If your freezer is cold, but your refrigerator is warm, you're experiencing a common problem. Your fridge produces cold air in its freezer first, and some of that cold air is diverted into the refrigerator to keep it at a temperature that's safe for food. If your fridge isn't working properly or if air isn't circulating correctly, your refrigerator section is the first one to warm up. To help you diagnose the problem, here's what you should do when your freezer works fine, but your refrigerator isn't cooling your food properly.
Remove any Ice or Food That Obstruct Your Freezer's Air Vents
If your freezer is full of food, you may have accidentally covered up the air vents that connect the freezer to the refrigerator. When you block these air vents, it prevents cold air from reaching your refrigerator. Check the air vents in your freezer and remove any obstructions such as food or frost that may be covering them.
Inspect Your Freezer's Evaporator Coils for Frost Buildup
Next, you'll need to unplug your fridge and pull the back plate off of your freezer. You'll see an evaporator fan, some evaporator coils and some frost fins. Check for frost buildup on the evaporator coils and the frost fins. When frost covers the coils and the fins, it insulates the coils and reduces airflow. The frozen coils and reduced airflow prevent your fridge from cooling properly — the cold is not able to transfer from the coils to the air inside your refrigerator. Since the evaporator coils are located in the freezer, your freezer often stays cold due to radiant cooling. However, your refrigerator may become too warm since the air circulating around your fridge is not cold enough.
When your evaporator coils are freezing over, it typically means that your defrost unit is not functioning properly. Your freezer has a heating element located right behind the evaporator coils. It turns on periodically in order to melt any frost that accumulates on the coils, ensuring that they're able to function properly.
Some fridges control this heating element with a timer, whereas others use a thermostat to turn the heating element on when the fridge senses that the coils are starting to freeze over. You'll need to call a professional home appliance repair service in order to find out where the problem lies in your defrost unit and replace any faulty parts.
Make Sure Your Evaporator Fan Runs Correctly
If you didn't notice any frost on the evaporator coils, plug your fridge back in and watch the action of the evaporator fan. It should spin up and continue running. The evaporator fan is responsible for circulating air around your fridge, which includes moving a portion of the cold air in your freezer into your refrigerator in order to keep it cool. If your evaporator fan isn't running, its wiring or its motor may have been damaged. Call an appliance repair professional to have your evaporator fan replaced.
Check the Condition of Your Refrigerator's Seal
Finally, you'll need to check the condition of your refrigerator's seal. The seal acts as an insulator that prevents cold air from leaking out of your fridge and warm air from entering. If your seal is deteriorating, your fridge may not be able to work hard enough to keep up with the amount of cold air escaping your fridge. Place a piece of paper in your refrigerator door and close the door on it. You shouldn't be able to work the paper free from the door. You should also check for any holes or tears in the seal itself. If your refrigerator seal is in poor condition, you'll need to call a repair specialist to replace it.
If you can't figure out why your freezer is cold but your refrigerator is warm, call a home appliance repair service. They'll inspect the entirety of your fridge, including its thermostat and its control board, looking for any electrical problems that prevent your fridge from functioning correctly. Don't put yourself at risk of food poisoning or waste money by throwing out spoiled food — have your refrigerator repaired by a professional so that it can maintain a comfortably cool temperature.
Fo rmore information, contact your local home appliance repair services today.