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What to Do if Freezer Is Cold But Refrigerator Is Warm?

Gaya Chudnovski

Technically Reviewed by Gaya Chudnovski on Feb 26, 2024 | Written by Oleg Chudnovski, CEO

Authorized repair service for most home appliance manufactures

Nothing may be more frustrating for a homeowner than when a freezer works, but the fridge doesn’t. It stands to reason that the refrigerator should also be if the freezer is cold. So why is that not happening?

For as simple as a refrigerator and freezer seem, they include quite a few complex mechanical parts and electronic components. A homeowner can easily solve some of the reasons that your fridge is not cooling, but the freezer works. There are several issues, however, that are better left to professional technicians.

The Refrigerator Is Not Cooling, But the Freezer Is Fine

If your freezer is cold, but the refrigerator section is not cooling, several potential culprits exist to consider. The typical problems include a jam-packed freezer, blocked condenser coils, challenges with the evaporator fan motor, and a faulty thermistor.

If the fridge is not cold but the freezer is, it might be necessary to tidy up the condenser coils. These coils, situated either at the back or bottom of the refrigerator, can accumulate dust, pet hair, and various debris over time. A congested condition impedes their proper functioning, causing the refrigerator to lose its cooling efficiency.

condenser coils are clogged

Have You Overpacked the Freezer?

A widespread issue that frequently escapes the notice of homeowners is an excessively stuffed freezer. Many homeowners tend to think it makes sense – if there’s space in the freezer, why not cram it full?

The hitch with this approach is that the freezer has vents designed to facilitate the flow of cold air. When these vents get obstructed due to an abundance of items crammed into the freezer, it hinders the airflow from reaching the refrigerator. In this scenario, the freezer might seem okay, but the refrigerator ends up being too warm.

Check Out the Refrigerator Evaporator Fan

It’s typical to discover that the majority of fridges employ a fan to circulate the cold air from the freezer to the evaporator. Subsequently, this chilled air is directed into the refrigerator section to maintain a cool temperature. If this fan malfunctions, your freezer might appear fine, but your refrigerator could end up feeling warmer than it should.

Is It Time to Defrost?

You wanted the area inside your freezer to be below-freezing temperatures, but you did not want those temperatures anywhere else in your system. If your freezer begins to create ice in the wrong places, such as in the vents or on the evaporator coils, this can mean a freezer at the right temperature but a too-warm refrigerator.

What to Do if Freezer Is Cold But Refrigerator Is Warm?

So What is the Solution for When a Freezer is Cold but the Fridge is Warm?

The issue of a freezer working but not the fridge can be frustrating because it simply does not seem like that should ever be a problem. So when diagnosing the issue, it is always best to start with the simplest problem and work up from there.

Make Space For the Air to Flow

Take a look at how you arrange the items in your freezer. Do not “pack” your freezer full, and ensure none of the freezer vents are blocked.

It is a common misconception among homeowners that if the door to the freezer still closes, you have not over-packed your freezer. Take a second look to ensure that no items are packed too closely together anywhere in the freezer, as you want to ensure that air can flow freely throughout the freezer compartment.

Make Sure Your Evaporator Fan Is Working Properly

In broad terms, the evaporator fan is typically situated behind the rear wall of the freezer section. Take a peek behind your fridge, and you’ll find this fan.

Check if the fan can rotate freely, making sure there’s no dust or debris causing any hindrance. Often, a straightforward cleanup in this region can resolve the issue. If that doesn’t do the trick, you might find your refrigerator not cooling while the freezer continues to operate.

In this case, you may consider bringing in a professional technician to replace the evaporator fan motor to get it working properly and get your refrigerator back to the proper temperature.

Is Your Defrost System Working?

Chances are, your fridge is equipped with a defrost thermostat system, complete with a defrost timer that triggers the system to operate multiple times throughout the day. The primary goal of this system is to eliminate frost buildup in areas that could potentially lead to problems in both your refrigerator and freezer.

If you observe frost accumulating in your freezer or anywhere on the rear of your refrigerator and freezer, it’s likely there’s an issue with your defrost system. This is precisely the kind of problem that requires the attention of a skilled technician with the knowledge and necessary components to swiftly resolve the issue.

