My Kenmore Refrigerator Compressor Is Hot and Not Cooling


An unusually warm compressor on your Kenmore refrigerator is an indication of temperature issues that prevent the appliance from running normally and gradually reduce the appliance's useful life if allowed to continuously run at a high speed. High indoor temperatures, food storage and improper use affect the refrigerator's ability to stabilize and run at a steady pace and cause the compressor fan to overwork to maintain the refrigerator's thermostat setting.

Room Temperature

  • Warmer temperatures in your home result in the refrigerator's compressor running longer and faster than usual to distribute coolant throughout the appliance and can cause the refrigerator's compressor to overheat when the indoor temperature is too high. Lowering your home's current temperature by a few degrees improves the performance of the refrigerator within 24 hours of the thermostat change.

Food Storage

  • Hot or warm food that is stored in the refrigerator raises the interior temperature and throws off the refrigerator's climate control. Alternatively, a large amount of food affects the refrigerator's air circulation as it pushes the compressor to run for an extended period of time to regulate the temperature. Wait for the food to cool prior to storing it in the refrigerator and avoid blocking the refrigerator's air vents to restore air circulation.

Condenser Coils

  • The condenser coils located on the back of the refrigerator pull air into the refrigerator and control airflow. These can become clogged as dust collects on them. Monthly cleaning of the condenser coils with a brush attachment on a vacuum cleaner maintains the refrigerator's cooling ability and may resolve any cooling issues.

Door Problems

  • The refrigerator door must be completely closed in order for the inside to cool properly; otherwise, this will cause the compressor to continuously run and eventually overheat. Check the door seal on the refrigerator for any obstructions or tears that may prevent it from closing properly. A torn or loose door gasket will need to be replaced.

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