6 Common Fridge Problems and How To Fix Them

Do you keep your refrigerator door closed at all times? If you answered yes, you’re not alone. Many people believe that keeping the refrigerator door shut helps it work more efficiently and extend its life. However, in reality, there are many factors that affect how well your refrigerator functions. Fridge problems can be a constant annoyance or even pose a safety risk if your refrigerator is no longer able to properly store food. Luckily, these common issues are generally easy to resolve with some troubleshooting and home knowledge. Read on for useful tips on how to solve the most common problems with your old friend…the fridge!

Strange Odors in the Fridge

If your fridge starts to smell a bit off, it’s worth investigating the issue, as food that’s gone bad can make you sick. You may notice this most in your fridge’s produce drawers, as they can become a breeding ground for bacteria if they’re not properly washed or stored. A fridge that’s too warm can also be a culprit behind an off-putting odor, as warm food releases odors more quickly than cold food. If your fridge is off and yet it still smells, check the seal around the door. If it isn’t completely shut, the smell from your kitchen may be escaping, causing your fridge to emit an off odor. Also, if your fridge is old, it may be due for a cleaning. Take it outside and give it a good scrub with a soft brush and a mild cleaning solution.

Condenser Problems

If your fridge isn’t cooling properly, it’s likely due to a problem with the condenser, a part located outside the fridge that helps it draw in cold air. If it’s clogged with dirt or debris, it won’t be able to efficiently cool your food. Cleaning the condenser and resetting your breaker (if applicable) should solve the issue. If your fridge’s been working fine and then suddenly starts to overheat, the problem may lie with the compressor. If it’s failing, it won’t be able to keep the fridge’s temperature at a safe level. The best bet is to contact a refrigerator repair professional to assess your situation.

Your Fridge Is Too Hot or Cold

If your fridge is working as it should and you notice that certain items are too warm (such as milk or yogurt), that may be due to a thermostat issue. A thermostat helps determine the temperature of your fridge and may need to be reset (typically located inside the fridge). If your fridge is either too cold or too warm, you may need to clean it to get it back to an acceptable temperature. First, unplug the fridge for safety and then give it a thorough cleaning with a mild solution. Your fridge may also be too big for your space, causing it to work harder to stay cool. In this case, you may want to consider downsizing to a smaller fridge.

The Light Doesn’t Turn On When You Open the Fridge Door

If you open the fridge door and the light doesn’t turn on, it’s possible that the light bulb just needs to be replaced. If your fridge was made before 1999, however, it may have a different issue. If you’ve owned the fridge for quite some time, it’s a good idea to test the light periodically to make sure it works as expected. If you don’t open the door often, you may forget to check in a while! If your fridge’s light always stays off no matter what or if there’s a problem with the fridge door in general, it’s likely due to a faulty switch. A switch may go bad if it’s not cleaned regularly or if the door is abused too often. The best bet is to contact a professional to assess the situation and determine the best course of action.

Your Food Feels Like It’s Frozen Solid

If you keep your fridge at the correct temperature, you shouldn’t find that your food is too cold. If certain items are inedible due to their frozen state, however, it may be due to a faulty thermostat or a problem with the door. The thermostat may need to be cleaned or replaced and the door may need to be adjusted. If adjusting the door doesn’t help, the thermostat may need to be replaced. If your food is too cold, you may have the thermostat set too low. To fix the issue, increase the thermostat setting to a higher temperature. If that doesn’t work, check the seal around the door. If it isn’t closed properly, the fridge may not be able to maintain a consistent temperature.

Food Has a Metallic Taste or Smells Bad After Being in the Fridge

If your food tastes or smells bad, it may have gone bad and be unsafe to eat. If everything in your fridge is fine, though, a rotting smell or bad taste may be due to a buildup of bacteria in the fridge’s interior. It’s important to clean your fridge regularly and thoroughly, as bacteria thrive in warm, moist environments. If your fridge isn’t working well or isn’t being cleaned regularly, the humidity inside will increase, causing the bacteria to grow. If your fridge is old, it may be time for a replacement. Newer models are better equipped for keeping bacteria at bay. If the bad taste or smell comes and goes, it may be due to the door of your fridge being left open too long. If you need to frequently access the inside of your fridge, install a second door so you can keep the other closed.

Fridge problems are common and can be easily resolved with some troubleshooting and home knowledge. If your fridge is no longer able to properly store food, you may want to consider a replacement. Newer models are more energy-efficient, use less water and come with a variety of useful features. Before you buy a new fridge, though, make sure you have the right space for it and have a plan for the old one. Whether you’re experiencing strange odors, a cold or hot fridge or any other issues, these common problems are generally easy to resolve with some troubleshooting and home knowledge.