As we said earlier, this problem may not seem obvious at first. If frost is building up anywhere on your system, your freezer should still work properly, but your refrigerator will get warm.

Now is the Time to Call Fix Appliances CA

More often than not, when a freezer is cold but the fridge is not, this issue is best left to professional technicians to repair. If cleaning your freezer and moving items around does not solve the problem, it is time to talk to the helpful experts at FIX Appliances CA. We:

  • We are here for you throughout the week from 07:30 am to 9:00 pm
  • Have assembled an expert staff that can handle any problem or issue
  • Are the area’s leading refrigerator and freezer repair company
  • Will get the job done quickly and correctly to save your valuable time

We’ve garnered extensive expertise in this domain over the years. Our industry-leading technicians are fully equipped to handle any issues with the refrigerator with a working freezer and an inoperable refrigerator. Make the first step by calling or online requesting service, and let us show you how easy it can be to get your refrigerator back to the proper temperature. Begin for appliance repair in Toronto and other GTA areas with same-day service available. Please call to check availability by calling at 647-503-6655 or the toll-free number 1-888-242-0777 today before noon.

Date of page creation: August 23, 2019

Page update date: February 26, 2024


What Our Customers Say About Us

Discover how Fix Appliances maintains a 5-star service record since day one.

Were having a problem with the fridge cooling and the technician was on time, polite, knowledgeable and diagnosed the problem quickly. Good cleanup afterwards and explained things as he went along. Would use again and highly recommend for others.

rating  Craig in Mississauga, Mississauga
Craig in Mississauga, Mississauga
August 20, 2019

Refrigerator broke over the weekend and we called over the weekend. The repair man came on Monday, figured out the issue and ordered parts which came 2 days later. By Friday the fridge was fixed and working well so far. The repairman was efficient and polite. Would recommend.

rating  AV, Toronto
AV, Toronto
August 12, 2019

Contact Us For Refrigerator Repair Services

Common Refrigerator Issues

  • Freezer is cold but refrigerator is warm
  • Fridge leaking water
  • Fridge freezing food
  • Fridge light not working
  • Fridge runs constantly
  • Freezer not cooling
  • There are water leaks in the refrigerator
  • The refrigerator constantly runs or hums
  • The refrigerator does not defrost
  • Refrigerator freezer is cold but refrigerator is warm

Same-day Refrigerator Repair Service in Your Area

FIX Appliances CA is located in the north of Toronto, Ontario, and our local refrigerator repair technicians serving the GTA, Ottawa and southern Ontario. Check the map to confirm the service area nearest to your city or town.

FAQ: Frequent Asked Questions

If your freezer is operating properly, but your refrigerator remains warm, the issue could be related to blocked airflow. The vents that circulate cold air from the freezer to the refrigerator might be obstructed. Overpacking the freezer can lead to blocked vents, preventing the cold air from reaching the refrigerator compartment. To resolve this, ensure proper ventilation by arranging items to allow for unrestricted airflow within the freezer.
Overpacking your freezer might seem convenient, but it can have adverse effects on your refrigerator's cooling efficiency. The vents responsible for distributing cold air become obstructed when too many items are crammed into the freezer. As a result, the freezer may still maintain its cold temperature, while the refrigerator doesn't receive adequate cooling. Ensuring proper spacing and airflow in the freezer can help prevent this issue.
The evaporator fan is essential for maintaining consistent temperatures in both the freezer and refrigerator compartments. It circulates cold air from the freezer's evaporator coils into the refrigerator area, ensuring optimal cooling. If the evaporator fan malfunctions, the freezer might remain cold, but the refrigerator will not receive sufficient cooling. Regularly check the fan's functionality and cleanliness to prevent cooling imbalances.
Refrigerators feature a defrost system that prevents frost buildup on coils and other components. If this system fails, frost accumulates and hampers proper airflow, leading to cooling issues. While the freezer might still work fine, the refrigerator's temperature can rise. If you notice frost buildup in the freezer or on the refrigerator's back, it's crucial to have a professional technician address the defrost system problem to restore proper cooling.
You can start by ensuring there's enough space in the freezer for proper airflow and checking for blocked vents. Additionally, examine the functionality of the evaporator fan and clean the area to remove any debris. If these steps don't resolve the issue, professional assistance may be required to replace components like the evaporator fan motor.

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