We’ve all been there. The milk’s gone sour, the meat has an odd smell, or perhaps the cheese has started to sweat, and you’re left puzzled wondering why your domestic fridge is not cooling enough.

This dilemma is more common than you’d imagine, and you’re certainly not the only one facing this conundrum. The fridge not cooling properly is a universal problem, and while it can be inconvenient, there are steps you can take to rectify the issue before considering a professional intervention.

Before we delve into potential causes and remedies, it’s important to understand the essence of this problem. When your fridge is not cooling enough, it fails to maintain the necessary environment to store your food safely and effectively – this can lead to spoilage and wastage, affecting both your health and your wallet.

adult bearded repairman in working overall fixing refrigerator by screwdriver in kitchen
The refrigerator not cooling can be a frustrating problem

Now, let’s unravel some common culprits of a fridge not cooling properly and how to address them. However, please note that if these suggestions fail to restore your fridge’s functionality, seeking professional help might be your best bet.

  1. Plugged In, Powered Up and Ready to Go

Yes, it may sound elementary, but ensuring your fridge is plugged in and turned on is a crucial initial step. Sometimes, a loose power connection or an accidentally flipped switch can create this hiccup. It’s the simplest check and yet it could save you from a deeper technical dive.

  1. Playing it Cool with Temperature

One of the critical factors that can cause your fridge not to cool enough is the temperature setting. If the fridge’s internal temperature is set too high, it won’t keep your food cool. Temperatures between 3-5 degrees Celsius are recommended for most refrigerators. A quick inspection of your temperature settings can reveal if this is the root cause of your fridge’s issues.

  1. Cleaning Coils and Filters

Your fridge operates optimally when its coils and filters are clean. Over time, these components can accumulate a layer of dust, dirt, and debris, impairing their cooling function. If you notice your fridge not cooling adequately, try giving these elements a thorough clean.

The filters typically sit behind the fridge’s kickplate, while the coils are typically located at the back. Unplug your fridge, locate these components, and give them a vacuum clean using a brush attachment. Remember to rinse the filters under running water before putting them back in place.

  1. Ice Breaker: Defrosting the Freezer

A fridge not cold enough might be grappling with a frozen-over freezer. Excess ice on the coils impedes their cooling function, affecting the overall fridge temperature. If you spot a winter wonderland in your freezer, unplugging and leaving the door open for several hours to allow the ice to melt can make a significant difference.

  1. Problem with the Door Seals

One possible, and often overlooked, reason your fridge might not be cold enough is due to faulty or dirty door seals, also known as gaskets. These seals ensure the cold air remains inside the refrigerator when the door is closed. If they are damaged or dirty, they could be letting cold air escape, affecting the fridge’s internal temperature.

Examine the door seals for any signs of wear and tear or damage. Look for cracks, dryness, or parts where the seal might be coming loose. Also, check if any food residue or grime is stuck on them. If they’re dirty, clean them with a mild solution of water and baking soda, which can help remove debris without damaging the seals. If the seals are damaged, they’ll need to be replaced. This is usually a job for a professional, unless you’re comfortable doing it yourself.

  1. Blocked Air Vents

Air vents in your fridge allow the cold air to circulate from the freezer section to the fridge section. If these vents get blocked by food items or ice, it can prevent the proper circulation of cold air, resulting in the fridge not cooling properly.

Check the air vents in your fridge to ensure they’re not blocked. If you find any obstructions, reorganise the food items to ensure that the vents are unblocked. If ice is blocking the vents, you’ll need to defrost your freezer following the procedure previously mentioned.

  1. Fridge is Overfilled

While it might seem like a good idea to pack your fridge to the brim, especially when prepping for a big event or after a major grocery run, overfilling your fridge can actually prevent it from cooling properly. This is because the cold air needs space to circulate effectively around the food.

If your fridge is crammed full, try removing some items to allow more space for air circulation. Also, try to keep the items a bit spaced out, rather than pushing them all together. Remember, your fridge works best when it’s not empty, but not overstuffed either – a good rule of thumb is to keep it about three-quarters full.

  1. Thermostat Troubles

If all the above remedies haven’t been successful, the culprit might be a malfunctioning thermostat. This component is pivotal in regulating your fridge’s temperature, and if it’s not functioning optimally, the result is a fridge not cooling properly. This issue is a tad more complex and might warrant professional assistance.

Fridge space issues

Despite diligent DIY troubleshooting, if your fridge is still not cooling properly, it’s time to call in the experts

At National Appliance Repairs, we boast a team of qualified and experienced technicians, ready to diagnose and remedy your fridge’s cooling problem swiftly.

With thousands of successful repairs under our belt, ranging from fridges to ovens to dishwashers, we offer a speedy turnaround, transparent upfront pricing, and unparalleled expertise.

Whether you need fridge repairs, installation, or preventative maintenance for your residential or commercial refrigerator, we’re just a phone call away.