A smart fridge is an expensive appliance, so having one that doesn’t cool is annoying.
Even when your smart fridge is still covered by warranty, you might attempt to fix it yourself to save on time.
You can try being your family Fix-It Felix by checking out these 9 ways:
- Plug your fridge in a working outlet.
- Disable your fridge’s demo mode.
- Lower the thermostat.
- Remove items that block cool air vents.
- Close the fridge door properly.
- Check the door gaskets for dirt and damage.
- Keep your fridge away from heat sources.
- Ensure proper clearance from the wall.
- Level your fridge.
Getting into the details of each DIY step will help you carry out their correct execution, so let’s dive into them in the following sections.
1. Plug Your Fridge in a Working Outlet
Before doing any other possible fixes from this list, check if your fridge is fully inserted in your wall socket.
Be careful and ensure your hands aren’t wet to prevent electrical shocks.
If this doesn’t solve your problem, check if the electrical outlet works.
You can do this by plugging in a small gadget, say your phone charger, and see if your phone charges.
If it charges and your fridge still isn’t cooling, move on to the following fixes.
2. Disable Your Fridge’s Demo Mode
Refrigerator models often have a demo mode. In this mode, only the fridge lights are working while the rest of the cooling components remain disabled.
Appliance stores use demo mode to save on electricity.
As this is on a case-to-case basis, check your fridge manual to learn how to identify if the fridge is in demo mode and find out how to disable it.
If it indeed was in demo mode, then this step will likely fix your problem quite quickly.
However, if this quick fix doesn’t work, though, then you’ll have to try out the next possible options.
Learn more: What is a smart inverter on a fridge?
3. Lower the Thermostat
You may also have forgotten to set your thermostat low enough. Check your screen panel and see if this is the case.
The US Food and Drug Administration recommends setting your fridge below 40°F (4°C) and your freezer to 0°F (-18°C) to keep bacteria from being active and prevent your food from spoiling.
However, manufacturers tend to be on the safe side and recommend setting your fridge to 37°F (3°C) to account for temperature fluctuations during use.
If you’re unsure how to tweak the temperature and don’t have a hard copy of your user manual ready, it’s easy to download them from the web.
4. Remove Items That Block Cool Air Vents
Ensure you don’t overload your fridge or block cooling air vents with food containers.
Blocked air vents cause some areas of your fridge to not cool to the desired level, as air circulation gets concentrated only on certain portions.
Inadequate cool air brings food spoilage risks. It’s pretty ironic how putting more food on the fringe can result in more food spoilage.
Fridges also have different cooling capacities, and going beyond them, even with adequate air circulation, will do you no good.
Simply put, when there’s too much food to cool, there’s no way the fridge will reach the target temperature for each compartment.
This is also the case for fridges with low cooling capacities.
Imagine installing a 1 horsepower air-conditioner in a 200 square-foot room. It’s impossible to cool the entire room down.
5. Close the Fridge Door Properly
Remember to close the fridge doors after taking food out fully.
Even a partially opened fridge door could lead to a significant rise in temperature due to the warm air that seeps in.
With the constant supply of warm air from your kitchen, it’s almost like using your fridge’s cooling components to cool your entire kitchen.
This doesn’t only harm the fresh produce placed in the refrigerator but risks ruining your smart fridge’s cooling system.
6. Check the Door Gaskets for Dirt and Damage
Fridge doors, by design, completely isolate the inside from the outside.
Manufacturers use thermal insulators to make the fridge walls, including the doors, to prevent heat from penetrating the inside compartments.
However, this is only as good as the door gasket that seals in the cold air during everyday use.
The door gasket constitutes rubber with a magnetic strip under it that grabs on the fridge’s metal frame ensuring an airtight fit.
However, dirt or debris on the rubber gasket results in air packets that compromise the seal and enable warm air to enter the fridge.
So, remember to clean the door gasket regularly.
The additional problem is that sometimes, even if the door gasket is sparkling clean, it just won’t grab onto the fridge.
If this is the case, you may have to buy and install a new gasket.
To make sure you have the right replacement gasket, check the model number of your fridge.
Better yet, order on the manufacturer’s website to make sure you get the identical one previously installed upon your fridge purchase.
If you’re having problems finding the exact gasket, the SUPCO Universal Refrigerator Door Gasket (available at Amazon) can be trimmed and sized to fit many different residential and commercial refrigerator models.
7. Keep Your Fridge Away From Heat Sources
While the walls of your refrigerator may be insulated, keeping your fridge close to heat sources and under direct sunlight may still affect the temperature inside the refrigerator.
For one, opening your fridge in this area exposes your fridge to warmer air that seeps in. This requires the fridge to exert more effort to cool down.
When there’s too much external heat coming in, your fridge’s capacity might not be able to keep up, resulting in a refrigerator that doesn’t seem to cool.
8. Ensure Proper Clearance From the Wall
You may have noticed the walls of your fridge are oftentimes warm. This happens due to the heat released by your fridge’s compressor.
The compressor is a mechanical device that pumps the coolant throughout the refrigerator.
To achieve the desired cooling effect, the compressor compresses the coolant to transform the latter in its liquid state.
When this heat isn’t adequately released to the environment, the compressor would have to work harder for it to cool the inside of the fridge.
This in turn results in a warmer fridge.
As such, manufacturers recommend providing clearance space along all sides of the refrigerator.
This allows for the natural airflow in your kitchen to dissipate the heat generated by your fridge.
9. Level Your Fridge
When you don’t level your fridge correctly, it’s likely that the coolant, which is the component that brings the temperature of warm air down to your target temperature, finds it difficult to flow efficiently.
A familiar analogy would be to think of the coolant as the blood that flows within the body.
When blood stops circulating, organs don’t receive oxygen and eventually fail to function.
Similarly, when warm air doesn’t come in contact with the coolant, the fridge will soon fail to function as well.
Failing to level your fridge before use may cost you hundreds of dollars in repair, so make sure you don’t overlook a step as basic as this one!
Bonus: Call an Expert
Some smart fridge problems are just way beyond our DIY skills.
Issues arising from control panel malfunctions and fan motors and compressors not working require expert help.
Check your warranty if you still qualify for free parts replacement and repair.
Editor’s pick: Why Are All My Smart Devices Offline? 3 Causes & Fixes