Like all household appliances, the refrigerator also emits operating noise produced by the compressor and the gas system. You may hear clicking, buzzing, dripping or splashing.
The compressor/motor makes a small noise when it starts, however it does not run continuously. This part produces more noise when it has to generate more cold – as is the case in summer – or when there is a lot of frost in the freezer compartment. This is why it is important to understand the origin of these noises and know which elements to check for the proper functioning of your fridge.
A refrigerator is one of the most essential appliances in our homes, providing us with fresh and safely stored food around the clock. While it’s normal for your fridge to produce some noise, excessive or unusual sounds can be concerning and may indicate a problem. In this article, we’ll explore some common reasons why your fridge might be making noise and how you can address them.
1. Fan Issues
The refrigerator consists of two fans: the evaporator fan and the condenser fan. The evaporator fan circulates the cool air from your freezer throughout your refrigerator. The condenser fan cools the condenser coils, which releases heat outside of the fridge. If you hear a high-pitched or humming sound, one or both of these fans may be malfunctioning. Over time, the fan blades can become worn out or a motor can fail. If the noise gets louder when you open the fridge or freezer, the issue likely lies with the evaporator fan. Conversely, if the noise emanates from the bottom or back of the fridge, the condenser fan might be the culprit. In both cases, you may need a professional to inspect and possibly replace the fans.
2. Compressor Problems
The compressor is the heart of your fridge’s cooling system. It’s normal for the compressor to make a low humming or buzzing noise as it circulates refrigerant. However, if the sound becomes louder, more persistent, or more high-pitched, it could indicate a problem with the compressor. Depending on the age of your refrigerator and the severity of the issue, you might need to have the compressor repaired or replaced.
3. Defrost Timer
The defrost timer is a component of your fridge that controls the automatic defrost cycle. When the defrost cycle starts or ends, you may hear a clicking or snapping noise, which is generally normal. However, if the clicking sound continues outside the defrost cycle, it could indicate that the defrost timer is not advancing to the next cycle. This issue will likely need professional assessment and repair.
4. Drip Pan
The drip pan collects condensation from the refrigerator. It’s located at the bottom of the fridge and, normally, you shouldn’t hear any noise from it. However, if it becomes dislodged or if something falls into it, it could start making noise. Usually, repositioning the drip pan or cleaning it out will resolve this issue.
5. Condenser Coils
Over time, the condenser coils at the back of your fridge can get dirty and cause the appliance to work harder than necessary. This extra strain can result in a buzzing or humming noise. Regularly cleaning your condenser coils can help keep your fridge running quietly and efficiently.
6. Ice Maker
If your fridge has an ice maker, you may hear a buzzing or clicking noise when it’s in operation. This is normal. However, if your ice maker is switched off and you’re still hearing this noise, there could be an issue with the water supply. Check to ensure that the water supply is correctly connected and turned on. If the issue persists, a professional may need to examine the ice maker.
It’s important to pay attention to the sounds your fridge makes. While some noise is normal, particularly when the compressor starts up, persistent or unusual noises should be investigated. If you’re unable to identify the cause or resolve the issue yourself, consider enlisting the help of a professional. Regular maintenance and prompt attention to potential issues can help keep your fridge running efficiently for many years.