How to Fix a Refrigerator That's Too Warm
Avoid summer disasters and solve the most common problem yourself

The weather is heating up, which means it's extra important that your fridge is in working order. Nobody wants to be stuck with a warm fridge in the middle of the summer. A warm fridge can cause food to spoil more quickly than normal, costing you lots of money. The repair need not cost a fortune, either. Avoid the cost of a repair person and diagnose the problem and fix it yourself!

You can follow along with our video guide, or view our repair article below

Where is the problem?

If your fridge is too warm, it is likely a problem with the air dampener/baffle/diffuser. This part balances the air flow from the evaporator fan housing. It regulates the amount of cold air entering the fresh food compartment. If the dampener or its connection to the control knob is broken, then you may not have enough cold air entering the fresh food compartment, resulting in higher than normal temperatures. Not good.

How to inspect a refrigerator's air inlet damper or baffle:

  1. Disconnect your refrigerator from the power source and open your refrigerator door to locate the damper or baffle. It will be found where the cold air enters the fresh food compartment. Check your owner's manual if you are not sure exactly where to find this.
  2. Take a look at the housing. The housing that the baffle or damper is encased in is often made of plastic with a Styrofoam lining and may have a foam seal to prevent air leakage. Check this area for any possible leakage. Care should be used when inspecting the housing to avoid damage to the seal or the Styrofoam.
  3. Check the sensing bulb, if applicable. Some refrigerator models use a temperature sensing bulb attached to this control that will automatically adjust the control for changes in the interior temperature. Make sure that the sensing bulb is in the correct position and is not damaged. check your owner's manual for more information on how to find this part.
  4. Attempt to operate the control knob to verify that the linkage is intact and that it moves freely.
  5. If the damper is stuck in the closed or nearly closed position or does not move freely, then you need a replacement air inlet damper or baffle.

Checking these key areas will let you know what is wrong with your fridge, so you can know what needs to be replaced. Best of all, this symptom does not have a long list of parts that generally cause it, making it easy to identify that the air inlet damper or baffle is likely the one you need. Before starting any repairs, make sure you have all the parts you need.