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Table of Contents

1. Faulty Electronic Control Board

2. Defective Temperature Control Thermostat

3. Locked or Failed Compressor

4. Wrong Temperature Settings

5. Dirty Condenser Coils

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Call (213) 596-2538
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Decoding the Puzzle: Top 5 Reasons Your Refrigerator Isn't Working

4 min readUpdated Mar. 29, 2024Lyle WeischwillRefrigerator
Discovering your refrigerator isn't cooling can be alarming.

Ever opened your refrigerator to find it's not as cold as it should be? There's no need to panic. This guide will help you understand the top 5 reasons your refrigerator isn't cooling and what to do about it. By familiarizing yourself with common refrigerator issues, you'll be better prepared to troubleshoot and potentially resolve the problem yourself.


  • Proper settings and maintenance ensure efficient refrigerator operation.
  • Cooling issues often stem from dirty coils, damaged seals, or airflow blockages.
  • For complex issues, seek professional help from Sears Home Services.

1. Faulty Electronic Control Board

The electronic control board is the brain of your refrigerator, managing its cooling processes and other functions. If this board is faulty, it can lead to the refrigerator not working correctly. Signs of a malfunctioning control board include erratic temperature control, the refrigerator not starting, or various components not operating as they should.

To diagnose issues with the control board, it may require professional expertise. If you suspect your refrigerator’s control board is to blame for its issues, consider contacting Sears Home Services for a thorough diagnosis and repair.

2. Defective Temperature Control Thermostat

The temperature control thermostat directs voltage to the compressor, evaporator fan motor, and condenser fan motor. If it fails, these components might not run at all, or the refrigerator may not work properly. Symptoms of a defective thermostat include the refrigerator running constantly or turning on and off more frequently than normal. There might be a lack of proper temperature regulation within the refrigerator, with items freezing or it failing to cool adequately regardless of the setting.

A clear sign of a defective thermostat is if adjusting it to the coldest setting does nothing to improve the cooling situation. Such issues with temperature control suggest that the thermostat may not be functioning correctly and could require replacement. For accurate diagnostics and effective repair solutions, professional service is recommended.

3. Locked or Failed Compressor

The compressor is the heart of your refrigerator's cooling system, circulating refrigerant throughout the system. A locked or failed compressor can render your refrigerator inoperative. Symptoms of a failing compressor include a refrigerator that does not cool at all, overheating, or unusual noises coming from the refrigerator’s back.

Compressor issues are complex and require professional repair or replacement. Due to the critical and intricate nature of this component, it’s advisable to seek assistance from experts like those at Sears Home Services to ensure your refrigerator is accurately diagnosed and repaired.

4. Wrong Temperature Settings

Setting the correct temperature in your refrigerator is essential for its optimal operation. If your refrigerator isn't cooling, it could be due to incorrect temperature settings. Here are some pointers to help:

  • Consult the user manual: Different refrigerator models have unique temperature settings. Check the manual or the manufacturer's website for advice on the appropriate temperature range for your model.
  • Use a thermometer: To get an accurate temperature reading, place a thermometer in a glass of water inside your refrigerator for a few hours. The reading should be within the recommended range.
  • Avoid extreme temperature settings: Setting the temperature too high or too low can affect the food quality and potentially cause your refrigerator to stop getting cold.

If you're still facing issues with your refrigerator not cold enough after checking the temperature settings, it might be time to call in the experts from Sears Home Services.

5. Dirty Condenser Coils

A common reason for a refrigerator quit cooling is dirty condenser coils. Located at the back or underneath your refrigerator, these coils are vital for cooling your appliance. Over time, they can accumulate dust and pet hair, disrupting the airflow and causing your refrigerator to work harder.

The importance of routine refrigerator maintenance, particularly the regular cleaning of the condenser coils, cannot be overstated. These coils can often become inundated with dust, pet hair, and other particles which disrupt airflow and force your appliance to exert extra energy. This not only decreases efficiency but also potentially shortens the lifespan of your refrigerator. If you've examined all other possibilities and your refrigerator is still not cooling, the culprit could very well be these dirty coils. Clean the coils regularly, and schedule routine clean and maintain service with Sears once a year. This way, you're not only preventing a problem with dirty coils; you're also ensuring all systems in your refrigerator are working at their best.

If your refrigerator is still having cooling issues despite your efforts to fix it, it's time to seek professional help. Sears Home Services is always ready to assist with your refrigerator and other appliance concerns. Schedule repair with us, and one of our experienced technicians will quickly return your refrigerator to working condition.
Remember, regular maintenance is important to preventing many common refrigerator problems. Be sure to schedule your annual maintenance with us to extend the lifespan of your appliance.

Schedule your refrigerator repair now!

Backed by years of experience, our technicians possess the skills necessary to fix your refrigerator. And because our techs our local, they can fix it for you fast.

Call (213) 596-2538 or schedule online now.

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