How to Repair a Refrigerator That is Not Cooling

Refrigerators require periodic maintenance to keep them in good working order.
If your refrigerator is experiencing cooling problems, this does not necessarily indicate a serious problem. Try a few simple fixes before you spend money on a repairman or a new refrigerator. If you can hear the freezer fan running, you know that your refrigerator is working. It is trying to keep things cool, but something is interfering. Fix the problem by approaching it methodically.

Step 1

Adjust the temperature control, if needed. Although this seems simplistic, this can easily be the source of the problem. It should be set at 37 degrees. The temperature control could have been turned up by accident.

Step 2

Defrost the refrigerator, if necessary. If it has not been defrosted properly, the refrigerator won't cool as well.

Step 3

Clean the condenser coils with a vacuum. These are behind or beneath the refrigerator.

Step 4

Inspect the door seal. A worn-out door seal will lead to frost buildup and prevent the door from closing tightly. This results in poor cooling.

Step 5

Level the refrigerator, if necessary. For the door to shut properly on its own, the refrigerator must be level and slightly tilted back. If it is not level, place a block of wood under the refrigerator and adjust the screws on the leveling legs.

Step 6

Close the door and make sure it doesn't sag. If the door doesn't shut tightly, it may need adjustment. Use a screwdriver to loosen the hinges and position the door so it is snug. Tighten the hinges.

About the Author

Robert Russell began writing online professionally in 2010. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and is currently working on a book project exploring the relationship between art, entertainment and culture. He is the guitar player for the nationally touring cajun/zydeco band Creole Stomp. Russell travels with his laptop and writes many of his articles on the road between gigs.