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Is My Refrigerator Compressor Working?

Fridge door open in dark kitchen.

The refrigerator’s compressor works a lot like the human heart. It uses both a motor and a pump to move the refrigerant ― which keeps things cool ― through the systems. Handy temperature detectors signal the compressor to get in gear whenever the temperature within the refrigerator rises above a certain pre-set level. When the compressor starts, it simultaneously draws in cold refrigerant gas and pushes out the hot, compressed gas, thereby reducing the temperature in the fridge and keeping your food cold.

Why Does a Refrigerator Compressor Quit Working?

Unfortunately, just like the human heart, refrigerator compressors are not fail-safe. Some common reasons for refrigerator compressor failure include:

  • High voltage surges that generate excessive heat and overstress the compression system
  • Poor maintenance that causes dirt and dust build-up that impedes compressor function
  • The refrigerator is more than 17 years old and has had little to no routine maintenance to mitigate the natural wear and tear that occurs over time

Signs Your Refrigerator Compressor May Be Broken

It’s quiet – too quiet

You know that faint humming noise you hear throughout the day coming from your kitchen?  That’s the sound the compressor makes as it does its job. The typical refrigerator compressor cycles four or five times a day, depending on how often you’ve opened the refrigerator door to grab snacks. So, if you haven’t heard the “kick and hum” in a while, it’s possible your compressor is broken or not functioning optimally. To check, pull your refrigerator a little away from the wall and listen for a few minutes for the humming.

The milk is warm

The compressor is vital to a refrigerator. Without a working compressor, your refrigerator can’t do its main job, which is to keep food cold. If you notice the food in your fridge is warmer than usual, this could also be a sign that the compressor isn’t working right, and bears further investigation.

Is It Worth Replacing a Refrigerator Compressor?

It is true that, sometimes, repairing or replacing refrigerator compressor costs more than an entirely new refrigerator. However, this is not always the case, especially if you have a high-end refrigerator. Further, your refrigerator my still be under the manufacturer warranty, which would help with repair and replacement costs.

Contact North Town Home Services for Your Refrigerator Repair and Maintenance Needs

If you suspect your refrigerator’s compressor is on its way out, we can help. You can count on North Town Home Services to do the cost/benefit math for you regarding repair or replacement. And, if you decide repairing your compressor is worthwhile, we’ll be right by your side. We’ve been providing refrigerator repair and maintenance in Chicago since 1927. Our technicians pride themselves on service excellence, and we can meet any of your refrigerator care needs!

Get professional service here now or call us at (847) 999 – 4600 to set up an appointment.

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