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Fridge Compressor Issues: Basics and Signs

There are a few examples of home appliances where temperature problems could signal an issue that requires repair or replacement, and one such instance may involve the compressor on your refrigerator. Responsible for regulating temperature and a few other vital roles that keep this appliance working properly, the compressor can experience problems at times – and it becoming hot to the touch is often a sign that this is happening. 

At All Pro Appliance Service, we’re here to help clients around Salt Lake City with all their appliance repair needs, including refrigerator repair and any other major appliance in your home. In this two-part blog series, we’ll discuss what a fridge compressor does and why it’s a problem if it’s malfunctioning, why overheating and certain other indicators are often signs of issues here, and what these issues may signal in terms of repair or replacement needs. 

Refrigerator Compressor Basics and Importance

For those who are just learning about appliance repair or don’t have much knowledge about how fridges and other major home appliances work, here’s a quick overview of what a compressor is and why it matters. The compressor is essentially the heart of your fridge – it’s what powers the entire system that keeps your food cold and fresh.

The primary role of the compressor is to compress refrigerant gas, which then absorbs heat from the air inside your fridge. This gas is then sent to the condenser, where it’s turned back into a liquid and the heat from inside your fridge is released outside. This process is what keeps your food cold and fresh.

Why a Malfunctioning Compressor is an Issue

Because the compressor is so vital to the functioning of your fridge, any issues with it can cause major problems. In most cases, when a refrigerator has a malfunctioning compressor, it will stop cooling properly – potentially leading to food spoilage and other issues.

If you notice that your fridge is not maintaining the proper temperature or if items inside are spoiling faster than normal, there’s a strong chance that the compressor is not working properly. In some cases, you may also hear loud noises coming from the fridge or feel excessive heat on the exterior of the appliance.

Overheating and Other Signs of Compressor Problems

As we’ve already noted here, perhaps the single most common sign of a compressor issue is when it starts to overheat. In addition, however, there are several other potential signs of compressor issues that homeowners should watch for:

  • The fridge is cycling frequently, meaning it’s turning off and on rapidly
  • The fridge is making loud, unusual noises
  • There are physical signs of damage or wear and tear on the compressor itself
  • Food is spoiling faster or the fridge is not maintaining proper temperature

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to have a professional appliance repair technician take a closer look. Part two of our series will go over some common causes for compressor issues and potential solutions that may be necessary. Stay tuned, and contact our team at All Pro Appliance Service for any appliance repair need!

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