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My Refrigerator Has a Hot Spot on the Door

Since refrigerators are designed to keep food cool, you’re likely to be concerned if you touch your refrigerator and the exterior feels warm. This is not always a cause for alarm, however. Manufacturers say some areas are warm by design to keep the refrigerator functioning properly. Hot areas, on the other hand, may require further investigation.

Areas Around Gaskets

A refrigerator's doors should sometimes feel warm.

In areas where gaskets meet the frame of the refrigerator, it is normal for you to feel warmth.  Amana says a heat loop inside the refrigerator’s walls targets these areas to prevent the formation of frost and moisture on the exterior of the appliance.

Increased Temperatures

A few factors can cause the area around the gaskets to feel warmer than usual, and this effect can last for up to 24 hours.  Factors leading to the higher temperature include starting up the refrigerator after it has been shut off, loading warm food into the appliance or periods of heavy refrigerator use. Hot, humid weather can also play a role. 

Settings

GE says many of its top-freezer and some of its bottom-freezer models have a switch labeled “Energy Saver” or “Power Saver” This switch controls the heating of the area between the refrigerator doors.  GE recommends setting it to the right when customers see moisture appearing between the doors or when outdoor conditions are hot and humid.

Hot Conditions

Amana advises customers to check their refrigerator’s condenser coils for dirt and debris if the area around the gaskets continually feels hot (not warm).  “Airflow blocked by lint, pet hair and dirt will cause the condenser and heat loop temperature to increase,” the company notes. If this is the problem, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for properly cleaning the coils. 

About the Author

Ann Frederick has been a professional writer since 1993. She began her career as a television news producer and then transitioned into public relations, working for local, state and federal government agencies. Her professional awards include a silver ADDY. Frederick holds a Bachelor of Science in communications from Florida State University.

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