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There is cold air coming over the top of the fridge on the outside. What causes this?

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Check for door not closing properly or bad door seals

Posted on Dec 16, 2016

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Sounds like it's working but not getting cold enough in freezer or refrigderator


In my experience, the biggest culprit causing these symptoms is the defrost heater. This is a heating device that melts frost off the "evaporator coils" better known as the coils usually located inside the freezer area of the unit. These coils get very cold and warm air that is let inside when any door is open, will carry moisture with it that will accumulate like water on the outside of a cold glass in summer time, only it accumulates on the evaporator coils and turns to frost.

As your fridge cycles through its operating stages, one part of the cycle turns off the cooling and turns on a heating device of varying types to melt the frost and ice off of the evaporator coils so it can drip down and flow through a small hose through an opening in the bottom of the fridge and into a pan underneath the fridge where it evaporates back into the air again.

If the heating device never comes on, or becomes inoperative, the frost will slowly continue to collect on the evaporator coils until it becomes a solid block of ice. This now greatly reduces the ability of the evaporator fan to blow the cold air around the coils throughout the freezer and the rest of the fridge. The ice built up around the evaporator coils will still provide some cold, but will significantly prevent the fridge from operating properly.

Another cause may be the evaporator fan not operating correctly. If it doesn't blow air over the evaporator coils well enough, cold air will not get distributed through out the fridge. Cold air tends to "fall", so the bottom of the freezer will be the coldest. Generally, there is an adjustable hole in "side by side" units so that the amount of air coming through that hole can make the "meat crisper" colder. In fridges where the freezer is on the top, I've seen the evaporator coils (which often incorporate "fins" like those on a car radiator, turn into a solid block of ice.
25823064-nzcmabjorfygbev20le00e4d-4-1.jpg Also check for dust collecting on the condenser coils on the outside of the fridge. These dissipate heat drawn from inside the fridge and take it outside the fridge. These are often located on the back of the fridge or underneath the fridge. Dust and fluff act as insulation and degrade their ability to work properly.

Obviously, to repair the fridge, you should relocate the contents of your unit until you can repair the fridge. Fixing your fridge will take at least a few hours even if you can get your hands on repair parts quickly. This will involve unplugging the unit and locating the items I've referred to. Either allow the accumulated ice to melt naturally or GENTLY speed up the process with a hair dryer or heat gun. Do not use any force removing the accumulated ice and frost, you could easily damage the coils and make things much worse than they already are. Even to the point of making the unit uneconomical to repair.

Without your posting a make, model, type of freezer/fridge arrangement or other details, it is difficult to assist you further. Part placement and component locations vary greatly in this appliance.

Aug 15, 2015 | Refrigerators

1 Answer

Fridge not getting cold


With a top freezer the cold air comes from the freezer down into the fridge. It uses a fan to blow the air down. It's possible that the fan is burned out. Does the fan come on if you turn the temp. to the fridge to colder? If not, then that may be the problem. The fix is not too easy, but can be done by an experienced do-it-yourselfer.

Mar 11, 2012 | Electrolux ER7926B Bottom Freezer...

1 Answer

Food not getting cold in the fridge


There are many reasons for that to happen.
Check your refrigerator for a thick build up of ice in the freezer, you need to defrost the fridge.
A poor circulation of cold air will happen if thick build up of ice is not defrost.
Do not block cold circulation with so much food inside, you need to organize it.
Check temp control to lower degrees or high number.
A door gasket leak will cause cold air to flow outside the fridge.
A system tubing clogged dirt inside the copper tubing will also cause it, but this one need to be check by a service technician.
I hope I give you idea for your refrigerator problem.

Jun 26, 2011 | Dometic NDR 1292 Refrigerator

1 Answer

Freezer cold, fridge isnt. Vent issue. Please Help before thaw!


Is there any ice/snow whatsoever built-up on the rear panel of the freezer ????(very important to know this).
If so, you have a problem with the frost free part of your fridge,causing it to ice-up,
and blocking the air flow to the fridge section.

Repost, and we should be able to go from there.

Wigo.

Mar 04, 2010 | KitchenAid Refrigerators

1 Answer

Refrigerator not getting cold even when set at lowest point.


