Refrigerator Making Noise? Here's What You Need to Know!

CHORES SIMPLIFIED
21.4.2021
Whenever an appliance starts making unfamiliar sounds, it might not be for nothing. You might be alarmed by it, but do not panic just yet and call the service hotline. Especially with refrigerators. Most manufacturers explain in the refrigerator’s user manual that some noises are perfectly normal and are caused by the difference in temperature between cold internals and warm or even hot outside environment.

Cooling in refrigerators and freezers is provided by a refrigeration system with a compressor (some appliances also include a fan) which causes some noise. The noise level depends on the installation, proper use, and age of the appliance. After starting the appliance, the operating noise (or coolant flow) might be louder for a couple of hours. This is not a sign of a malfunction and does not affect the life of the appliance.

The noise of the fridge may increase temporarily due to the higher load on the cooling system when the door is opened frequently or for a longer period of time, when a larger amount of food is stocked, and/or when intensive freezing or cooling function is switched on.

Humming is perfectly normal

A thing to remember: all refrigerators make some kind of noise. Usually, they are humming. Humming is their signature noise. The other one is gurgling which is caused by a cooling gas boiling in the evaporator which is how it the fridge is cooled. 

Other weird noises might indicate a problem, especially if they are accompanied by other issues. In case you notice that the food is not cooling properly or that the ice maker is not working it warrants a closer look. You can perform a basic diagnosis yourself and maybe deal with the loud refrigerator on your own before calling a repair service.

What noises need attention then?

The sizzling sound is most likely a fake alarm as are cracking noises

A sizzling sound coming out of the refrigerator might sound scary though it can be explained easily. In most cases, it’s just water dripping on the defrost heater. No real concern here.

Popping and cracking noises may sound scary too. But these are also quite common in hot environments and can be attributed to the expansion and contraction of internal parts as the fridge changes temperature, therefore requiring no action on your part.

Mechanical noises are not necessarily a sign of failure

Most people equal loud(er) mechanical noises with parts malfunction. A noisy sound coming from the back of the fridge is scary. Since this is where the fridge “engine” is located it is probably connected to the condenser fan or the compressor. These two need periodical cleaning as you will quickly see if you look at the dust-covered back of the refrigerator

Simple cleaning and dusting away any debris that may have accumulated between the fan blades using a soft brush might do the trick. Make sure to unplug the refrigerator before cleaning or attempting any repairs.

What’s that rattle?

Occasionally, unusual or loud noises may occur during the operation of the fridge, which are unusual for the appliance and are most often the result of improper installation. Every fridge should stand flat and stable on a solid surface, not touching the wall or adjacent elements. In case you hear some rattling noises check if the interior equipment is in place – it might be that the cans, bottles or
other containers touch each other causing rattle.

There’s a bird in my fridge!

If your refrigerator is making sounds that resemble squealing or chirping, its evaporator fan might be malfunctioning. Since this fan is usually located in the back of the freezer it might be a good idea to call a repair technician if you are not used to fixing electrical devices yourself. If you are, you can unplug the fridge, check the fan, wires, and all nearby components for signs of wear and tear, damage, or corrosion. These might need replacing.

Buzz that light

It is not just in the scary movies that just about all neon lights make buzzing sounds. It is quite common that you will hear an electrical buzzing sound if the light in your fridge is about to fail. Check with the user manual if you can replace the light bulb yourself.

Clicking?

If you recently moved your fridge and it developed a clicking sound this might be a sign of a broken connection that is preventing the ice maker from working. Clicking coming from the ice maker could also mean that the water line valve is loose or not connected to the water supply.

Knock knock knocking on your wallet

One of the sounds you wish you never heard from your refrigerator is knocking as it is likely associated with the condenser failing or the fan motor is not working properly. It warrants a repair that can be costly.

Buy a (near) silent fridge

If you are not a fan of noisy home appliances, we suggest you pay attention to the noise level your new fridge will operate at. Gorenje has some of the quietest refrigerators on the market. Just check the newest IonAir line of fridges and freezers equipped with a multipoint air blowing function (MultiFlow 360). Intensive air circulation leads to steady and even temperature throughout the refrigerator compartment. Compared to conventional systems, MultiFlow cools the food more efficiently, keeping the freshness, aroma, and nutrients of the fruits, vegetables, and meat much longer. In the ZeroZone drawer, this technology makes sure the temperature is always around 0 °C.

And, best yet, Gorenje’s newest refrigerators only produce about 35 dB noise when operating. Putting things into perspective: soft whisper amounts to 30 dB and ordinary conversation to 60 dB of noise. From the absence of noise, you will barely know the fridge is working.

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