Temperature Discrepancy: Freezer Cold, Fridge Warm

why the fridge is not cold but the freezer is?

Experiencing a situation where the freezer is cold, but the fridge is warm is not uncommon. It’s essential to understand that most refrigerators use just a single compressor system to cool the refrigerator and freezer compartments separately. They maintain separate temperature zones through a combination of fans, vents, and dampers. There are number of possible reasons why the fridge not cold but the freezer is.

Possible Causes

1. Evaporator Fan

The refrigerator and freezer compartments is distributed by the evaporator fan. If this fan isn’t functioning properly, the fridge might not get enough cold air, which would result in insufficient chilling.

2. Defrost System

The evaporator coils may accumulate too much frost due to a breakdown in the defrost system. This can be hazardous. If these coils become too frosty, they will not be able to transfer cold air to the fridge, leading to an increase in temperature.freezer is working but not fridge

3. Damper Control

The damper control, also known as an air damper, is responsible for redirecting the cold air from the freezer to the fridge. If the device is not functioning properly, it can impede the cold air supply to the refrigerator and cause temperature fluctuations.

4. Thermistor

A thermistor, which is a temperature sensor in the fridge that malfunctions, can cause the refrigerator to not cool correctly. The device may need to be calibrated or replaced

5. Condenser Coil

At the back or below the fridge, a condenser coil is present to help distribute heat. Cooling problems arise when the material covered with dust and debris fails to emit heat.

6. Temperature Control Board

The temperature control board is the electronic assistant of your refrigerator, tasked with maintaining optimal temperatures.  The failure of the control board can cause incorrect temperature settings and inconsistent cooling.

7. Overstuffing the Fridge

When you overfill the fridge with food, it can create a blockage in the circulation of cold air. The cooling effect can vary, with some regions experiencing higher temperatures than others.

Troubleshooting Stepsmy fridge isn't cold but the freezer is

The following troubleshooting steps may help diagnose and fix refrigerator warm and freezer cold issues.

1. Inspect Your Evaporator Fan

Find the evaporator fan, usually found in the freezer.  Make certain it’s running while the compressor is on. In case it doesn’t work, the device may need to be replaced.

2. Check the Defrost System

If you notice excessive frost buildup on the evaporator coil, the defrost system may be faulty. Check defrost heater, defrost thermostat and defrost timer for problems. Replace failed components.

3. Ensure Your Damper Control Is Functioning Properly

Listen for a clicking sound as you adjust the refrigerator temperature setting. If the damper control is stuck, it may need to be repaired or replaced.

4. Test Your Thermistor

Use a multimeter to test the thermistor’s resistance. Compare the reading to the manufacturer’s specifications. Replace it if it’s out of range.

5. Inspect and Clean the Condenser Coil

Regularly cleaning the refrigerator’s condenser coil and turning it off can enhance its heat dissipation capability. Utilizing a vacuum cleaner with a brush or brush attachment is also a suitable option for cleaning. This process ensures optimal performance and efficiency for the refrigerator.

6. Have the temperature control board checked by a professional

If other causes have been ruled out, and you suspect that the temperature control board is not working properly, it is best to have a professional technician diagnose and replace replacment parts.

7. Declutter Your Fridge

Ensure your fridge isn’t overloaded with items that could obstruct airflow. Keep food organized and leave enough space for air to circulate.

When to Seek Professional Helpfreezer is cold fridge is warm

If your troubleshooting efforts do not resolve the problem or if you do not feel comfortable performing these tasks on your own then you should seek professional help. Certified Equipment Technicians have the knowledge, tools, and experience to accurately diagnose and repair complex problems.

Preventive Measures

Prevention is often the best way to avoid temperature fluctuations in a refrigerator. The following precautions can help maintain consistent cooling performance:

  1. Regular Cleaning. Keep your refrigerator clean, both inside and out. Spills and food debris can affect cooling efficiency.
  2. Proper Food Storage. To ensure proper airflow, it is important to store your food items in a manner that allows for adequate ventilation. It is recommended to avoid overloading your refrigerator, as this can obstruct the circulation of air inside.
  3.  Regular Maintenance. Adhere to your refrigerator’s maintenance guidelines, which may include tasks such as cleaning coils and changing water filters as needed.
  4. Temperature Settings. Make sure the temperature settings are appropriate for the contents of your refrigerator and freezer. Adjust as needed to suit the season and your cooling needs.
  5.  Prompt Repairs. Address any cooling issues promptly to prevent them from worsening.
  6. Monitor Door Seals. Regularly inspect door seals for damage and replace them if they’re no longer sealing properly. A simple test is to place a dollar bill in the closed door and attempt to pull it out. If it slides out without resistance, it’s time for a seal replacement.
  7.  Avoid Overstuffing. Refrain from overloading your refrigerator with food items. Adequate airflow is essential for efficient cooling.
  8. Check Expiry Dates. Routinely check for and discard expired or spoiled food items to keep your refrigerator organized and maintain optimal airflow.
  9. Proper Ventilation. Ensure your refrigerator has proper ventilation. If it’s a built-in unit, allow for adequate space behind and around it to facilitate heat dissipation.

By incorporating these preventive measures into your routine and conducting regular maintenance, you can reduce the likelihood of encountering temperature discrepancies in your refrigerator.

Additional Tips for Keeping Your Refrigerator Cool

To guarantee the optimal performance of your refrigerator and freezer, it is important to not only focus on troubleshooting and maintenance, but also consider these supplementary suggestions:freezer works but fridge doesn t

  1. Keep the Fridge Full: A well-stocked fridge retains cold better than an empty one. Consider using containers of water or ice packs to fill empty spaces if your fridge isn’t consistently full.
  2.  Monitor Temperature: Investing in a refrigerator thermometer is advisable to accurately monitor the internal temperature, which can aid in the early detection of potential issues.
  3. Avoid Placing Hot Food Inside: Allow hot foods to cool to room temperature before placing them in the fridge. This prevents the appliance from working harder to cool down the hot items.
  4. Seal Containers Tightly: When storing food in the fridge, use airtight containers or cover dishes with plastic wrap or foil to prevent moisture loss and odors from permeating other foods.
  5. Keep the Door Closed: Remind family members to close the fridge door promptly after use to minimize temperature fluctuations.
  6. Check the Door Seal Regularly: Periodically inspect the door gaskets for any signs of wear, tearing, or damage. Replace them if necessary to maintain a proper seal.
  7. Vacuum the Rear Coils: If your fridge has coils at the back, vacuum them at least once a year to remove dust and debris that can affect cooling.
  8. Adjust Temperature Settings Seasonally: In hot weather, you may need to lower the temperature settings slightly to compensate for warmer kitchen conditions.

By following these additional tips and incorporating them into your refrigerator maintenance routine, you can enjoy consistent cooling performance and prolong the life of your appliance.


If you have decided to take troubleshooting steps, always prioritize safety as your top concern! If you have any doubts regarding troubleshooting or repair methods, or if the issue persists despite your attempts, it is advisable to seek guidance from a knowledgeable appliance technician. They possess the necessary knowledge and skills to identify and address complicated problems, guaranteeing that your refrigerator maintains its ability to preserve your food at optimal freshness and coldness.

Updated at: September 8, 2023