Not enough information. But here is something which may help you diagnose the cause. I assume that you have a frost free fridge freezer. That there is a fan in the freezer which blows cold air down into the fridge.That the freezer is still cold. You can hear the fan cutting in and out.
Try opening the Fridge door and locate the little plunger switch which is pushed shut by closing the door (like the switch on you car door that turns the interior light on and off).
Push it in manually with your hand. (the fan needs to be running. The fan should blow cold air into the fridge. There will be a panel with vents, probably on the back off the fridge. Cold air should be coming from this. When working properly the temperature sensor in the fridge will control a flap like valve to allow or disallow entry of cold air from the freezer to the fridge.This controls the temperature of the fridge. If the flap is jammed shut no cold air can enter the fridge. Likely cause is ice build up, most likly in the back of the freezer blocking the path of the cold air. I had this problem on an old fridge of mine.I think that it is caused by the heat cycle not kicking in correctly to defrost the heat exchanger . I used to DISCONNECT THE FRIDGE FROM THE ELECTRICAL SUPPLY dismantle the inner panels of the freezer. And pour water over the ice monster blocking up the back of the freezer. Not a good solution i grant you. But it would work for a week or two. Then i would have to do it again. later i found a small panel on the back (outside) of the fridge with wiring and stuff inside it. There was a rotatable knob which clicked as you turned it. in one position you could hear it make the heat cycle kick in manually. I spent about 6 months doing this every few days whilst saving for a new fridge. It worked. But there is a RISK OF ELECTROCUTION .
Sorry i cant fix your problem . But this might be of some help to diagnose it. If you are not sure i wouldn't recommend fishing round in the electrics. I have had quite a few electric shocks doing stuff like this because i am not as careful as i should be, and i am not a qualified electrician. It never hurts me much. But some people will die quite easily from mains voltage. BE CAREFUL!!


Feb 17, 2010 | Kenmore Refrigerators

1 Answer

MY 9 YR OLD FRIDGE IS FREEZING MILK, JUICE AND ALL LIQUIDS IN THE MAIN COMPARTMENT BUT NOT NECESSARILY ON THE DOORS


you gotta send model number,there are different things that can cause this,if the freezer is on top,the cold air from the freezer gets blown into the fridge in the center of the top shelf so if any food is near this it will freeze if the air isn't monitored, check the settings first,it could be set to high, there's a cold control or thermostat that monitors how much air comes into the fridge and when it reaches a certain temp it shuts off but it sounds like your having a problem with it,also on some fridges they have a damper that can mess up,there's a door on it that doesn't close and the cold air just keeps coming into the fridge and things start freezing up

Dec 24, 2009 | Refrigerators

1 Answer

Burning Rubber smell coming from fridge


try taking the bottom panel off and vacuming all the dust on the coils. The dust may be heating up and burning. The coils are usually at the bottom of the fridge. Check to see if the fan is running also.

Jan 16, 2009 | Refrigerators

2 Answers

Fridge not cooling- top freezer frosting over


"Fan in freezer does not seem to be running"

This wiil cause it to frost up in the freezer and this fan is the only way to get cold air into the Fridge area.

Dec 22, 2008 | Frigidaire FRT18FS6C Top Freezer...

1 Answer

GE side by side Refrigerator approx. 8 years old. Fridge side barely cold.


With your fridge, does the light go out when you shut the refrigerator door?
That could be your issue, that light running inside will create Alot of heat.
Also check to see if there is air circulating from the freezer to the fridge side through the damper. The damper is on the Fridge side left wall up towards the top. That is where the cold air gets to the fridge side. If that damper doesn't open that will also cause your problem, Let me know how you make out.

Bill

May 14, 2008 | Refrigerators

3 Answers

Outer back and side of fridge is very hot


Turn it off. If you keep running it, it will die completely fairly soon. Please feel free to jump to the end if you don't want a fridge science lecture - it might help you figure out the problem though. When a fridge/freezer runs, the condenser (all the tubes at the back) will get warm-hot. That is where the heat goes from inside the fridge. First thing to check; is there excessive heat to remove from the fridge/freezer? Check the door seals are ok - cold air falling out of a bad door seal can make a fridge both cool and warm a room at the same time - which obviously leads to problems Check that the lights inside actually go off when you close the door by pressing the switch that the door usually presses when it shuts, and checking that the door will press the switch as far as it needs to go. Second thing; Check that there is adequate ventilation at the back - remember the ideal situation technically for a fridge is to have the bit at the back outside the house in the shade like an air-con unit. pull the fridge a bit more away from the wall and try blowing a fan onto it. Clean gently with a soft brush any dust etc that is on all the tubes at the back - it can cause an insulating coat to form. If the dust is sticky and hard to shift, then gently use a soft paintbrush and warm soapy water. Third thing; When the amount of refrigerant gas in a fridge system is getting low (they all leak a tiny bit all the time - even without any fault) two main things happen: The fridge gas has a lubricant mixed in with it that keeps the inside parts of the system oiled. when the gas is low, so is the oil and you get the same effect as running a car with no oil - runs hot, then dies. The low gas has an effect inside and outside the fridge - inside, near where the gas first enters the evaporator (the plate in the fridge that gets cold) it will get extra cold. the compressed refrigerant evaporates too quickly - easy way to explain is that there is nothing in front of it in the queue so it runs through too quick. the same thing happens in reverse when the gas goes into the condenser at the back, the gas condenses too quickly making the back very hot. I think, from what you say, that low gas is the problem. Although it is not too complicated, it is illegal for you to do it yourself in most places for environmental and safety reasons - get any fridge repair guy and he can do it and check for leaks at the same time. Hope this helps, and is in time to save your fridge :)

Mar 28, 2007 | LG LRTP1231W Top Freezer Refrigerator

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