Mini-Fridge Not Cooling? 5 Easy Fixes To Try

Appliance Express
November 2, 2022
Refrigerator Repair

Mini-fridges are convenient little appliances. They are energy-efficient, affordable, and small enough to fit when you have limited space, and they provide all the cooling capabilities of a full-sized appliance. However, when your mini-fridge is not cooling correctly, it can be very frustrating. Follow the steps laid out in our guide to figure out why your mini-fridge isn’t cooling and how to fix it. 

1. The mini-fridge is being opened too often

Because a mini-fridge is often used in a dorm situation, it can end up storing food for a number of people. This can mean the mini-fridge is being opened very frequently. 

Because a mini-fridge is smaller than a regular fridge, it can lose its coolness quickly. This means that if your mini-fridge is being opened multiple times a day, it might be losing cool air and doesn’t have time to get back to the right temperature before it’s opened again. 

If you’re sharing your mini-fridge with a few other people or if you notice the door being opened too often, it might be worthwhile to either switch to a regular-sized fridge or invest in a second mini-fridge to avoid cooling issues. If your mini-fridge isn’t being opened too frequently but you still notice it’s not cooling, read on to discover more fixes to try. 

2. The thermostat is faulty

The temperature-control thermostat keeps track of the temperature in your mini-fridge and sends power to the compressor, evaporator fan motor, and condenser fan motor as needed. If it fails, your entire refrigerator will stop cooling.

The thermostat can be tested by performing the following steps:

  • Turn off your mini-fridge.
  • Locate the thermostat.
  • Change the thermostat setting from the lowest to the highest. When you turn it up to the highest setting, you should hear a clicking sound. If you hear a clicking sound, the thermostat is operational. If you don’t hear a clicking sound, use your multimeter to check the thermostat.
  • If there is no continuity, the thermostat must be replaced. You can order a replacement part from the manufacturer of your mini-fridge. 
  • Once you replace the thermostat, you must test it to see if that has solved the cooling problem.
  • If the thermostat is not the issue, move on to the next step in our guide. 

3. The condenser coils are dirty

If the condenser coils at the back of your fridge are dirty, this could be why your mini-fridge isn’t cooling. When the coils get dusty, they have to work extra hard to keep your mini-fridge cool, and your fridge may not be able to cool down to a low enough temperature.

To clean the condenser coils:

  • Turn off the power to your mini-fridge and remove it from the wall.
  • Find the condenser coils. If they are covered in frost, allow them to defrost before cleaning them. If they are dusty, clean them thoroughly with a vacuum cleaner or a damp cloth.
  • After cleaning the condenser coils, re-start your refrigerator and check it to see if the problem has been resolved. If your mini-fridge still doesn’t cool, move on to the next possible cause.

4. The door is not sealing properly

For your mini-fridge to stay cool, the door gaskets must be in good working order. Because a mini-fridge is so small, a small amount of warm air can cause it to struggle.

The gaskets on your mini-fridge should be tight, and you shouldn’t be able to slide a piece of paper between them with the door closed. You should replace the gaskets if you are able to do so. 

You can order replacement gaskets from the manufacturer of your mini-fridge. To replace your door gaskets, simply unscrew the old ones and slide on the new ones. 

5. One of the fans is not working

Condenser fan

The next thing to investigate is whether you have a faulty condenser fan. To keep the condenser coils from frosting over, the condenser fan blows warm air over them. If the fan fails, the coils won’t stay cool, and your refrigerator may not be able to cool down to a low enough temperature.

Follow these steps to inspect the condenser fan:

  • Turn off your mini-fridge.
  • Locate the condenser fan and remove the cover. You can then attempt to manually move the fan. Remove anything obstructing the fan. If the fan can move around freely, use a multimeter to test the fan motor.
  • If the condenser fan doesn’t have continuity, it must be replaced. You can order the replacement part from your mini-fridge manufacturer. 

Evaporator fan

Your mini-fridge may have an evaporator fan, depending on the make and model. This fan aids in the transfer of cold air from the fridge’s small freezer compartment into the main fridge area. If it fails, your mini-fridge may struggle to cool.

Follow these steps to inspect the evaporator fan:

  • Check to see if you can hear the fan running in the freezer compartment. If it’s making loud noises, that’s a warning sign that something is wrong. 
  • If the fan isn’t running or is making a loud noise, turn off your refrigerator and remove the evaporator fan cover.
  • Move the fan around to see if anything is blocking it. If the fridge is obstructed, remove the obstruction and then test it.
  • If nothing is obstructing the fan, use a multimeter to check the fan motor.
  • If the motor has continuity, it is operational, and is not the cause of your problem.
  • Replace the evaporator fan unit if there is no continuity.
  • Check to see if your mini-fridge now cools after installing the new fan unit. 

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