A blast of cool air when you open the refrigerator is as reliable as light when you flip a switch. But no matter how trusty your refrigerator might be, there may come a day it feels warm when you open the door. What would cause a refrigerator to stop getting cold? A blocked or faulty damper can make the temperature rise. Troubleshoot more reasons your refrigerator won’t cool and how to solve the problem.

Refrigerator Freezer is Cold But Refrigerator is Warm

Troubleshooting when your refrigerator won’t cool should start with an assessment of the unit as a whole. Check your refrigerator freezer to determine if it’s still the right temperature. If both the refrigerator and freezer are warm, one of the following problems could be responsible:

Faulty Damper Control Assembly

The damper assembly consists of a small flap within the refrigerator vent that opens and closes to let cool air enter. If the damper assembly malfunctions, cool air won’t be able to enter the refrigerator, raising the internal temperature. If you hold your hand in front of the refrigerator vent and don’t feel cool air flowing, the damper may require replacement.

faulty damper control refrigerator not cooling

Blocked Damper

Sometimes the damper may not be faulty but, instead, is blocked by food that restricts airflow. Make sure that stored items aren’t blocking the damper and that the refrigerator isn’t overloaded. Keeping food at least an inch away from refrigerator walls can ensure that cool air circulates.

Stuck Damper

When the damper malfunctions and is stuck in the closed position, cool air won’t be able to enter the refrigerator’s interior. If your refrigerator has a removable vent, take it off and try to manually move the damper. If the vent isn’t removable or the damper can’t be moved, it requires a professional assessment to determine if it should be replaced.

Refrigerator Not Cooling

If you find the refrigerator not cold but freezer is there are several possible causes. While assessing the problem can be straightforward, repairs for these issues tend to be more complex. We suggest using a professional service if repairs or replacements are necessary.

Evaporator Fan Motor

When your refrigerator won’t cool a failed evaporator fan motor is a common cause. This fan circulates air over the evaporator coils, helping refrigerant absorb heat and keep the interior cool. Most evaporator fans are located behind a freezer panel.

How can you tell if the evaporator fan motor has failed? If you open the freezer door and the refrigerator runs louder, it’s likely the evaporator fan has malfunctioned. If the fan blades can’t be turned manually or multimeter testing of the motor shows no continuity, it requires professional replacement.

Condenser Fan Motor

The condenser fan helps cool both the condenser and the compressor coils and circulate warm air out the refrigerator grille. If it’s not functioning properly, the compressor system may not be able to generate cool air for the refrigerator. Most fans are located near the condenser coils behind the refrigerator grille.

Check the fan for any obstructions that may be preventing the blades from rotating. However, if the blades can’t be rotated manually or the fan motor shows no continuity with multimeter testing, it should be professionally replaced.

Temperature Control Thermostat

This component monitors the refrigerator’s internal temperature, signaling the compressor and evaporator fan motor if more cool air is needed. If the thermostat malfunctions, it won’t be able to measure or signal the need for cooler air. To test the temperature control thermostat, rotate it from its lowest setting to the highest. If you don’t hear a click at the highest setting, the thermostat is likely defective and must be replaced.

Main Control Board

While this is a less likely cause for cooling issues, it’s possible the main control board has failed. This computerized board governs almost all refrigerator functions, relaying signals to various components. If your refrigerator won’t cool after the above troubleshooting tips, it’s possible the main control board has failed and needs professional replacement.

Compressor/Sealed System

The compressor is a vital component that compresses refrigerant so it can circulate through the evaporator and condenser coils. While it’s not likely, a refrigerator compressor running but not cooling won’t compress the refrigerant and produce cool air for the refrigerator. If all other components are functioning properly, test the compressor for continuity with a multimeter. If it has an open circuit, it’s defective and requires professional replacement.

The team at Las Vegas Appliance Repair can help when your refrigerator won’t cool. Call us for a fast and professional repair!