How To Troubleshoot A Mini Fridge Not Cooling | Quick and Easy Fix

Last Updated on November 25, 2023 by Kimberly Crawford

Having a properly functioning mini fridge is essential for safely storing food and beverages. Without a functioning fridge, food can quickly go bad and drinks can spoil, leading to potential health risks and wastage of money.

Unfortunately, mini fridges are known to be prone to failure, sometimes due to a variety of different issues. Common issues that can cause a mini fridge to stop cooling include a malfunctioning compressor, seal problems, a faulty thermostat, or even a blocked air vent. Knowing the cause of the problem can make it easier to fix.

To help you troubleshoot and fix your not-so-cool mini fridge, here is a step-by-step guide:

Possible Causes and Solutions

1. Temperature Settings

Incorrect temperature settings are a common cause of mini fridge cooling problems. By setting the temperature too high, the appliance will use more energy than necessary in an effort to cool the refrigerator compartment, resulting in inefficient energy use and reduced cooling performance.

On the other hand, if the temperature is set too low, the motor can be overworked while trying to get the temperature down to the desired level.

To check and adjust the temperature settings on a mini fridge, locate the controls typically located inside the door or on the side of the unit. Then, turn the temperature setting up or down, depending on what temperature you prefer. Depending on the model, you may also have the option to select between °C and °F. It’s important to note that the actual refrigerator temperature may take some time to reach the set temperature, so give it some time before checking again.

To maintain optimal cooling performance, it’s a good idea to regularly check and adjust the temperature settings if needed. Make sure the refrigerator is not too cold, as this will cause it to consume more energy than necessary. Additionally, try to keep the door closed as much as possible and store cold items in the top shelves, as they will help keep the rest of the refrigerator cool.

2. Overstuffing

Overstuffing a mini fridge can have an effect on the cooling efficiency and performance. This is because when the fridge is stuffed full, it can impede airflow and reduce the amount of cool air that can circulate throughout the refrigerator. Moreover, overstuffing can also prevent the cold air from reaching the top shelves, causing the food stored there to spoil more quickly.

To maximize cooling efficiency and performance, it’s important to organize and store items according to their temperature needs. Colder items should be stored in the lower shelves, while warmer items can be stored on the top shelves closest to the door. Additionally, make sure to leave enough space for proper air circulation in the fridge by avoiding overstuffing it. This will allow the cold air to move freely and cool all the items stored inside the fridge.

3. Dirty Condenser Coils

Dirty condenser coils can have a major impact on the cooling performance of a mini fridge. The condenser coils are responsible for converting hot air into cold air, and when they are dirty or clogged with debris, this process is inhibited. As a result, the cooling capacity of the fridge is reduced, and it can take longer for food and drinks to chill.

Fortunately, maintaining clean condenser coils is easy and can be done safely. To clean the coils, first unplug the fridge and then use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove dust and debris from the condenser coils. You may also need to use a damp cloth to wipe away any remaining dirt. Make sure to keep the coil cover on during the cleaning process, as this is important for safety.

It’s recommended to clean the condenser coils at least once a year to maintain optimal cooling performance. If you have pets or live in an area with a lot of dust, it’s a good idea to clean the coils more frequently.

4. Door Seal Issues

The door seal of a mini fridge plays an important role in maintaining its cooling efficiency. A damaged or poorly sealed door can let in warm air, causing the fridge to work harder to cool the interior. This can result in higher energy use and reduced cooling performance.

To inspect a mini fridge door seal, open the door and feel around the edges for any gaps or holes. If there are any, it’s likely that the seal needs to be replaced. Additionally, you can check the seal for dirt or debris, which can reduce the door’s effectiveness.

If the seal needs to be cleaned, use a damp cloth with some mild soap to wipe away any dirt or debris. Make sure to rinse and dry the seal thoroughly before closing the door.

If the door seal is damaged, then it’s best to replace it with a new one. When buying a replacement seal, make sure to get the correct size and shape for your specific mini fridge. Once the seal is in place, double-check to ensure that it fits properly and is sealed all the way around the door.

Caring for the door seal of a mini fridge is an important step in keeping it running efficiently and maintaining optimal cooling performance. Regularly inspecting and cleaning the seal can help to keep it in good condition, while replacing it when necessary is key to optimizing the fridge’s cooling power.

5. Malfunctioning Thermostat

A malfunctioning thermostat can be a major cause of reduced cooling performance in a mini fridge. The thermostat controls the motor that runs the refrigerator compressor, and if it is not operating correctly it can cause the fridge to run less efficiently. This can result in the refrigerator being unable to reach the desired temperature, or the compressor running too often and using more energy than necessary.

In order to troubleshoot a malfunctioning thermostat it’s important to first test it. This can be done by disconnecting the power to the fridge, then using an ohmmeter to measure the resistance of the thermostat. If the resistance is lower than the manufacturer’s specifications, then this indicates that the thermostat is malfunctioning and needs to be replaced.

When to consider replacing a malfunctioning thermostat should be done when the thermostat is not functioning properly or has been damaged. Replacing a thermostat can be a relatively simple process for someone with basic repair knowledge or experience, but it is best to contact a qualified technician if the issue is more complex.

It is important to take the time to troubleshoot and inspect a mini fridge’s thermostat to ensure that the cooling system is working properly. Taking the time to replace a malfunctioning thermostat can help to keep the fridge running efficiently and maintain optimal cooling performance.

