A Frigidaire refrigerator might experience a lack of cooling from time to time. That’s a common problem, and it’s very straightforward to fix. But why would the freezer compartment stay cold, yet the refrigerator compartment becomes warm?
When your Frigidaire refrigerator has a cold freezer but a warm refrigerator compartment, it’s because the movement of cold air is restricted. The cold air from the freezer isn’t flowing to the other compartment as it should. That happens because of a failed evaporator fan, a frozen evaporator coil, a frozen damper door, or a failed damper motor.
This guide will help you understand why one side of your refrigerator can be warm while the other is cold. Plus, you’ll learn the best solutions for fixing the problem immediately.
Why Is My Frigidaire Refrigerator Warm But The Freezer Is Cold?
Finding one compartment cold and the other warm in the same refrigerator might be confusing. However, it’ll make much more sense once you understand how your Frigidaire unit is built.
Here are the reasons why the freezer is cold, but the refrigerator compartment isn’t:
Failed Evaporator Fan
About this: The cooling system on your Frigidaire refrigerator has two halves: the condenser and the evaporator sides. The evaporator side is the one that runs inside the fridge, circulating refrigerant to remove heat and lower temperatures.
Part of that system is an evaporator fan. It distributes the cold air by blowing it through both compartments.
The cold air begins in the freezer compartment, where the evaporator fan then blows some of it to the refrigeration side.
What’s gone wrong: The first and most likely reason you have a cold freezer, but warm refrigerator compartment is that the evaporator fan has failed.
When that happens, all the cold air stays in the freezer, and none of it gets sent to the other compartment. That’s why only one side is cold while the other isn’t.
More specifically, the failure could be due to the following:
- A failed fan motor: In this case, the fan isn’t turning because it isn’t working. It could be faulty, worn out, or damaged by an electrical fault like a short circuit.
- A damaged or jammed fan blade: On the other hand, the motor could be fine, but the fan blade is the problem. It could be broken, frozen over, or jammed with a foreign object.
How to fix it: This problem is solved by getting the evaporator fan running again. That could mean replacing the damaged fan blade, removing anything restricting its movements, or changing the fan motor.
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The fan is concealed behind the rear wall of the compartment. So, you’ll have to unthread its screws and take the panel off to access the fan.
Frozen Evaporator Coil
About this: Earlier, you read how one side of the fridge’s cooling system is the evaporator. That part consists of coils hidden behind the compartment’s rear wall.
When refrigerant passes through the evaporator coil, it absorbs and removes any heat inside the compartment.
That makes the coil very cold and helps to cool down the compartment further.
What’s gone wrong: Unfortunately, the cold temperatures around the evaporator coil can cause frost and ice buildup. When that buildup becomes too severe, the whole evaporator coil will freeze over.
Here, what’s happening is that a section of the evaporator coils in the freezer have frozen, preventing any cold air from being supplied to the refrigerator compartment.
The evaporator coil has an automatic defroster that’s meant to prevent this problem from happening. But unfortunately, there are times when it’s not enough to prevent the evaporator coils from freezing completely.
How to fix it: You’ll have to defrost the ice built up around the evaporator coil. You can do that by shutting the Frigidaire refrigerator and leaving the freezer door open for at least a day.
Once you do that, the unit’s defrosting components can take over and prevent frost and ice from accumulating.
Never use a heat gun or hairdryer to defrost the ice buildup. Those tools shoot a concentrated blast of heat that can warp the fridge’s plastic panels.
Damper Is Frozen
About this: The damper door is one of the most critical components for keeping the refrigerator compartment cold. That small door allows cold air to flow from the freezer to the refrigerator compartment.
The damper is controlled by a motor that opens and closes as needed to ensure that the fridge is as cold as you set it.
What’s gone wrong: In the previous section, you read about how ice can freeze the evaporator coils over. Unfortunately, the same can also happen at the damper door.
When that happens, the ice could prevent the damper door from opening. As a result, the cold air from the freezer can’t flow into the refrigerator compartment.
How to fix it: A frozen damper must be defrosted so it can open and close normally again. Again, you can defrost it by turning the fridge off and leaving the doors open overnight.
If that’s not a practical solution for you, you can remove the panel that hides the damper and take the damper out completely.
Then, you can defrost it outside your fridge while keeping its doors closed to maintain some coldness for your food items inside.
Faulty Damper Motor
About this: The damper door described above is opened and closed by a damper motor. The motor will open the door wider to let more cold air flow into the refrigerator compartment when it’s too warm.
What’s gone wrong: Unfortunately, the damper door motor could fail and prevent the door from moving.
The reason is that the motor has likely worn out after being used so many times. That’s especially true if you’ve had your Frigidaire refrigerator for years.
However, the motor can also wear out if it often struggles to open and close the frozen damper door.
Suppose the damper door is closed when the motor fails. In that case, it’ll be stuck in that position, blocking any cold air from flowing to the refrigerator compartment.
How to fix it: A failed damper motor will continue to prevent your refrigerator compartment from cooling down. Unfortunately, it’s not practical to try and repair the motor itself.
Instead, a more practical and straightforward solution is to purchase a new motor and replace it in your refrigerator. That way, you’ll minimize your fridge’s downtime and quickly get it working again.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Need a bit more help troubleshooting your Frigidaire unit? Check out these helpful questions and answers below.
How Long Is The Frigidaire Defrost Cycle?
The defrost cycle of your Frigidaire refrigerator lasts 30 minutes and takes place twice daily. That’s enough to keep your damper door from freezing in most cases.
Can I Defrost My Fridge Without Turning It Off?
Yes, you can defrost your fridge by placing a pot of hot water inside the compartment and closing the door. The pot’s steam will help melt away ice build-ups inside the compartment.
Where Are The Evaporator Coils On A Frigidaire Refrigerator?
The evaporator coils are concealed behind the rear wall of your freezer compartment. You’ll need to remove several screws to access the coils before removing the panel itself.
Is Frost In A Fridge Bad?
No, a little bit of frost in your Frigidaire refrigerator is normal and safe. It only becomes a problem when too much frost builds up and becomes solid ice. Ice build-ups can prevent cold air from the freezer moving to the refrigerator compartment.
How Can You Tell The Difference Between An Evaporator And A Condenser?
The evaporator coils in your Frigidaire unit are cold, but the condenser coils are hot. That’s because of the refrigerant temperature as they flow through those parts.