9. Location Is Affecting the Cooling Capacity

The cooling capacity of your refrigerator is affected by where you position your fridge. If you place your fridge outdoors, it takes twice the effort to cool the insides.

The same idea applies when you position your fridge beside hot appliances like your stove.

How to Fix

  1. Consider changing the location of your refrigerator. Place it under a cool and shaded area if it's positioned outdoors.
  2. Ensure enough air vents and fans for cool air circulation if it's around other appliances indoors.
  3. Use a heat-insulating material to protect your fridge from external heat.

10. Electric Supply Is Faulty

One of the reasons why most refrigerators aren't cooling properly is that they do not receive enough power from the power source. 

It could also mean that the plug is too loose on your refrigerators. 

How to Fix

  1. Check the owner's manual for the recommended power source of your refrigerator.
  2. Make sure the plug isn't too loose on the outlet.
  3. Alternatively, the refrigerator shouldn't be too far from the power source, or it can suddenly lose power.

Simple DIY Fixes for Your Refrigerator
© Homesthetics - Monica Hewitt


Simple DIY Fixes for Your Refrigerator

A few DIY fixes can help if your refrigerator is not cooling properly. We've listed some of the general tricks you might want to be interested in trying.

1. Unblock the Vents and Fans

Rearrange the contents of your fridge and prevent anything from blocking the fans and vents. This helps the fan blow cold air properly inside your fridge and freezer.

2. Stock Your Refrigerator Properly

A well-stocked fridge is a happy and cooling fridge. It reaches cool temperatures without taking too much effort. Make sure to keep just the right amount of items inside.

Consider turning off your refrigerator if there's nothing to store.

3. Check Level and Clearance With a Level Checker and Ruler

Use a laser level or a bubble to ensure the fridge is level on all sides. It ensures your freezer door remains shut tight when not in use.

This quick fix prevents perishable food items from spoiling fast and ensures cool air continues to travel inside.

4. Check the Electrical Supply With an Outlet Tester

Ensure your refrigerator receives the right power supply based on the recommended wattage.

5. Refer to Your Owner’s Manual

Always refer to the owner's manual to double-check the proper settings for your refrigerator's optimal performance.

This includes noting the right temperature setting, defrosting recommendations, and cleaning instructions.

6. Inspect the Temperature Settings

Ensure the freezer and refrigerator are set to the right temperature settings to cool properly.

Check the thermostat if your refrigerator is at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below and 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below for freezers.

7. Clean the Condenser Coils

Clean your dirty condenser coils at least every six months.

It will also help to check up on your compressor, evaporator coils, and evaporator fan motor and ensure they're not covered in frost or dirt.

Refrigerator Not Cooling FAQs

  • Before we leave with our parting words, we’ve answered some of the common FAQs we receive about problematic refrigerators.

    If your refrigerator is not cooling, you might find some helpful answers here.

  • Should I Unplug My Refrigerator if It’s Not Cooling?

    You can unplug your refrigerator if you notice a block of ice buildup. You can thaw the ice to ensure it doesn’t block the fan and vents.

    Alternatively, you can check the defrost thermostat to see if it’s still functioning properly.

  • Why Is My Refrigerator Not Cooling but the Freezer Is?

    If your refrigerator compartment is not cooling, there’s probably a problem with the compressor, condenser coil, and evaporator fan.

    When this happens, you may need to replace some components for proper air circulation.

  • When Should I Turn Down the Temperature in My Refrigerator?

    When the summer season is about to start, we recommend cranking your refrigerator thermostat and setting it low. The lower it is, the cooler your fridge and freezer become.

    Your fridge works double time during summer because it’s fighting against the external heat. A thermostat within the refrigerator helps you keep a stable temperature.

  • When Should You Request Professional Service?

    If none of the DIY fixes in this list helps, we recommend calling a professional to fix your appliance. There may be other pressing issues a little elbow grease can’t fix.

    Only a professional can get to the root cause of the problem, like needing to replace components on the fan motor or the compressor.

    Doing this ensures you enjoy the best refrigerators out there for a long time.

  • Why Is My Refrigerator Not Cooling Conclusion
    © Homesthetics - Monica Hewitt


    Is your refrigerator not cooling properly? Then it's time to try some of the easy fix options we've mentioned.

    However, make sure to call your repair service man if you notice any serious problems with your appliance.

    We hope you enjoyed this article. Whether you have a Samsung refrigerator, or a Whirlpool refrigerator, our tips can help you!

    You can also check out other easy fixes for refrigerators, such as why your refrigerator leaks water.