You hear that familiar low hum from your refrigerator that signifies it is indeed running, but when you open the freezer section, it is like a spring day in there. Your food is thawing and the whole compartment isn’t cold at all. The refrigerator is running, though! Here is what could be wrong.
Improper Temperature Settings
Many refrigerators produce cold air for the freezer section and then that gets pumped into the fresh food section. However, if the temperature is not properly set in either section, it could result in a warm freezer. If it sounds like your refrigerator is running, that could be the fan that circulates air rather than the actual cooling system.
If you do indeed feel cold air being pumped into your freezer, but it is still so warm, the culprit is your defrost. The defrost is a literal heater that melts away frost build up so it is drained away. If the timer is malfunctioning, it could result in the defrost running too often or constantly. This means your freezer is producing cold air, but the heater is also running and largely canceling it out. This will also result in your refrigerator running the cooling cycle near constantly.
The compressor plays a crucial role in the cooling process. However, over time, especially after running too often, it can become overloaded or overheated. This will still run during that time, but it won’t actually do anything. You will hear the hum of a refrigerator running the cooling cycle, but you may also hear a clicking sound if you listen close enough.
This clicking means the compressor is overheated and the cooling process, while still running, has actually been interrupted. You can let it cool down by unplugging the appliance, but you will also want to consider that there is a reason why it happened in the first place.