You rely on your refrigerator to keep food cold enough that it won’t spoil for days and weeks at a time. A fridge that is too cold will start to form ice-crystals on your food and liquids may form a skin of ice on top. This has it’s own problems, to be sure, usually solved by a quick nudge of the thermostat. But a fridge that is too warm is an entirely different problem. If you’ve been noticing food spoiling faster or beverages that are not cold when you drink them, you need to find the solution fast. But before you call the repairs, try these five quick-fixable possibilities why your fridge might not be getting cold enough.
1) The Thermostat Was Bumped by Accident
The easiest fix is also by far the most common: someone bumped the thermostat. This happens all the time when a member of the family accidentally nudges the dial control while grabbing milk or loading the fridge with leftovers. Start by checking the fridge dial. If it’s not already at the coldest setting, nudge it colder and see if that helps.
2) Food Items are Blocking the Freezer-to-Fridge Vent
The next most likely reason is that your fridge is too full of items and something is blocking the vent between the fridge and freezer. This is far more likely in a side-by-side or french-door refrigerator design but can happen in most models. The trick is to know where the vent is and not block it. Cold air is sent originally to your freezer and then circulated into the fridge to keep both compartments cold. Find where the vent is and make sure no food blocks the flow of cold air.
3) Your Refrigerator is Too Empty
Oddly, another possible problem is that your fridge is too empty. You would think that an empty fridge would be easy to keep cold but anyone who’s ever reached into an empty fridge can tell you that this isn’t’ the case. Food items and beverages actually act as cold-batteries much like the ice packs in a cooler. They not only retain cold, but they maintain the cold as well. The denser the contents of your fridge, the better.
If your fridge is too empty, it can’t maintain the cold necessary to, say, keep your milk from spoiling. The fix is easy. Either buy more food or fill a few gallon jugs of water and leave them is as ambient cold-batteries until you want a nice cool drink.
4) Your Door Is Not Sealing Tightly
The problem might also be your refrigerator door. Fridge door gaskets get dirty, get old, and harden over time. If your fridge gasket seal has stopped sealing, then it either needs a little care or to be replaced which an easy repair. Try wiping down your fridge gasket (and door pocket) with a sponge. Then apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to the seal to improve it’s sealing qualities and help it re-moisturize if the rubber has dried out.
5) Your Refrigerant Coils are Dusty
Finally, if you’re brave, you can take a look at your refrigerant coils which is where the cold comes from initially. They are likely either located underneath your fridge behind the kick-plate or in the back of your fridge behind the back panel. If the coils are covered in dust, then cold air can’t be treated with the cold they provide and your fridge may warm up. The coils are also at risk of becoming too cold, so a quick wipe with a towel is very good for your fridge in the long run.
—If your refrigerator is too warm, these five fixes are things any homeowner can do without the help of a repair technician. But if you’ve tried all five (or four-and-a-half if you’re cautious) and the fridge is still too warm, it’s time to make that call before your next round of groceries goes off. For more appliance repair insights or the assistance of a skilled repair technician, contact us today!