Keeping Your Fridge Nice and Chilly
According to standards set by the FDA, refrigerators should typically be set to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower to maintain food safety. On the other side of the same coin, freezers should be set to 0 degrees or lower. However, it's not unusual for fridges and freezers to lack cold air. If your appliance isn't getting cold enough, Mr. Appliance of Estrella Mountain can help. We work with residents of Goodyear, Avondale, and Buckeye, AZ, bringing them the gold standard in repair work and replacement. We'll evaluate your refrigerator, determine the problem, and recommend a speedy fix. Before you know it, your fridge will be chilly and safe for your fruits and veggies again.
Why Is My Refrigerator Not Cold Enough?
The first step to fixing the problem is figuring out why the refrigerator is not getting cold enough. Before you ever call for service, you can check a few areas. Here are some of the most common, easily addressed reasons why a fridge may not be cold enough:
- Plugs—More often than not, a warn fridge means the appliance isn't properly plugged in. Be sure to check the outlets and make sure everything is plugged in completely.
- Door Seals—Is the fridge or freezer door closing completely? If the door seals or gaskets are broken, the door may not totally close, leaving the inside of your fridge warmer than recommended.
- Air Circulation—Check the vents in your refrigerator and make sure they're free of obstructions. If boxes of food are blocking the vent, cold air may be unable to circulate and cool the interior.
- Thermostat—Take a look at the thermostat in the back of the fridge and ensure it's set to the correct temperature. Sometimes, people accidentally hit the thermostat while taking food out of the refrigerator and don't notice until the fridge is unusually warm.
Finding the Cause of the Issue
So, you've run through the four possibilities above, and still, the refrigerator will not get cold enough. If this is the case for you, there's probably a more complicated issue. No matter why your refrigerator is struggling, Mr. Appliance of Estrella Mountain is here to help. We repair all kinds of common appliance problems, and we'll pinpoint the issue quickly. Check out our guide to possible problems with your refrigerator:
The refrigerator compressor has the big responsibility of pushing refrigerant vapor into the coils, creating heat that later cools and absorbs warmth in the appliance. When the compressor malfunctions, you may notice increased temperatures even when the fan is running.
- Location: The compressor is typically behind the fridge near the bottom. On most models, it's a black tank. If you choose to remove the compressor yourself, make sure the refrigerator is unplugged.
- Possible Fixes: Most of the time, replacing a compressor start relay is your best bet. Not only is this approach effective, but it's also cheaper than buying a brand-new compressor. Should you need to replace the entire unit, you'll have to disconnect it from the suction and compressor discharge lines. Then, you'll need to remove the electrical package and loosen the bolts that hold the compressor in place. Next, the new compressor needs to be installed. Unless you're a repair expert yourself, it's always a good idea to hire a professional.
The condenser coils are tasked with transporting hot gas from the compressor to the evaporator coils. The refrigerant travels through the coils, turning the gas back into a cool liquid. When the coils clog, air may be unable to circulate and keep the refrigerator cool.
- Location: The condenser coils are also located at the bottom back of the refrigerator. The coils lead from the compressor to the freezer.
- Possible Fixes: Clogged coils should be cleaned as soon as possible. To do so, we'll need to unplug the refrigerator and remove the toe grill. From there, we use a coil brush to take care of any dust and debris. Once the dust is vacuumed up, we reinstall the toe grill and fire up the refrigerator again.
The condenser fan is responsible for cooling the compressor and coils as they do their job. When the fan malfunctions, it can cause the refrigerator's temperatures to rise to unsafe levels.
- Location: You can find the condenser fan in the bottom cabinet next to the compressor and condenser coils. If your fridge has coils on the back, it will not have a fan.
- Possible Fixes: The first step to fixing a condenser fan is to check it for any objects that may be inhibiting its ability to spin. If you can't find anything out of place, you may have a problem with the motor. Most local appliance stores stock replacement motors or you can order one from the fridge manufacturer. Once the new motor is in your hands, unfasten the mounting screws, remove the old unit, and install the new one.
The evaporator fan is a crucial component of the refrigerator that blows air across the evaporator coils, which cools it and directs it back into the fridge and freezer. When the evaporator fan stops working, you'll notice an absence of cold air.
- Location: You'll find the evaporator fan behind the freezer wall. To access this component, you may need to empty your freezer and remove the shelving.
- Possible Fixes: A broken evaporator fan will likely need a new motor. First, remove the panel at the back of the freezer and take off the mounting clip, fan blade, and wire harness. Now, you should be able to remove the old motor and replace it with a new one. Once the new motor is properly installed, you can reassemble the parts and panel.
The air damper is the component that controls how much cold air is pumped into the fridge and freezer. When the air damper is broken and can't open, it inhibits cold air from entering and cooling your favorite foods.
- Location: Air dampers are typically located between the fresh food compartment and the freezer. If you have a side-by-side freezer/fridge unit, the air damper may be in the upper left corner of the fridge.
- Possible Fixes: To replace an air damper, you'll first need to remove the screws that hold the conduit cover in place. Once the covers have been removed, you'll have to take off the thermostat sensor and ice bucket (if you have one). Next, unscrew the motor and move the compartment out of the way. Now, you should have access to the rear duct panel and the old air damper. Replace the air damper with the new one and reassemble the removed parts.
What Happens When There's No Quick Fix?
Sometimes, a fridge can't be fixed with any of the above solutions. If your refrigerator and freezer still aren't cold enough, it may be time for a replacement. The team at Mr. Appliance of Estrella Mountain can evaluate your fridge and determine whether repairs are possible. We'll walk you through the complicated repair process and ensure everything is done safely and correctly. If you're unsure whether you can fix the issue yourself, don't hesitate to reach out to our repair professionals.
Get in Touch With Mr. Appliance of Estrella Mountain
When you need refrigerator repairs or help with maintenance, Mr. Appliance of Estrella Mountain is here for you. Over the years, we've worked with dozens of homeowners in and around Goodyear, AZ, and we're proud to be known for exceptional service. Contact us today to request repair work.