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Fridge Is Warm Freezer Is Cold – How To Fix

If your freezer is cold but the refrigerator is warm, here are some tips to DIY. First of all, read the manual and inspect the refrigerator. There can be a variety of reasons your freezer is cold and the fridge is warm. You may need to do some easy troubleshooting to find the problem. These tips will show you what to check yourself. Parts and components may need to be cleaned and replaced. Most parts on a refrigerator can be purchased online at reasonable prices. Save money and fix your fridge yourself! The first thing to do is to make sure nothing is blocking the air vent in the back of your freezer.

fridge warm freezer cold

Common reasons a fridge is warm and freezer is cold:
1. Over packed or overfilled freezer blocking air flow
2. Evaporator fan is bad and needs replaced
3. Frost blocking airflow
4. Freezer area needs to be cleaned
5. Defrost system faulty

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Most refrigerators use a fan to move the cold air in the freezer into the evaporator and then push it into the fridge compartment to keep it cool. The evaporator fan is usually behind the back wall of the freezer compartment area. This is what pushes cold air into your refrigerator section to keep it cool. If piles of boxed frozen foods or something is interfering with the air flow in the freezer, you can have a warm fridge compartment.

evaporator motor for refrigeratorEvaporator motor for refrigerator
This is what blows cold air into your fridge from the freezer

If your fridge and or freezer is overstuffed, the cold air cannot circulate. The air needs to be able to move freely to circulate and keep items cool. If you have an over stuffed or dirty fridge/freezer, clean it out, throw some old food away, and rearrange the shelves so the air can flow. Once the items are not blocking the air flow, it should take an hour or two to get back down to the proper temperature.

location of evap coils and fan in freezerLocation of evap coils and fan in freezer

Be sure to check the circulation fans and be sure you can hear them running. But remember, if any of the parts of the fridge defrosting system fails, your freezer may ice up. This will cause your freezer to seem cold but your fresh food section is too hot. So you may have to do some troubleshooting as to what part has failed. As stated above, the evaporator fan is most likely the faulty part. The methods given on this page will work for side-by-side refrigerators also.

To test to see if your fridge has a defrost issue…
1 – Unplug your refrigerator
2 – Leave the freezer door open for at least 12 hours
3 – Be sure floor of the freezer is no longer cold to touch
4 – Plug the refrigerator back in
5 – If the fridge seems to be working properly about 30 to 45 minutes after plugging it in, it is probably a defrost issue causing your problem

How to fix a warm fridge – freezer frozen

If you know of another reason a fridge would be warm while the freezer is cold, please leave a comment below to assist our other readers.

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23 thoughts on “Fridge Is Warm Freezer Is Cold – How To Fix”

  1. My fridge is at 55F, freezer is at 4F.
    I took the back panel off the freezer and inspected the vent going down to fridge and it is not clear.
    Left it unplugged for about 5 hours, plugged back in, fan came on and lasted about 5 seconds an shut off?

  2. Probably a temperature sensor which would normally stop the freezer from over freezing and blocking the cold air duct to the fridge, at least that’s what I did to one a few years ago and it’s still ok.

  3. I’m having the same problem with my frigidiare 2-door fridge. The freezer is very cold, but the fridge is warm. I could hear the fan running, and the compressor seems to be working fine too. I defrosted the entire fridge to clear the vent. Afterwards, the fridge seems to working fine — both freezer and fridge was cold. But after 3.5 weeks, the problem recurred. I defrosted it again, solved the problem for another 3 weeks, same thing happened.
    What could be the problem? If the defrost heater is faulty, then the vent would likely be clogged with ice in less than 3 weeks, right?
    Please HELP me out !! THANKS

  4. Hi Joe, I don’t have an answer, but am wondering what your solution ended up being? We have been dealing with this constantly and wonder why it keeps happening. After a few hours of research we’ve done all the common fixes, but haven’t yet replaced any parts. If you, or anyone else, found a solution, please let us know.

  5. This website and the comments were very helpful!
    My Whirlpool fridge with the freezer at the bottom had the warm fridge, cold freezer problem. I unplugged it for several hours, thoroughly cleaned it (that didn’t contribute to the fix, but it looks like new again!), took the back panel (inside the freezer) off to check the fan and noticed the coils and grate had a lot of ice on them, even after several hours of defrosting. I used a blow dryer to melt the ice. When I plugged it in, it worked great again.

