Why is My Refrigerator Compressor Hot?

Your refrigerator’s compressor plays a huge role in keeping your refrigerator cold.

The reality is your fridge’s compressor is comparable to a human heart — it does a significant amount of work to maintain the desired temperature, and without it, your refrigerator is simply a large insulated cooler.

A large part of this work involves compressing refrigerant (a type of hot gas that converts into a cold liquid). This process generates heat, which makes your compressor warm.

However, if your refrigerator’s compressor keeps getting too hot, it will cause a problem.

When Is A Heated Compressor A Problem?

Your compressor distributes refrigerant that goes through a compression and expansion process, ultimately removing heat from your fridge to cool it down. So it’s not unusual for a compressor to feel warm to the touch.

However, if your compressor exhibits any of these signs, it may be overheating:

  • It’s making loud noises.
  • Your food is spoiling faster than usual.
  • There’s been an increase in your energy bill.
  • The inside of your refrigerator constantly feels warm or hot instead of cold.

If you’ve identified that your refrigerator compressor is hotter than normal, it’s important to figure out why.

Your local appliance professional can examine your compressor to quickly determine why it might be overheating.

In the meantime, we’ve provided some explanations below for why your compressor may be overheating and how our professionals can fix this issue.

You Have an Overloaded Compressor

When your compressor is constantly working harder than it should, it’s“overloaded.” As you can imagine, any overworked motor is prone to overheating and failure. An overloaded compressor is most often caused by the following:

  • Blocked airflow
  • A leak in the cooling system
  • Flawed internal designs

In order to fix this issue, our team will need to determine the exact cause of the compressor overload. Here are some steps our professional will take to diagnose and fix the issue:

  1. Check the evaporator or condenser coil to make sure it’s not clogged. Our professional will either unclog or replace it to improve airflow to your appliance.

  2. Repair any refrigerant leaks to prevent the compressor from working harder than necessary.

  3. Refill your fridge with refrigerant.

  4. Repair or replace any faulty parts that are affecting the compressor’s performance.

  5. Test your appliance to ensure it’s performing optimally.

If Your Compressor Does Not Ventilate Well

Compressors need to release the heat that they generate when compressing the refrigerant. But if your compressor doesn’t ventilate well, it holds the heat instead of releasing it.

The following part-related issues can prevent proper ventilation:

  • Jammed condenser coil
  • Defective condenser fan motor
  • Faulty compressor fan

To determine why your compressor isn’t ventilating as it should, our professionals will do the following:

  1. Clean the condenser coil (if necessary) to promote ventilation and airflow.

  2. Verify that the condenser fan motor and compressor fan aren’t damaged and in need of replacement.

  3. Confirm that the problem doesn’t exist with the compressor itself. If it does, we’ll repair or replace your compressor.

  4. Refill your fridge with refrigerant.

  5. Test your refrigerator to make sure that the problem is resolved.

If Your Compressor Has Mechanical Issues

If your compressor has mechanical issues, it means that one or more parts are malfunctioning and unable to communicate the proper messages to each other in order to cool your fridge.

Mechanical issues can be complex to diagnose since so many intricate parts are involved in making sure your refrigerator operates efficiently. Here are some possible mechanical reasons why your compressor is overheating:

  • Defective compressor parts such as the bearings, motor, and piston.
  • Malfunctioning or damaged compressor.

Depending on what is causing the mechanical issue, our pros will take the following steps:

  1. Take apart your compressor and examine it for damage.

  2. Replace any worn or defective compressor parts or replace the compressor unit if needed.

  3. Refill your refrigerator’s refrigerant if we’ve opened the system for repairs.

  4. Test your appliance to ensure your refrigerator and its parts are functioning properly.

If Your Compressor Has Electrical Issues

Sometimes electrical issues may be mistaken for mechanical. A clear indicator of an electrical issue is the failure of one or more of these parts:

  • Thermostat
  • Wiring
  • Capacitor
  • Overload protector
  • Start relay

Our trained appliance professionals take the following steps to address electrical malfunctions in a compressor:

  1. Test the electrical components of the compressor to identify a faulty part(s).

  2. Repair or replace the malfunctioning part.

  3. Refill your fridge with refrigerant.

  4. Make sure that the compressor is functioning well after part repair and replacement.

Mr. Appliance Is Your Fix For Refrigerator Problems

Your refrigerator is the heart that keeps your kitchen running smoothly. If it’s not working properly or stops working, it creates a lot of problems. Don’t let a broken refrigerator ruin your food or day. There is an easy fix; call the experts at Mr. Appliance or schedule an appointment online to get your refrigerator repaired today!