Refrigerator Not Cooling: Top Causes and Solutions

A refrigerator's purpose is to keep our food from turning bad by cooling it. If a refrigerator fails to cool your food, then it won't be able to preserve it and do its main job. But, there's no need to panic and throw all of your food away or get a new fridge before thoroughly checking your refrigerator.
Here, we'll show you the causes behind the refrigerator not cooling and their solutions because each cause requires a different way to solve it.

Causes and Solutions For Refrigerator Not Cooling

There are plenty of reasons your refrigerator isn't cooling; let's go over some common causes and their solutions to get your fridge working properly.

Power Supply

A faulty connection or plugin socket can be the issue. Make sure your refrigerator is plugged in and receiving power. Check the fridge's internal lightbulb to be sure.
This might sound basic, but many people make hasty decisions without first checking if their refrigerator is attached to a power supply and getting enough power to run.

Faulty Temperature

Accidently getting bumped by items or children messing around with it may reset the refrigerator's thermostat, causing it to stop cooling. So, you may want to check your refrigerator's thermostat to see if it's working properly. If it’s not, reset it to the proper temperature.
You can also buy a new thermostat to replace the old one if it’s faulty.

Blocked Vents

The air vents in the freezer and the refrigerator allow the cold air to flow through. If an item blocks the vents, it can cause the refrigerator to stop cooling.
Sort the items in your refrigerator and remove the food that may be blocking the vents. It's best to keep your fridge stocked to keep the temperature cool but avoid crowding it and preventing the air from flowing freely.

Faulty Door Gaskets

When the door gaskets are faulty or dirty, the fridge's cold air will leak out. Cleaning these gaskets if they are dirty will allow you to close the door properly, preventing the air from leaking. You can also buy new gaskets to replace the old ones if they are faulty.

Overstocked Fridge

Cramming so many items in your fridge can cause it to not cool enough because it's overstocked. Keeping a balanced amount of items in the fridge is important for it to function correctly.

Start Relay

The start relay helps your compressor to start, so if it's faulty, the compressor won't be able to cool properly. To determine if the start relay is the cause of the problem, you can run a test to know its continuity by using a multimeter on it. If it doesn’t have continuity, you have to replace it.

Clogged Condenser Coils

If the condenser coils in your refrigerator are dirty or clogged, they may slow cooling. As the coils can be clogged by pet hair, dust, or frost, they need to be cleaned occasionally. Luckily, you can clean these coils yourself.
First, turn off your refrigerator and pull it from the wall to locate the coils under or behind the refrigerator. Then, use a handheld vacuum or a special condenser coil brush to gently clean them off. And if the coils are frosted, you can leave them to defrost.

Faulty Condenser Fan

The condenser fan flows air over the condenser coils to cool them. If the fan stops working properly, it will cause the refrigerator to stop cooling.
To fix this, you must check if the fan is working right by spinning the blades manually. If they don't turn, then the fan motor must be replaced. You can also use a multimeter to decide if it needs to be replaced.
To replace the fan motor with a new one, unscrew the back panel to get to the fan. Then, unscrew the fastened screws that help set the fan in and detach the fan unit from the motor compartment. Finally, remove the old motor fastened frame which connects it to the blades and replace it with the new motor.
In case the fault is in the condenser fan, you can also replace it with a new one. First, cut the wires as close as possible to the old fan, peel them off and attach them to the new fan with wire connectors. Set the new fan and the bracket in place.

Broken Evaporator Fan

The evaporator fan motor draws the cool air from the evaporator coils to flow throughout the unit. The cold air won't flow If this motor is faulty or broken.
To know if your fan motor needs to be replaced, check the fan blades to see if they’re working properly. If they are, then the problem is with the motor. Replacing the evaporator fan motor will require professional help.
But if the problem is in the fan itself, you can easily replace it with a new one. First, turn off your refrigerator, remove the fan cover by unfastening its screws and check if the fan is loud or faulty.
Then, detach the fan from the freezer's wall, remove the old fan's mounting bracket, and connect it to the new fan. Finally, attach the wires from the old fan to the new, set it up, and put the cover back.

Frosted Evaporator Coils

The evaporator coils will frost over if the evaporator fan isn't working properly. To defrost the coils, just turn the unit off and let them defrost for one or two days.

Broken Air Inlet Damper

The air inlet damper determines the cold air amounts passing from the freezer to the fresh food compartment as it's placed between them. If this damper is broken or blocked, it'll stop the air from flowing.
To fix this issue, you must check if the damper is working properly and replace it if it's broken. You can replace it by removing the screws holding it in place and installing the new one.

Consult a Technician

If your refrigerator is still not cooling after checking all of these causes and solutions, you must call an expert to fix the issue.


When it comes to important appliances like refrigerators, you may need a quick way to solve the problem instead of waiting for a technician. After learning why your refrigerator is not cooling, we hope you can easily locate and solve the problem.