In a tropical country like the Philippines, a refrigerator is a must-have appliance for many homes. It allows for food to be stored in a constantly cool location, which preserves freshness and keeps them from spoiling too quickly. But if you notice that the contents of your fridge spoil easily or remain warm even after hours of being stored, you must take a closer look at what is preventing your appliance from functioning properly.
Depending on the cause of the cooling problem, you may be able to solve it immediately on your own. In more serious cases, however, you’ll need the help of a repairman or it may be time to consider getting a replacement appliance. To help you determine what’s the best solution, you need to find out why your refrigerator isn’t cooling. Check if any of the following situations below may be the reason why your appliance isn’t functioning properly.
1. The Location Isn’t Ideal
Single door refrigerators are a popular option for small kitchens because they don’t take up a lot of space. However, you still have to consider the ideal placement for your fridge because its physical location can have an impact on how well it will function. For example, if your fridge is in a warm environment such as outdoors or in a spot that receives a lot of direct sunlight, it’ll have a harder time staying cool.
Sometimes, if your unit is close to other appliances that create heat, such as ovens and gas ranges, the fridge’s cooling can also be affected. So, make sure to place your refrigerator in a cool place and away from other heat-releasing elements and appliances.
2. There Isn’t Enough Clearance around the Fridge
Another reason your fridge may not be cooling is that there isn’t sufficient clearance along the sides and back of the appliance for air to circulate. If your refrigerator is enclosed or too near to the wall, its condenser coils won’t have access to air that can dissipate heat. As a result, it can’t effectively cool the unit.
While the ideal clearance still depends on your refrigerator’s manufacturer, the general recommendation is to provide at least three-quarters of an inch on the side and at least one inch of space at the back of the appliance.
3. The Fridge’s Temperature Isn’t Properly Set
Once you have checked and adjusted your refrigerator’s placement in your home, make sure to look into what’s happening inside the unit. Your first order of business is to make sure to inspect the fridge’s temperature control. If you have children in your home, they can sometimes tinker with the temperature settings, especially if the controls are within their reach.
However, your little ones’ playful hands aren’t the only possible cause. You can accidentally reset the temperature when you brush against the controls with your hand or as you shove food items into the fridge. Depending on your appliance’s manufacturer, the ideal interior temperature can vary. But the usual recommendation is to keep the fridge’s temperature between 1 and 7 degrees Celsius, while the freezer can be set from -15 to -23 degrees Celsius. This ensures that the contents of your fridge and freezer stay cool and don’t spoil easily.
4. The Interior Air Vents Are Blocked
After recalibrating your appliance’s temperature setting, make sure there aren’t any items blocking the cool air vents. This can be the cause of why your fridge isn’t cooling. Large containers that are placed right in front of the vents can prevent cool air from spreading inside the unit. If you have large items in your fridge, place them on a different shelf or transfer the contents into smaller containers to create more space.
5. The Refrigerator Is Under or Overstocked
How you stock your fridge can also affect its cooling ability. If there are just a handful of items inside your refrigerator, the appliance needs to work harder to cool the interior because there isn’t sufficient mass inside to maintain the cool temperature.
On the other hand, an overstocked fridge can also be a problem. There may not be enough space for the cool air to circulate in between the items. It can also lead to some areas of the fridge being cooler or warmer if some objects are clustered together while others aren’t. Instead of under or overstocking your fridge, try to make sure that it is two-thirds full so that there is enough content to allow your fridge to run efficiently.
6. The Door Seals Are Dirty
One other element you need to inspect in your refrigerator is the door seals or gaskets. These are the rubber strips attached to the outer edges of your refrigerator to create an air-tight seal, which prevents cool air from escaping. These flexible strips also prevent warm air from entering the compartments.
Over time, the gaskets can become dirty from dust and food spills, and this buildup can prevent them from creating a tight seal. To ensure cool air stays inside, make sure to regularly clean the seals with warm soapy water and wipe them with a dry cloth. Also, remember to wipe down the part where the fridge and seals connect as dirt and dust can also accumulate in this area.
Having a refrigerator in your kitchen is necessary for keeping food items cold and fresh, but if the appliance isn’t working correctly, you might have to deal with a lot of food spoilage. Before calling a repairman or getting a replacement, it’s best to inspect the unit first and see if the common causes mentioned above are the reasons why your fridge isn’t cooling. In this way, you can resolve the issue on your own and also ensure that your fridge is running under the right conditions.
Thank you for reading.