6. Faulty Compressor

The compressor in a mini fridge is the most important part of the cooling system, as it is responsible for keeping the refrigerator at its desired temperature. Without a functioning compressor, the mini fridge will not be able to maintain a consistent temperature and will struggle to keep items cool.

Some signs that a compressor is failing include the compressor running too often or not often enough, as well as an inability to reach the desired temperature. If any of these symptoms are present, it may be necessary to troubleshoot the compressor.

This can involve checking the power supply to make sure the compressor is receiving the necessary voltage or examining the internal components of the compressor to ensure they are functioning properly.

If any of the above issues are present, it may be necessary to consult a professional for compressor-related issues. A qualified technician should be able to diagnose and repair compressor-related issues, as well as provide advice on how to prevent future issues from occurring. Taking the time to inspect and troubleshoot the compressor can help to ensure that the mini fridge is running efficiently and maintaining its desired temperature.

7. Blocked or Damaged Evaporator Fan

The evaporator fan is an essential component of a mini fridge and is responsible for circulating air throughout the unit. This helps to maintain a consistent temperature and ensure that the fridge’s contents are kept cool.

Inspecting the evaporator fan is an important task when troubleshooting a mini fridge. If the fan blade is not turning or is making an unusual noise, it may be blocked or damaged. This is usually caused by dust or debris that has accumulated in the fan housing. To check for this issue, it is necessary to remove the fan’s housing and inspect the blades. If necessary, use a soft brush or vacuum to remove any debris present.

If the fan blade is damaged, it may need to be replaced. This should only be attempted by a qualified technician, as it requires specialized tools and knowledge. Additionally, a damaged fan may be an indication of an underlying problem with the fridge, so it is important to consult a professional to ensure that the issue is properly addressed.

It is also important to note that if the fan is blocked or damaged, it may be necessary to consider replacing it altogether. In some cases, a new fan may be necessary to ensure that the mini fridge is functioning efficiently and maintaining optimal cooling performance.

Preventative Maintenance Tips

mini fridge

Regular cleaning and maintenance is essential to ensure optimal cooling performance from a mini fridge. Regularly check the evaporator fan, and use a soft brush or vacuum to remove any dust or debris that may have accumulated in the fan housing. Additionally, it is important to make sure that the mini fridge is kept in a well-ventilated area, as this can help to reduce the buildup of heat.

To reduce energy consumption and extend the life of a mini fridge, it is important to set the temperature to the optimal levels. The optimal temperature for a mini fridge is between 35-38°F. Additionally, it is important to make sure that the door seals are in good condition to prevent excess air from entering the unit. This can help to reduce energy consumption and help maintain a consistent temperature.

Finally, it is important to check the coils and condenser fan, and keep them free of dust and debris. This helps to ensure that the fridge is working at maximum efficiency and helps to reduce the amount of energy used. Additionally, it’s important to keep the fridge away from direct sunlight, as this can cause the temperature to fluctuate.

When to Call a Professional

Although regular cleaning and maintenance is essential for keeping a mini fridge running efficiently, there may come a time when DIY fixes are not enough. If the fridge is not cooling properly, or if there are unexplained temperature fluctuations, it is important to call a professional appliance repair technician. Professional technicians have the experience and expertise to quickly and accurately diagnose and repair the problem.

The Benefits of Consulting a Professional Appliance Repair Technician

Consulting a professional appliance repair technician has several major benefits. A professional technician can quickly and accurately diagnose and repair the problem, saving time and money. Additionally, they have the right tools and parts to fix the issue, and can provide helpful advice to ensure that the mini fridge is functioning efficiently.

Tips for Finding a Reputable and Qualified Appliance Repair Service

When looking for a qualified and reputable appliance repair service, it is important to read customer reviews and ensure that the company has a good reputation. Additionally, customers should make sure that the technician is certified and insured, and that the technician has experience working with mini fridges. Finally, customers should always ask for a written estimate before any repairs begin.


In conclusion, it is important to address cooling issues with a mini fridge promptly and professionally. Taking the time to troubleshoot the problem and follow preventative maintenance tips can help keep the fridge working efficiently. When necessary, seeking professional advice and repair from an experienced appliance technician can provide peace of mind that the issue will be solved in a safe and effective manner.


What could cause a mini fridge not to cool?

A mini fridge not cooling may be caused by a variety of factors, including a dirty condenser coil, a failed compressor, or a malfunctioning thermostat. Other possible causes include insufficient power, a faulty temperature control, or an overly full fridge.

How can I fix a mini fridge that is not cooling?

If your mini fridge is not cooling, the first thing you should do is check the thermostat and make sure it’s set to the desired temperature. If it is, then you should inspect the condenser coil for dirt and debris buildup. If the coil is dirty, then you can clean it with a vacuum and soft brush. You should also check the power cord and ensure that it is securely connected to a power source. If the power connection is loose, you will need to tighten it. If the problem persists, you can contact a professional to check for further issues such as a faulty compressor or temperature control.

Can I fix a mini fridge that is not cooling on my own?

Depending on the cause of the issue, you may be able to fix a mini fridge that is not cooling on your own. Try wiping down the condenser coils, checking for loose power connections, and setting the temperature to the desired level. If these steps do not solve the problem, you should contact a professional for further assistance.