What is Causing a Refrigerator to Become Warm While The Freezer is Still Cold?

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Ideally, you want your freezer to be freezing and your refrigerator to be chilly. However, even if it breaks, you will kind of expect both your freezer and your refrigerator to become warm, right? Yet, if you find that your refrigerator has grown practically balmy, but your freezer still works as designed, this can make troubleshooting the issue seem more difficult.

In truth, the issue at hand shouldn’t actually be too difficult to detect. The way a refrigerator works if the freezing air from the freezer compartment is moved by the fan into the evaporator and pushed into the refrigerator compartment to cool it. This means that if your freezer is still working, the issue most likely lies in the evaporator area. However, it does not always mean a repair needs to be made either.

So what is causing your refrigerator to warm while the freezer remains cold?

Cause 1 – Overfilled Freezer

If your freezer is literally packed to the brim, you may think you are being energy efficient, but it is causing this issue. While a full freezer is an energy efficient freezer, you should always keep vents clear as the air needs to circulate. In this case, the fan cannot get enough cool air from the freezer to the refrigerator.

Cause 2 – Frost Blockage

If you do not have automatic defrost or it hasn’t been running, frost can build up which can block the vents and cause this issue. As most modern refrigerators have automatic defrost, you may want to look into repairing it to prevent this issue.

Cause 3 – Failed Evaporator Fan

If the fan that pushes air into the evaporator has stopped working or is not working as intended, then air cannot flow between the freezer and the refrigerator. As such, your refrigerator will grow much warmer. If the above blockages are not the cause, this is the most likely culprit and a replacement will need to be made.

Cause 4 – Failed Air Damper

In many refrigerator designs, cold air is created in the freezer and pushed into the refrigerator section using the evaporator fan motor. On some designs, there will a damper that will open and close allowing the cold air to pass into the refrigerator section. These can ice up or fail outright, causing the refrigerator section to either get too cold or not cold enough.


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