Why Won’t My Refrigerator Cool?

One of the most common refrigerator repair problems we encounter is when a refrigerator won’t cool. There can be many reasons why your refrigerator is warm. From a door that won’t close properly to dirty condenser coils.

This common refrigerator failure isn’t just limited to major brands. High-end refrigerators like Sub-Zero, Viking, Dacor, and others can encounter this pesky problem too.

If you’ve noticed that your refrigerator isn’t cooling properly, use this list for troubleshooting why your refrigerator won’t cool.

Reasons Why Your Refrigerator Won’t Cool

Dirty Condenser Coils

Dirty condenser coils are a common cause when your refrigerator isn’t cold. Dust, lint, crumbs, and hair can gather on the condenser coils easily. This buildup prevents the condenser coils from cooling the refrigerator air to the correct temperature.

Make sure to clean the coils once or twice every year. If you have pets, you may need to do this more often. Use a rag, bottle brush, and vacuum hose attachment to remove all the dust and debris from the coils. This refrigerator preventative maintenance will help your unit run more efficiently and last longer.

Where are refrigerator condenser coils located?

  • Sub-Zero Refrigerators – The condenser is located on the top of the unit. Remove the upper grill to access and clean the condenser.
  • Viking Refrigerators –  The condenser coils are typically on the top or bottom of Viking refrigerators. You will need to remove a plastic panel to access them.
  • Dacor Refrigerators – Access the condenser coils behind the top grille ventilation panel.
  • Electrolux Refrigerators – You can typically find the condenser coils on the underneath the unit at the back.

why won't my refrigerator cool

Door Gasket Damaged

If your refrigerator door gasket is damaged, it could be letting cold air out and warm air in. Thus your refrigerator isn’t cooling properly. Check the seal for any sign of damage such as tears and cracks. If you see any, you’ll need to replace the gasket with a new one.

Another issue with refrigerator door gaskets is food debris. Wipe down the refrigerator door seal to get rid of any tiny crumbs that may be preventing the door from closing tightly.

Temperature Control Thermostat Malfunction

The temperature control thermostat is responsible for helping the refrigerant system run properly. You can test whether it is working by listening for a click when you rotate the thermostat from the lowest to the highest setting. If you hear the click, it is not defective. If you don’t hear anything, test it with a multimeter to determine continuity.

Evaporator Fan Motor Not Working

Another common reason your refrigerator isn’t cooling is a problem with the evaporator fan motor. This fan motor pulls air over the cooling coils and sends it throughout the refrigerator. If it is defective, cold air will not circulate, causing the refrigerator to feel warm.

If your refrigerator has only one evaporator fan motor, like a Viking model, it is typically located in the freezer section, behind the back cover. Make sure the power supply is turned off before investigating. If the fan blade spins freely while off, it needs to be replaced.

If you find yourself asking why won’t my refrigerator cool, you can always consult a professional like Ortega’s Appliance Service for help.


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