  6. Yep, back in the day we called this ‘defrosting the refrigerator’. This just happened to my old Sears Kenmore. Freezer was ice cold. Refrigerator was pushing 54 degrees F. Turned off the freezer and fridge. Took everything out and iced it down in coolers. Put a blow dryer in the freezer for about an hour. Took it out, turned everything back on and watched the temps drop back down to normal. Unloaded the coolers back into the freezer/fridge. Everything’s been running perfectly for over a week … 0 degrees in the freezer … 38 degrees in the fridge. Not rocket science! :)

  7. I’m working on the same problem. My old GE unit worked fine for a few weeks, until I put a lot of stuff in the freezer, maybe the defrost heater was okay in the beginning, then the temp went way up in both the freezer and the fridge. I have replaced the evaporator fan, the defrost heater, the thermistor and the thermostat. Still no cooling in the fridge. There is an opening in the top of the fridge that is supposed to allow cold air from the freezer into the fridge. Today, I removed the vent cover and found a closed door keeping air from passing. I opened the door manually and it stayed open (for the time being). I believe that vent is supposed to be controlled by another thermistor.

  8. Lynn Patterson

    My husband and I went through the above steps to try to fix our Refridgerator. It’s a Samsung side by side that was reading 60* but the freezer was at -4*. After followed all the steps and could find nothing wrong. So we shut the Refridgerator off, open the door and left off for 12 hours. When we plugged it
    back in it began to cool down, it is running just fine now, fridge is a cool 38* now!

  9. Brayton Moshet

    Clean the off the coils…air has to pass over the coils to cool and thaw if they are dirty they do not work properly..if u have pets u would not believe the dust and pet hair that can collect on these cools…which will cause the freezer to iver freeze and the fridge to warm up…quick and easy fix!!!

  10. I have a side by side and my Samsung refrigerator and it is like 70 degrees.
    On the the freezer side it’s 40 degrees.
    I have watched youtube videos.
    Could you please help me.
    I need my frig fixed before Thanksgiving 2017.

  11. My fridge compartment becomes warm because the narrow channel air connecting the freezer to fridge compartment is frozen solid. I end up having to unplug the refrigerator, take everything out of both compartments and wait hours for it to thaw. I can’t figure out why this happens.

  12. My fridge company expert told me that a part needs to be replaced which is called plate center i am not sure what is he talking about if any one else knows any thing let me know or I will update once my fridge starts working fine.

  13. The information in this website is so useful. However, my Samsung fridge is still warm and the freezer is working perfectly. I have called out an ‘expert’. the fridge was working fine for only 1 week and went back to square 1. I called him again, it was working fine for a week and back again. This is really frustrating. I bought this fridge in 2014 and I don’t keep a lot food as I’m staying alone.

  14. I’ve just got the problem and after reading this “Tips”, solved and the fridge cooling again.

  15. My Samsung side by side, freezer is cold but fridge is warm.
    This is the second time, I took it apart and thawed it and it worked fine for a month and I noticed then the fan still worked then but this time even after I replaced it and the temp sensor just in case the fan never kicked on?

  16. Thank you! I think your website led to me inadvertently fixing my fridge! The fridge was warm, the freezer was cold, the carrots in the crisper drawer were FROZEN! We emptied out the fridge to the cold garage and our hearts sank at the cost of buying a new fridge or waiting until Monday for a repair. After reading your information, I pulled out the drawers thinking maybe something fell behind, causing a circulation blockage. No blockage, but the air where the drawers were was COLD! Then I remembered the other day I had opened a drawer, it got stuck and when I pulled it hard, the panel that keeps the crisper drawer settings popped off and I had to jimmy them to get it to go back on. Sure enough, that drawer was set close to max! I’ve set both drawers to min and fully expect to see a return to normal airflow. Assume success if you don’t hear from me!

  17. LG side by side model #LG GC-J237AGNV, the lights are ok but the freezer is cold but not freezing and the fridge is warm.

  18. where is the internal drip tray? and are you removing inner panels from the fridge or the freezer? thanks.

  19. Water under unit, fan working, evaporator tray (above compressor) empty.
    Freezer very cold (compressor working hard), Fridge warm.

    Cause: Water not draining away from internal drip tray after defrost cycle due to blockage.

    Solution: Manual defrost, remove inner panels to expose large amount of ice that stops/restricts airflow to cool fridge.
    Once defrosted empty inner drip tray, squirt a little bleach kitchen cleaner into tray.
    Remove tray above compressor to expose outlet.
    Carefully use a small soft flexible piece of wire to poke up outlet to move sludge.
    Flush thoroughly.
    Reassemble and unit works perfectly.

  20. One thing not listed is the sulfur from well water gets in the air and eats away at the copper pipes, so the freon leaks and the system is polluted with sulfur… NOT covered by warranty and not a DIY fix. We’ve gone through three fridges this way, plus two brand-new ones that had bad motors straight from the store.

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