A broken refrigerator is a big deal. Nobody wants the headache or expense of a refrigerator full of food that will spoil with no place to keep it cooled properly. When your refrigerator isn’t cold enough, it may require professional repair. However, with a little know-how, you can sometimes diagnose and fix a seemingly broken refrigerator on your own.

Let’s walk through some DIY troubleshooting tips to determine if your refrigerator just needs a little TLC or if you need to call a professional repair technician.

Troubleshooting Guide: Reasons Your Refrigerator Isn’t Cold

Power Supply Issue

The first thing to check when your refrigerator isn’t working is the power supply. This might seem like a no-brainer, but it is possible that the plug is not securely in the outlet, or there could be damage to the plug or cord itself preventing electrical continuity.

Check the power cord for signs of wear and tear or damage. If it’s safe to use, make sure it is securely plugged into the outlet.


If your refrigerator isn’t cold, it could be due to being filled to capacity, which may result in the refrigerator not cooling properly, especially if the placement of items is blocking vents and further inhibiting air circulation.

Avoid overstuffing your refrigerator by only storing as much food as your fridge can comfortably handle while still allowing air to circulate in between everything. Ensure that nothing is blocking the vents and the temperature is set according to product recommendations.

refrigerator not cooling

Image from Drake in the Morning


Dirty Condenser Coils

The refrigerator won’t cool efficiently if the condenser coils are dirty. If your refrigerator isn’t cold and you’ve already checked the power supply and made sure vents are clear, check the condenser coils located either on the back or underneath the refrigerator.

Condenser coils should be cleaned every 6 months. Use an appliance brush and a narrow vacuum attachment to clean the dust and debris off the coils. This will help your refrigerator run more efficiently.

refrigerator won't cool


Evaporator Fan Motor Failure

Have you discovered the refrigerator is warm but freezer is cold? You could have a failed fan motor. If you are handy with repairs, you can remove the evaporator panel and replace the motor yourself.

This process does require a little more work, some tools, and precision. Refer to owner’s manual for product specifications.

If you’ve given the DIY route the ol’ college try and still find the refrigerator isn’t cold, let AZ Appliance Service take a look – we’ll get you back in business in no time!