What Happens When a Refrigerator Stop Cooling on Refrigerator Side?

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Refrigerator Side

It’s a hot summer afternoon. You enter your home, reach into the fridge for a refreshing cold beverage, and find out that it isn’t working. That’s a horrible situation for most people since all the food will also go bad if the refrigerator stops cooling. If you have a broken fridge, you can search for “refrigerator repair near me” and hire professionals to fix it for you. Let’s figure out why your refrigerator isn’t cooling and what you can do to fix it.

The Details

1. Malfunctioning evaporator fan – The evaporator fan circulates cold air from the freezer to other compartments in the refrigerator. When the evaporator fan stops working, the cold air may be stuck in the freezer section and may not make its way to the food section and other parts of the refrigerator. That’s why you may find the freezer to be working perfectly, yet nothing else in the refrigerator stays cool.

If you are an expert DIYer, you can check the owner’s manual of your refrigerator and disassemble the evaporator fan along with its motor. If it’s due to worn-out fan bearings, you can easily find them in the hardware store. If the problem is due to bent fan blades, you would need to replace the fan. On the other hand, if the fan motor is damaged, you’ll either need to get it repaired or replace it with a new one. 

2. Frozen evaporator coil – The evaporator coils are responsible for absorbing the heat from the air and transferring it to the refrigerant fluid. It’s usually located in the freezing zone of the refrigerator. Despite this, the evaporator coils are designed to not get damaged and work efficiently. However, if the coils and fan get frosted, they have a layer of insulation that prevents the efficient transfer of heat.

If the coils have excessive frost accumulating on them, the evaporator fan won’t be able to draw air over the coils. This doesn’t mean that you won’t have any cooling effect. However, without proper airflow and direct contact of air with the evaporator coils, the cooling performance would be very disappointing. You won’t even be able to chill a few cans of beer. To fix this issue, you need to defrost the coils. To do that, you just need to keep the refrigerator open and turn it off for a few hours. Make sure to transfer perishable items to another fridge so that they don’t go bad.

3. Defrost system doesn’t work – If you have a frost-free refrigerator in your home, it comes with a defrost system. The system consists of a defrost heater and a defrost timer and is responsible for controlling the cooling and defrost cycle. The defrost timer makes the fridge enter cooling mode or defrost mode. If the timer stops working properly and gets stuck on cooling mode, it will lead to excessive frost buildup on the evaporator coils. As mentioned above, that will lead to poor airflow and underwhelming cooling performance.

On the other hand, the defrost heater justifies its name by melting the frost developed on the evaporator coils. When it gets damaged or goes out of order, the coils are covered with frost and you get poor cooling for the entire refrigerator. Without those two essential components, the refrigerator doesn’t know when to cool or defrost. If they go bad, you need to replace them with new components. 

4. Wrong temperature setting – People often ignore one of the most common problems that lead to poor cooling performance. It’s the most common and easiest to fix. If you have children, their curious hands tend to tinker around in the refrigerator when they open it to bring out any item. However, the curiosity of your children isn’t the only culprit. You may reset the temperature of the refrigerator by mistake.

For instance, if you have an old refrigerator that has manual dial temperature controls, it may be affected when you keep items in the refrigerator. For instance, if you push a bowl inside the refrigerator and it brushes against the dial and raises the temperature, the refrigerator isn’t going to cool properly. In this case, you just need to check the set temperature of your refrigerator and turn it down if it’s not in the right setting. Refrigerators take a long time to change their internal temperature. That’s why you should be able to see results after at least 10 or more hours. 

5. Leaking refrigerant – The compressor is the most important part of the fridge. However, without the refrigerant fluid, the compressor won’t have anything to work with. If there are leaks at the condenser or evaporator coils or any other place, the refrigerant might be leaking. When the refrigerant fluid leaks out, it will inevitably lead to poor cooling performance and can be quite hazardous. In this case, it’s best to turn off the refrigerator and call a technician as soon as possible.

6. Broken compressor – As mentioned above, the compressor is the most important part of the refrigerator. Its job is to maintain the refrigeration cycle. It compresses the refrigerant from low-pressure to high pressure and changes its state. Through the change of the refrigerant’s state, it is able to efficiently exchange heat with the air inside the refrigerator and keep your refrigerator cool.

The compressor makes the refrigerant travel via different coils and keeps the refrigerator cool. If the compressor gets damaged, your refrigerator won’t stay cool anymore. You can check the compressor sound for clues. If the sound goes from the usual low hum to a constant or loud noise or stops making any noise, then you need to get the compressor repaired or replaced. 


Refrigerators are one of the most important appliances in most homes. It keeps all the food, drinks, condiments, and sometimes, even medicine. If your refrigerator stops cooling and you can’t fix it yourself, you can always search for “refrigerator repair near me” and hire professionals for the job.

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