Kenmore Refrigerator Not Cooling [10 Expert Tips]

When you invest in a reliable brand like Kenmore, the last thing you expect is to encounter the age-old challenge of “Kenmore refrigerator not cooling.”

Yet, even the most dependable appliances can sometimes falter, leaving you with a warm fridge and a handful of questions.

Common reasons for a Kenmore fridge not cooling include airflow obstructions, ice buildup, faulty evaporator fans, power outages, condenser system malfunctions, and thermostat issues.

Fortunately, many of these cooling mysteries can be decoded with the right insights and patience.

Let’s unravel Kenmore fridges’ intricacies and cooling challenges, ensuring you’re equipped with the knowledge to troubleshoot the problem in no time.

Kenmore Refrigerator Not Cooling

How to Fix Kenmore Refrigerator Not Cooling?

The secret to troubleshooting the Kenmore refrigerator cooling problem is understanding its anatomy and the role each component plays. There are several culprits to look for when it comes to cooling issues.

1. Running the Test Mode

Modern refrigeration has sophisticated diagnostic tools to assist homeowners, and Kenmore is no exception.

One such feature is the Kenmore fridge’s test mode, a unique system integrated to pinpoint cooling anomalies.

Delving into this mode isn’t merely about pressing a combination of buttons; it’s about comprehending the fridge’s messages and signals.

By effectively utilizing the test mode, users can get a head start identifying potential reasons behind cooling lapses, even before they become glaring problems.

Familiarizing yourself with this mode not only equips you with a proactive approach but also can save potential repair costs in the long run.

2. Overfilled Freezer

Often, the issue isn’t the lack of cold air but its circulation. Kenmore designs rely on cool air circulating from the freezer to the fridge. Overstuffing the freezer can obstruct this flow.

As a result, you might find your Kenmore fridge not cooling but the fan running, struggling to push the air where it’s needed.

Clear out excess items, ensuring vents aren’t blocked, and you should notice a significant improvement.

3. Ice Buildup in the Freezer

Moisture creeps in each time we open our fridge doors, leading to inevitable ice accumulation. When ice envelops the evaporator fan or the vents, airflow is compromised.

Though the freezer stays cold, the fridge won’t cool. Occasionally, manually initiating a defrost cycle can alleviate this.

For Kenmore models, press the door switch 5 times within 2 seconds. If ice persists, a more extensive manual defrost might be in order.

4. Broken Evaporator Fan

The evaporator fan is a crucial component in your Kenmore refrigerator’s cooling system.

Its primary job is to channel cool air from the freezer section to the main refrigerator compartment.

However, when this fan starts acting up, you might experience a scenario where the freezer appears perfectly cold, but the refrigerator section remains noticeably warmer.

Signs of a fan malfunction can include the conspicuous absence of its familiar humming sound or the lack of cold air blowing from the fridge vents.

In such cases, particularly if you notice the Kenmore fridge not cooling but the fan running, a replacement might be in order.

Installing a new fan is often the silver bullet that returns the fridge to its desired cooling efficiency.

5. Power Outages and Circuit Breakers

Power disruptions aren’t just momentary inconveniences; they can have lingering impacts on your appliances.

Power outages might sometimes trip the circuit breakers, a safety feature to prevent electrical damage.

If you’re fixing a Kenmore fridge not cooling after a power cut, it’s wise to check the circuit breakers first.

Ensuring they are in the correct position and waiting for a bit can make a difference.

Your refrigerator doesn’t bounce back immediately—it might need up to 24 hours to fully recalibrate and return to its regular temperature. Patience here is key.

6. Damage Assessment Post Power Outage

Not all after-effects of a power outage are immediate. Damages to the control board or internal wiring can lurk, revealing themselves only when the fridge stops cooling.

If standard remedies fail, it might be time for a technician’s expertise.

7. Condenser System Malfunction

Fixing Kenmore fridge

Ensuring the optimal performance of your Kenmore refrigerator involves understanding the importance of its condenser system. This system is a duo of the condenser fan and coils.

A functional fan is pivotal as it dissipates the heat generated from the coils, facilitating efficient cooling.

