Your refrigerator should stay at a steady temperature and keep your food cold. If you find your refrigerator does not stay at your set temperature, then you may need an appliance repair person to check it out. You can help by narrowing down the cause of your refrigerator's troubles. Below are common causes of refrigerator cooling problems to help you figure out the source of the problem.
Evaporator Coil Problems
Your refrigerator works similarly to an air conditioner. Evaporator coils keep the refrigerant cool it needs it. A defroster usually keeps ice from forming on or in these coils. When that breaks down, ice can cause clogs. The evaporator then becomes less efficient.
Evaporator Fan Not Working
The evaporator fan blows air over the coils to produce cold air inside the refrigerator. You should hear it turn on and off throughout the day. When this fan doesn't work, then the cold air doesn't circulate, and the inside of the refrigerator warms up.
Condenser Coils Dirty
In addition to evaporator coils, condenser coils play an important role. They condense and transport the coolant to the evaporator. Often, dust forms on these coils and reduces their efficiency. Simple maintenance and cleaning are usually enough to restore these coils to normal.
If your refrigerator's thermostat is broken, you will either not have any cooling or too much cooling. You may also have a temperature sensor issue that reads the interior temperature wrong. Not only will the inside of your refrigerator seem warm, but you won't hear it cycle on and off as much.
Too Much Food
When you have too much food, then air doesn't flow freely through the unit. In the end, your refrigerator will be warmer. The temperature should improve once you remove the food. Likewise, your refrigerator will warm up if you put in hot food, but this is only temporary as well.
Bad Door Seal
Finally, if you have a severely worn door seal, then cool air can leak out. You may also find your refrigerator working harder, but the unit isn't getting colder. Even if your door seal is fine, over-stuffing your refrigerator could cause the door not to close all the way.
If you still can't figure out what is wrong with your refrigerator, an experienced appliance repair person can often find the trouble. Your model may have other features that can cause temperature problems. For example, some new refrigerators have circuit boards and sensors that are difficult to troubleshoot. The problem could also be electrical. Any time you have an appliance repair problem, call a professional for help.