Wondering Why the Fridge Is Not Cold but the Freezer Is?

Combination refrigerators with a freezer compartment work almost the same as any other fridge, but sometimes, the two chambers don't work as expected. 

Don’t be alarmed if your freezer keeps working, but the refrigerator stops cooling your food. The issue could be caused by a few different reasons that are easy to fix.

So, try to narrow down the cause before you call in a repairman, and you may just save a few hundred dollars. Keep reading and learn how to diagnose and fix the problem yourself.

Read the Manual First

Home fridges work on the same principle, but some models have high-tech parts that need a bit of understanding. Read the user’s manual before you start doing anything. You might find the answers you are looking for there because this issue is not that unusual.

The manual will tell you where and what to look for, and that will help you narrow things down quicker. If you didn’t keep the user’s manual, find one online.

Possible Causes

Let's see the list of usual suspects that make your fridge stop cooling even as your freezer is working normally.


If you're that type of person that likes to stuff the freezer with as much food as possible, you need to be careful about where you put it.

Stacking the freezer to the brink can block the air vents between the freezer and the fridge. That means that the cold air won't be able to make it to the fridge section. The food in the freezer will stay frozen, and everything will look fine, but the fridge could be working sub-optimally.

You can stop that from happening by freeing up some space in the freezer. Remove old food and rearrange everything, so there is more room for the air to circulate. You can also pack the food into containers to save some space.

Dirty Condenser Coils

Condenser coils are usually located in the back of the fridge. They turn the refrigerant gas into a liquid that cools the inside of your freezer and fridge. Since they are exposed, dust, lint, hair, and other polluters can create all kinds of problems.

If the condenser coils get too dirty and covered with hair and lint, they won't be able to cool the gases as fast as they should.

The air won't be cold enough when it passes through the freezer. The refrigerant passes through the freezer before it continues into the fridge. That's why your freezer may keep working fine even as the fridge isn’t getting enough cold air.

You can fix the issue by cleaning the condenser coils with a vacuum and a brush. You should do that at least twice a year anyway. Pull the fridge from the wall and remove all dust, lint, and hair from the coils. Plug it back in and check if the temperature inside is right. If not, you might be experiencing another problem.

Wondering Why the Fridge Is Not Cold but the Freezer Is

Evaporator Fan Motor 

Another suspect is a faulty evaporator fan. It can cause the same problem, but you can recognize it quickly. A defective fan will make your fridge run louder. The role of the fan is to keep the air circulating from the freezer to the refrigerator.

It's powered by a small motor, and if it fails, the air won't be able to make it to the fridge. You will have to open the freezer and remove the back panel to see what's going on. Sometimes all it needs is a little push to work again, but if that doesn't fix the issue, you’d have to replace the motor.

Inaccurate Thermistor

The thermistor controls the temperature inside your refrigerator. It reads the temperatures and activates the compressor and fan when it's not cold enough. Even a thermistor can fail, and when that happens, your entire fridge won't be able to reach the set temperatures.

You can test the thermistor with a multimeter. If the readings are not consistent, the thermistor isn't reading the temperatures as it should. If that's the case with your refrigerator, call the repairman and he will fix it in a matter of minutes.

Defrost Doesn't Work

The defrost system is very handy as it keeps your fridge and freezer from forming too much ice. It's a complicated process that involves a lot of parts that work together to keep it going. It's also one of the main reasons why a freezer may continue to work and the fridge stops.

The ice builds up behind the back panel, blocking the air vents between the freezer and the fridge and preventing the fridge from getting cold enough.

Sadly, this is a problem that requires professional repair. Call your local service repair shop. The technician will know what to replace to make the defrost system work again. The process may be too complicated for DIY fixes.

Know Your Fridge

Any refrigerator technician can fix the issue where your freezer works and the fridge doesn't. However, you should first try to narrow the cause down before calling a professional. 

The problem can be caused by an overstuffed freezer or a buildup of dirt, so you might as well try everything you can before calling for help. If the issue persists, your local refrigerator technicians will know what to do.

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