Why Is My Fridge Not Cooling But the Light is On? and {How To Fix}

If your fridge isn’t cooling like it should, the first thing you should do is check to make sure the light is on. Many people assume that if the light is on, then the fridge is working properly. However, this isn’t always the case.

In this blog post, we will discuss some of the reasons why your fridge might not be cooling even though the light is on. We will also provide some tips for how to fix the problem.

Reasons Why Fridge Not Cooling But the Light is On and How to Fix

fridge not cool

1. Temperature Settings.

The first thing you want to do is make sure that your fridge is set to the correct temperature. Your fridge should be set to between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Power Supply.

The fridge not cooling but the light is on problem could be as simple as a blown fuse. Check your home’s circuit breaker or fuse box and look for a tripped breaker or blown fuse.

If you find one, reset it and see if that restores power to the fridge. If there’s no obvious problem with the power supply, unplug the fridge and plug it back in after a minute to see if that clears the problem.

3. Air Damper.

The air damper is the part of your fridge that regulates the airflow. If it’s not working properly, your fridge won’t be able to cool properly.

Why does it fail?

Over time, the air damper can get worn out or become clogged with dirt and dust.

How do you fix it?

You’ll need to replace the air damper. Check your fridge’s manual for instructions on how to do this.

4. Compressor.

If the fridge is not cooling but the light is on, it may be due to a problem with the compressor.

If the compressor is not working properly, it will not be able to circulate the coolant throughout the fridge. This can cause the food to spoil and the fridge to become warm.

Why does it fail?

The compressor is the workhorse of the fridge, responsible for circulating coolant and keeping everything at a consistent temperature. If it fails, the fridge will no longer be able to maintain its temperature, causing food to spoil. There are a few reasons why compressors fail:

-Wear and tear: Over time, the compressor can start to wear out, especially if it’s not properly maintained. This can cause it to work less efficiently and eventually fail altogether.

-Dirty coils: The coils that circulate the coolant can get dirty, which makes them less effective at doing their job. This puts strain on the compressor and can cause it to fail.

-Overheating: If the fridge gets too hot, it can cause the compressor to overheat and shut down. This is usually caused by something like a power outage or a malfunctioning thermostat.

How to fix it?

If your fridge’s compressor has failed, you’ll need to call a repairman to fix it. In the meantime, you can try to keep food cold by putting it in ice chests or coolers. However, without a working compressor, your fridge will not be able to maintain its temperature, so food will eventually spoil.

How much does it cost?

Compressor repairs can be expensive, depending on the cause of the problem. If it’s simply a matter of wear and tear, you may just need to replace a few parts.

However, if the compressor has failed due to an overheating issue, you may need to replace the entire unit. Either way, it’s best to call a professional for an estimate.

When should you replace it?

If your fridge is more than a few years old and the compressor fails, it may be time to replace the entire unit.

Older fridges are less energy-efficient and may not meet today’s standards for food safety. Replacing the fridge will be more expensive than repairing the compressor, but it may be the best option in the long run.

5. Condenser Coils.

If your fridge isn’t cooling, but the light is on, it could be an issue with the condenser coils. The coils are located on the back of the fridge and they help to release heat from the fridge.

If the coils are dirty, they won’t be able to release heat properly and your fridge won’t be able to stay cool. Cleaning the coils is a pretty easy fix and you can do it yourself with just a few simple steps.

First, unplug your fridge from the power outlet. Then, remove any food or items that are blocking the coils. Next, using a vacuum with a brush attachment, carefully vacuum the coils to remove any dirt or dust.

Finally, rinse the coils with water and dry them off before plugging your fridge back in and turning it on. If you don’t feel comfortable cleaning the coils yourself, you can always hire a professional to do it for you.

6. Condenser fan.

If the condenser fan is not working, the refrigerator will not cool. To test the condenser fan, first make sure that the power is off to the refrigerator.

Then remove the back panel of the refrigerator and locate the condenser fan. If you can see the blades of the fan, try spinning them by hand.

If they spin freely, then the problem is most likely with the motor. If the blades are stuck, then the problem is most likely with the bearings. Either way, you will need to replace the condenser fan.

To replace the condenser fan, first remove the back panel of the refrigerator. Then locate the condenser fan and disconnect it from the power.

Next, remove the mounting screws and pull the old fan out. Install the new fan in the reverse order and then replace the back panel. Be sure to test the refrigerator before putting food back in it.

7. Defrost Setting.

If your fridge is not cooling but the light is on, it may be set to the defrost setting. This setting turns off the compressor and only runs the fan.

How to fix it?

To fix this, you’ll need to change the setting back to ‘cool’ mode. On most fridges, there is a dial or switch inside the fridge that controls the settings.

