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The refrigerator is one of the few appliances that – to function properly – must remain on for 24 hours a day: it is easy to understand how an interruption of even a few hours can affect the correct maintenance of food. Furthermore, a fridge that does not cool often results in unnecessary energy expenditure.

But why does my fridge not cool? Let’s see what are the possible causes of the refrigerator compartment not cooling, and how it is possible to intervene in the most common problems.

Why Does My Fridge Not Cool? – Possible Causes and Findings:

1. Incorrect Use and Damaged Seals

One of the possible causes of non-cooling of the cold room is to be found in the dispersion of cold air. If the refrigerator is left open for too long, or if the seals do not adhere well to each other, it is possible that the refrigerator is not cooling sufficiently.

In this case, the first thing to do is to clean the gaskets, whose functionality can be compromised by dirt or food residues. With a damp cloth, the entire frame of the cell is cleaned. If during cleaning you notice significant cuts or signs of wear, it will be good to proceed with the replacement of the gaskets.

If, on the other hand, the seals appear intact but dry and too hard, you can try to restore them with the help of a hairdryer … but with the awareness that this will be a temporary solution that will not repair us from the need to change the rings sooner or later. seals to our fridge.

It is good to remember that the right conduct and correct maintenance are also important: the fridge should not be kept open for too long, nor should it be filled all at once or with hot food. It is also useful to know that the food should be placed at least a few centimeters from the refrigerator walls, to avoid the formation of ice or the stagnation of cold air near the walls.

2. Adjusting the Thermostat

If the fridge does not cool, or on the contrary freezes our food, it may be because of the badly adjusted thermostat.

The correct regulation of the thermostat is essential for the correct maintenance of food: a too high temperature can interrupt the cold chain, exposing our food to mold and deterioration; too low a temperature can freeze them and even cause serious damage to the appliance.

The ideal temperature to set the fridge is around 1-2 ° C. Therefore, first of all, let’s check to be sure we are using our refrigerator correctly.

If we suspect that the lack of cooling is due to the wrong setting of the thermostat, we can try to set it to a minimum temperature for at least a day. If the fridge efficiently resumes its work, that is, it manages to maintain a correct and constant temperature for at least 8 hours, we will have solved the problem with minimal effort.

Otherwise, if the operation does not have the desired results and our fridge still does not cool properly, it is likely that the broken or malfunctioning thermostat must be replaced. For this operation, the help of a specialized technician is recommended.

3. The Formation of Ice

One of the most common causes, when the fridge does not cool, is to be found in the formation of too much ice inside, which hinders the proper functioning of the appliance and can compromise its health.

This type of problem is found much more easily in so-called frost-free refrigerators, in which cooling takes place through a fan that moves cold air from the freezer to the refrigerator compartment.

This problem is easily identified: when you notice that the freezer is working properly and freezes the food, while the fridge cannot even keep it at a constant temperature, then the problem is almost certainly linked to the formation of excess ice.

Among the most common problems encountered in frost-free refrigerators, and which prevent their operation, are:

  • the malfunction of the fan which should activate the circulation of cold air from the freezer to the fridge;
  • the breakage or malfunction of the resistance;
  • the presence of a temperature probe (the one that indicates to the freezer the temperature at which to stop cooling) set.

In these cases, it is very difficult to try to fix things without the support of a technician.

What you can try, in order to dispel any doubts, is the defrosting of the fridge. It is necessary to turn off the power supply of the refrigerator for 24 hours and leave the doors open, taking care to place basins and rags to contain the water that will result.

This procedure is generally sufficient to restore the correct functionality of the refrigerator. If the refrigerator is still not cooling, then the problem may be more serious, and will almost certainly require the help of a skilled technician.

4. “Technical” Problems

If your fridge is not cooling, and you have tried all of the above, then it is likely that the problem affecting your appliance is more serious than expected.

The Compressor

The cause may be in the compressor malfunction, a small spherical object placed on the back of the fridge essential in maintaining a constant temperature.

A compressor failure is easily identifiable: if the refrigerator is quiet, if you don’t hear a motor “attack” from time to time, then the compressor is likely out of action. Replacing the compressor is a particularly delicate operation, so the involvement of a specialized technician is recommended.

The Resistance

If it is not even the compressor, the problem may be due to the refrigerator resistance, the one that allows defrosting and prevents the formation of ice blocks, which as we have seen can compromise the functionality of the refrigerator.

To be sure that the problem is related to the resistance, you can check with a tester: just place one lead on the contact of the resistance and the other on the ground, with the tester positioned on the highest scale. If the tester indicates a value other than zero, then the problem with our fridge will almost certainly lie in the resistance, which will need to be replaced.

The Refrigerant Gas Leaks

The static refrigerator, unlike the no-frost one, works thanks to the flow of a refrigerant gas, freon, inside the coils. In the event that a coil shows signs of damage or wear, it is possible that the gas escapes from it, nullifying the work of the compressor that sends it into circulation.

In this case, it will be necessary to first identify any leaks, then proceed to repair or replace the coils, and refill the gas. In this case, it is absolutely not advisable to proceed with do-it-yourself solutions, so it will be good to identify a specialized technician.

The Electronic Board

In the most technologically advanced refrigerators, there is an electronic board that determines the operation of the individual parts of the appliance. If we have not yet identified the problem that afflicts our refrigerator, then it is possible that it lies in the electronic component.

The only thing you can do about it, before calling the usually specialized technician to proceed with the replacement, is to check that it does not show burns or signs of damage. If there are no defects, it is possible that the cause of the problem is not even attributable to the electronic board … which could suggest the need to replace the entire appliance.


A refrigerator that does not cool does not always need to be changed or it will impose huge expenses on repairs and replacements. As we have seen, many of the causes of non-cooling of the refrigerator are easily analyzed and solved “at home”, with due patience and a certain dedication to the cause.

Furthermore, it is good to remember that many of the above problems can be prevented with the correct use and maintenance of our refrigerator. Therefore, always remember to keep it clean and tidy, not to leave the doors open for too long, not to insert hot food, and not to let the food rest on the walls of the cell.

If your fridge is of the static or static-ventilated type, it will also be necessary to proceed with manual defrosting at least once a year, leaving the fridge off for 24 hours and letting the ice that has formed inside melt. Only frost-free refrigerators are in fact designed for self-defrosting.