Why the Fridge Is Not Cold but the Freezer Is?

Why the Fridge Is Not Cold but the Freezer Is?

Why the Fridge Is Not Cold but the Freezer Is?

When your refrigerator is not cooling properly, it can be a frustrating experience.

One common issue that homeowners face is a fridge that is not cold, but the freezer is working just fine.

This discrepancy in temperature can lead to spoiled food and inconvenience.

In this article, we will explore the possible causes of this problem and provide you with tips on how to fix it.

Understanding the Cooling System

Why the Fridge Is Not Cold but the Freezer Is?

To understand why the fridge is not cold but the freezer is, it’s important to have a basic understanding of how the cooling system in a refrigerator works.

The cooling process begins with the evaporator coils, which are responsible for cooling the refrigerant, a heat-carrier chemical compound.

The refrigerant absorbs heat from the air inside the refrigerator, causing it to cool down. The evaporator coils are located in the freezer section of the refrigerator.

To circulate the cold air throughout the refrigerator, a small fan and motor work together to pull in the air above the condenser coils and distribute it inside the freezer and fridge.

If this fan malfunctions, it can result in a warm refrigerator.

5 Possible Causes of a Warm Refrigerator

There are several potential causes for a fridge that is not cold but the freezer is working properly.

Let’s explore each of them in detail:

1. Frosted Over Evaporator Coils

One common cause of a warm refrigerator is frosted over evaporator coils.

During the refrigeration cycle, the moisture in the air becomes frozen and accumulates on the evaporator coils.

The defrost system in your refrigerator is designed to melt this frost or ice several times a day to ensure proper cooling.

However, if there is a problem with the defrost system, such as a faulty defrost heater, defrost timer, or defrost control, the ice will continue to accumulate on the evaporator coils.

Eventually, the air cannot pass through to provide cooling, leading to a warm refrigerator.

To diagnose a faulty defrost system, you can use an ohmmeter to determine which component is damaged.

First, test your ohmmeter to ensure it is working properly. Then, with the refrigerator turned off, remove the back wall panel and unplug the defrost heater and thermostat.

Test the defrost heater and thermostat for continuity. If either component does not have continuity, it needs to be replaced.

As a temporary solution, you can manually melt the accumulated ice by pouring hot water over the evaporator coils.

However, if the problem persists, it is recommended to replace the faulty defrost system components.

2. Not Working Evaporator Fan

Another possible cause of a warm refrigerator is a malfunctioning evaporator fan.

The evaporator fan is responsible for circulating the cold air from the freezer to the refrigerator.

If the fan stops working, the refrigerator will not be cool enough to prevent food from spoiling.

There are several reasons why an evaporator fan may stop working. It could be blocked by excessive items in the freezer, the motor may be faulty, or the thermostat that reads the temperature in the refrigerator may be malfunctioning.

To fix this issue, ensure that the fan is not blocked by removing any obstructions.

You can also try spinning the fan blades by hand to check for any resistance or unusual sounds.

If the fan does not spin freely or makes strange noises, it may need to be replaced.

Additionally, you can use a multimeter or ohmmeter to test the wiring of the fan’s motor for continuity. If the reading shows infinity, indicating no continuity, the motor may need to be replaced.

3. Failing Thermistor

Failing Thermistor - Fridge Is Not Cold but the Freezer

A failing thermistor can also cause a warm refrigerator. A thermistor is a temperature sensor that transmits temperature readings from the refrigerator to its control board.

These readings help the control board determine when to activate or deactivate specific components, such as the compressor, fans, and damper.

If one of the thermistors fails, the refrigerator may not maintain the set temperature, resulting in items becoming frozen or spoiled.

A thermistor can fail due to a break in the electrical wires or normal wear and tear over time.

To diagnose a failing thermistor, use an ohmmeter or multimeter to measure its resistance.

If the ohm reading is significantly lower or higher than the expected range at room temperature, the thermistor may need to be replaced.

4. Malfunctioning Air Damper Control

The air damper control is a small flap controlled by a thermostat that regulates the flow of cold air from the freezer to the fresh food compartment.

If the air damper control is closed, damaged, or stuck, the fresh food compartments and drawers may not receive enough cold air, resulting in a warm refrigerator.

To check if the air damper control is functioning correctly, place your hand in front of the vent. If there is no cold air or an improper airflow, the damper control may be malfunctioning.

In some cases, the vent protecting the damper flap can be removed, allowing you to manually move the damper.

If this does not resolve the issue, it is recommended to seek the assistance of a refrigeration technician.

5. Motherboard Issues

The motherboard, also known as the control board or mainboard, is the brain of your refrigerator.

It controls various functions and components of the refrigerator, including the running time of the compressor, temperature settings, and collecting inputs from sensors.

In rare cases, a malfunctioning motherboard can cause a warm refrigerator.

Before replacing the motherboard, it is important to check if other components, such as the compressor motor, ice maker motor, thermostat, water inlet valve, and evaporator fan motor, are functioning properly.

If these components are working correctly, it may indicate a problem with the motherboard.

To test the motherboard, you can use a multimeter to measure voltage and continuity. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety precautions when performing these tests.

If the motherboard is not supplying the correct voltage to the fan motors or if there are issues with the fan circuit, it may need to be replaced.

It is recommended to consult a professional or seek the assistance of a refrigeration technician for motherboard-related issues.


A warm refrigerator can be a frustrating problem, especially when the freezer is working just fine.

By understanding the possible causes, such as frosted over evaporator coils, a malfunctioning evaporator fan, a failing thermistor, a malfunctioning air damper control, or motherboard issues, you can take appropriate steps to diagnose and fix the issue.

Remember to prioritize safety and consult a professional if needed.

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