But, if your Kenmore refrigerator compressor is not working, the heat remains trapped, greatly reducing cooling efficacy.

Simultaneously, when condenser coils gather dust or debris, their performance dwindles.

While homeowners can often handle the cleaning of these coils with a brush or vacuum, a broken fan usually necessitates professional replacement.

8. Thermostat/Thermistor Troubles

Overlooking the silent guardians of your fridge’s temperature could lead to cooling woes. The thermostat and thermistor, albeit small, play a monumental role.

They continuously monitor the internal temperature, relaying this data to the main control board.

When these components falter, the fridge might fail to detect temperature anomalies, leading to issues like the Kenmore fridge not cooling efficiently.

The control board then remains oblivious to the need to kickstart the cooling mechanism.

While it’s unfortunate, defective thermostats or thermistors generally demand replacements rather than repairs.

9. Kenmore Fridge not Cooling and Beeping

Modern refrigerators, like the Kenmore, are designed to alert you of potential issues.

One such alert is the persistent beeping sound, which, more often than not, signifies an open door.

However, if your Kenmore fridge keeps beeping and simultaneously faces cooling problems, inspecting the door seals is essential.

Obstructions, overfilled compartments, or even frost formation on the seals can prevent the door from sealing shut.

It’s more than just an annoying sound; it signals energy wastage and cooling inefficiency.

Fixing these Kenmore fridge problems, which might sometimes involve replacing a faulty door seal, can often restore your refrigerator to its optimal state.

If you’re an RV enthusiast, it’s worth noting that these issues aren’t unique to home appliances; even Norcold RV refrigerators can face cooling problems.

10. Ensuring Optimal Airflow Inside

The mantra for a smoothly functioning refrigerator is clear airflow.

Regularly organizing and decluttering the interiors can prevent unexpected cooling hitches and ensure your Kenmore remains a bastion of freshness.

Repairing Kenmore fridge not cooling

How to Reset Kenmore Refrigerator?

In this digital age, even our refrigerators have sophisticated electronic systems built-in.

Like other modern gadgets, sometimes they benefit from a simple reset, especially after unexpected disruptions like power outages.

If your Kenmore fridge isn’t freezing or maintaining its regular cooling after a power hiccup, a ‘hard reset’ might be the solution.

To do this, press and hold the ‘Home’ and ‘Ultra Ice’ buttons together for approximately 5 seconds. Then, unplug the fridge from its power source, wait a minute, and plug it back in.

Think of this as rebooting your computer—a way to refresh the system and potentially solve minor glitches.

How to Prevent Kenmore Fridge Problems? Preventive Measures

To keep your Kenmore refrigerator running at its peak performance and ward off potential cooling issues, follow the below preventive measures:

  • Clean the Vents: Ensure vents are free from dust and obstructions for efficient air circulation.
  • Inspect Door Seals: Regularly check for wear, damage, or improper sealing to maintain internal temperatures.
  • Ensure Airflow: Maintain clear space around the fridge for unhindered heat dissipation.
  • Defrost When Needed: Monitor for excessive frost and defrost if your model doesn’t auto-defrost.
  • Clean Condenser Coils: Twice a year, remove accumulated dust and grime from these crucial cooling components.
  • Check Temperature Settings: Periodically verify settings are at recommended levels to maintain ideal cooling.

Check out the following blogs if you have any other fridge brands and are facing the same challenge:


Dealing with a Kenmore refrigerator not cooling can be incredibly frustrating, but don’t despair.

This comprehensive troubleshooting guide gives you the key insights needed to get your fridge back up and running.

By methodically working through each potential issue, from airflow obstructions to replacing faulty parts like the compressor, you can solve your Kenmore’s cooling problem.

With time and patience, you’ll have your refrigerator’s temperature regulated and your food fresh again in no time.

By implementing some of these preventive maintenance tips, you can avoid many of these cooling issues in the first place.

Steven Settles Author

Steven Settles is an ISCET-certified master in appliance repair. He has aced the National Appliance Service Technician Certification Exam, showcasing his exceptional diagnostic and repair skills. With an in-depth understanding of the latest repair technologies and a keen eye on evolving industry standards, Steven is a go-to expert for any appliance issue.

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