If you can’t find it, consult your fridge’s manual. Once you’ve changed the setting, give your fridge some time to cool down before restocking it with food.

If your fridge is still not cooling properly after changing the setting, it’s time to call a repairman. There could be a more serious problem with your fridge that needs to be fixed.

8. Door seal.

If your fridge isn’t cooling but the light is on, check the door seal. A broken or loose door seal can cause warm air to enter the fridge and prevent the cool air from circulating properly.

To fix a broken or loose door seal, you’ll need to replace it with a new one. You can purchase replacement door seals online or at a local appliance store.

To replace the door seal, start by removing the old one. Use a flathead screwdriver to pry it off of the fridge. Once the old seal is removed, clean the surface of the fridge where the new seal will be applied.

Apply a thin layer of adhesive to the surface and then place the new seal on top. Press down firmly to secure it in place. Let the adhesive dry for 24 hours before using the fridge.

9. Evaporator coils.

If the door seal on your fridge is in good condition, the problem may be with the evaporator coils. Evaporator coils are responsible for removing heat from the air inside the fridge.

If these coils are dirty or covered in dust, they won’t be able to remove heat properly and your fridge will become too warm. To clean the coils, unplug your fridge and remove the back panel.

Locate the coils and use a vacuum cleaner with a long attachment to clean them. If you can’t reach the coils, you may need to hire a professional to do it for you.

10. Evaporator Fan.

If your fridge isn’t cooling, but the light is on, it could be a sign that the evaporator fan motor is not working. This fan circulates air over the coils that remove heat from the refrigerator. Without this circulation, your fridge will not be able to properly cool down.

There are a few things you can do to try and fix this problem on your own. First, check to see if the fan blade is dirty. If it is, clean it off with a soft brush or cloth. You can also try vacuuming the area around the coils to remove any dirt or dust that might be interfering with circulation.

If these measures don’t seem to be helping, it’s possible that the evaporator fan motor itself is faulty. In this case, you’ll need to call a repairman to come and take a look. With some luck, they’ll be able to fix the problem and have your fridge up and running again in no time!

11. Start Relay.

If your fridge isn’t cooling but the light is on, one possible issue could be the start relay. The start relay helps to get the compressor started, and if it’s not working properly, the compressor can’t do its job.

Why does it fail?

Start relays can fail due to normal wear and tear, or they may be damaged by voltage spikes.

If your start relay is the problem, you’ll need to replace it. This is a fairly easy repair that you can do yourself, but you will need to purchase the correct replacement part for your fridge.

How to fix it?

Before you begin this repair, be sure to unplug your fridge and find a comfortable place to work. Once you have the replacement start relay, follow these steps:

-Locate the start relay. It’s usually located near the compressor, on the back or side of the fridge.

-Remove the old start relay by unscrewing it or pulling it out.

-Install the new start relay by screwing it in or pushing it into place.

-Plug your fridge back in and see if the issue is resolved. If not, you may need to call a repair person.

12. Temperature Thermostat.

If your fridge isn’t cooling but the light is on, it’s likely due to a problem with the temperature thermostat.

This is a relatively easy problem to fix yourself. Simply adjust the thermostat to a lower setting and wait for the fridge to cool down.


What do you check when the refrigerator is not working but lights are on?

The first thing you want to check is the power cord. Make sure that it is plugged into a working outlet and that the cord isn’t frayed or damaged in any way. If the cord looks fine, then you’ll want to check the compressor.

The compressor is what circulates the coolant and keeps your food cold, so if it’s not working, then your fridge won’t work. There are a few things you can do to check the compressor.

First, make sure that it is getting power by checking the circuit breaker or fuse box. If the compressor isn’t getting power, then it can’t run and your fridge won’t work.

Another thing you can do is to listen to the compressor. If it’s running, you should hear a low humming noise. If you don’t hear anything, then the compressor may be broken and will need to be replaced.

Finally, you can check the temperature of the compressor. It should be cool to the touch. If it’s warm, then it’s not working properly and will need to be fixed or replaced.


If your fridge isn’t cooling but the light is on, there are a few possible causes. First, check to see if the fridge is set to the correct temperature. If it is, then the next step is to clean the coils. If neither of these fixes the problem, then you may need to call a repairman.

Thanks for reading! We hope this post was helpful.

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I am founder of FarmFoodFamily blog, where you can read about all living things. I have been a writer all my life, a collector of various interesting and old things, a traveler and an artist. Hobby and career paths have gone in many directions, from making miniature furniture to watercolor painting, fundraising for a symphony orchestra to selling antiques, from interior decorating to copyediting, from being a wife and mother to being a caregiver for family members with serious illnesses. Throughout the years I have learned and taught about all of these things and have been eager to share the information with a wider readership.