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Refrigerator Not Cooling? 5 Essential Repair Tips to Try Before You Call a Professional

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Is the ice cream in your freezer more like a milkshake?

Or maybe you’re finding that your food is not staying fresh as long in the refrigerator as it has in the past.

It’s clear that you have a refrigerator not cooling.

Your Refrigerator Not Cooling Is Inconvenient At Best

At worst, it could mean you’re exposing to yourself to potential health hazards.

But before you grab your phone to call for repairs, there are a few things you can check first that may take care of the issue:

1. Thermostat 

The temperature control dial in your refrigerator doesn’t have a locking mechanism on it. So even if you’re certain that it’s on the setting where you last placed it, it may not be.

If you have kids, they may have found it irresistible to play with. But even if there aren’t kids in the house, anyone else could have easily bumped it and accidentally readjusted the setting.

So check to be sure it’s not on the warmest setting.

2. Vents

Is your refrigerator/freezer packed to full capacity? If so, the vents inside them may be blocked with food or containers.

And since these vents are crucial for providing the flow of frigid air throughout the refrigerator and freezer, it’s important they remain open. So clear away the obstacles.

3. Condenser Coils

If you weren’t lucky enough to nail the problem by adjusting the thermostat or clearing the vents, the next area to troubleshoot is the condenser coils.

The condenser coils are responsible for creating the chill in your unit. And they need to be clear of build-up so air can get around them.

If you have a newer refrigerator, the coils are underneath and can get plugged with dust, pet fur and anything else that gets stuck under there. Pull off the front grill and clean out the coils with a vacuum or a long brush.

For older refrigerators, the coils are on the back. In that case, you’ll need to pull your refrigerator away from the wall to clear out any debris.

4. Condenser Fan

Even the cleanest of coils on the bottom of your refrigerator won’t be effective if the condenser fan that delivers air to them is stopped up with trash or dust. So be sure keep it clear.

On models with the condenser coils on the back, this won’t be an issue since the air moves freely through the coils.

5. Refrigerator Circuit Board

Once you’ve ruled out all of the above, you may be looking at a circuit board issue.

Unplug the fridge and pull it away from the wall. Remove any cover plates or cardboard access panels to find the circuit board.

Once you find it, look for burn marks. If you see any, can order a new board and replace it by moving the press-on connectors to the new board one at a time. Then press each connector onto the header pins until it’s firmly seated.

If the board looks good, then it might be time to call in an expert on domestic fridge repairs.

Stay Cool

Your refrigerator not cooling definitely needs to be addressed. But hopefully, it’s a relatively easy fix you can take on yourself.

Good luck!

And for more great tips and advice on all things that comprise the interior of your home, keep checking back with us. There’s always so much to learn.

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