Why Is my Fridge Making Humming Noise?

Last Updated on October 19, 2021 by Tom

Fridge making humming noise is certainly one of the most annoying things ever. Usually, the refrigerator makes a quiet noise that can only be heard when you pay close attention. However, a refrigerator making loud humming noise may indicate that your appliance needs a little maintenance. 

fridge making humming noise
fridge making humming noise

Reasons Why Your Fridge is Making a Humming Noise

Have you ever asked yourself why “my refrigerator is making a buzzing noise” out of the blue? Yesterday it was fine, but now it behaves very strangely and makes you wonder what is the reason behind it. Don’t worry because the list below will help you check your device to see if something is going wrong.

1. Noise Due to Ice Maker

Today’s high-end refrigerators have a built-in ice maker, so it is normal to hear a slight noise when the machine is making ice or filling water. But, in some cases, refrigerators making humming noises may be due to insufficient water supply.

As a result, make sure you check if the water lines are connected to the refrigerator as, without the water, your ice maker will be damaged. If you are unsure of how to fix them after thorough research, and several attempts, then we recommend that you call a professional for help.

2. Presence of Dirt in the Compressor

The compressor is an important component of a refrigerator because it compresses a liquid called refrigerant into hot gas and passes it through metal coils. Since gas heating is the process of cooling the refrigerator, the compressor is always hot. In addition, bottom-mounted compressors often have dirt and debris because they are located at the back of the refrigerator.

To fix this, you should clean it regularly to make sure no dirt builds up. Unplug the power, and use a clean cloth or a small vacuum to clean the dust on the compressor and condenser fan. Since it is located at the back, it is easier to maintain and clean.

3. Restrictions in Airflow

The vents let cold air flow inside the refrigerator and keep your food fresh. Therefore, it is important not to let anything block the air vent. To prevent the refrigerator from making noise, be sure to arrange food properly and avoid placing food in front of the air vent.

4. Normal Noises

Fridge making humming noise is a normal thing as this indicates they are working. Not all fridges are designed to be noise-free as some compartments may emit a small humming sound. These are all common causes, and the sound usually turns on and off in cycles, depending on the compartments.  

Therefore, if you often hear the sound and it lasts longer than usual, we suggest you check with a professional.

5. Condenser Coils 

Similar to the compressor, the condenser coils can also collect dust and debris inside it after a long period of operation. The dust-covered make your fridge work twice as hard – essentially overworking itself to cool the inside.  

This in turn creates a loud noise. To prevent this from happening, you can check your coils once in a while and give them a good cleaning, otherwise, you will need a technician to service it if damage has occurred. 

6. Uneven Fridge Installation

It could be the legs of the refrigerator are unequal in length, or the refrigerator is placed on an uneven surface. These cases all cause your device to move back and forth and create those humming noises. Therefore, make sure they stand firmly on the ground.

How to Quiet a Noisy Fridge 

Now, we know that it is expected that fridges making humming noise in some cases, but a noisy refrigerator making a loud humming sound is not pleasant at all. If that’s the case for you, try following some of the tips below for an easy and quick fix. 

1. Level Out the Refrigerator

The compressor and fan in your refrigerator are constantly in motion which means you will always hear humming sounds and vibrations from them. If the 4 legs of the refrigerator do not stand firmly on the ground, then you may experience additional noise.

Don’t take this lightly as vibrations will cause your refrigerator to move slightly, so balance the 4 legs of the fridge by adjusting them to equal lengths. Most refrigerators allow you to shorten or lengthen them individually. As a result, ask a family member to help you hold the refrigerator while you adjust the refrigerator leg length.

2. Clean the Moving Parts

The moving parts of the refrigerator are the compressor, fan, and ice maker. A fan or compressor with a build-up of dirt, or a clogged ice maker can all make rattling noises. This is why you should do a full fridge cleaning every 3 months, or a deep clean every 6 months, so problems can be noticed immediately.

Before cleaning, don’t forget to disconnect your fridge from the power as this keeps the moving parts still while you’re cleaning. Use a clean cloth or paper towels and wipe all the dirt while scrubbing the ice bin by mixing 50/50 water and vinegar. A dust-free compartment along with no ice fragments can help reduce the noise. 

3. Put the Fridge on a Mat

Did you know that a fridge making humming noise can be a sign that your appliance is placed on surfaces that can amplify sound? This can be hardwood or metal floors that even small vibrations from fans and compressors can make louder.

Invest in a soundproof mat and place it under the refrigerator as it can reduce noise coming from moving parts. It also keeps your fridge balanced and free from wobbling around.

4. Move the Fridge to an Alcove

Refrigerators making noise even after a few trials, you might consider moving them into an alcove. Alcove is a small recess of the room, and some homes have them built-in for convenience and architectural purposes. Using this can prevent sound from escaping as:

  • The wall will block those sounds from being heard
  • Most alcoves have built-in soundproof surfaces

If you use this method, be sure to leave 2-3 inches between the refrigerator and the wall for heat to circulate. Following these tips properly will help reduce the noise.

5. Soundproof Behind the Fridge

If you don’t have alcoves in your home, then you can incorporate soundproof panels so they can absorb all of the noise before it reverberates to the rest of the room. Use these to soundproof the wall behind the refrigerator as well as the surrounding areas.

As stated, there are many methods that can help you remove noise, and it’s great if you decide to combine them. For example, you can position your refrigerator into an alcove with the help of soundproof panels in the back, or balance the fridge legs with an addition of a dampening mat underneath them. These are all great ways you can think of before calling a technician.

Finding a Quiet Refrigerator

Looking for a new refrigerator is probably the best idea if all of the above options fail. Reputable brands such as Ge and Whirlpool refrigerators offer cutting-edge technology that makes less noise. However, before buying, pay attention to the following factors:

  1. Noise Ratings: Fridges are rated based on the number of decibels they emit when operating. A quiet fridge tends to have lower decibels. Another thing you can do is visit Best Buy, Amazon, or Customer Reports to see customer reviews.
  2. Quiet Operation: You can easily find this information on the refrigerator’s label. These days, brands have tried to keep their products “noise-free,” so the “quiet operation” label might be a good place to start.
  3. Efficiency Ratings: As the name suggests, efficient refrigerators operate by using less electricity than conventional refrigerators. The more stars, the quieter it runs.
  4. Propane Fridges: One alternative you can find is a propane fridge that uses natural gas to fuel the refrigerator, instead of moving parts. As a result, the device runs silently on its own.

Final about refrigerator making noise

In conclusion, a fridge making humming noises is a typical thing when it is running. However, sometimes things can be more complicated than that, such as noise from the ice maker, dirt stuck in the compressor, or blockage of the vents. In fact, it’s much easier to fix a noisy refrigerator than to fix a refrigerator that stops working without making noise.

We also talked about how you can reduce noise by keeping moving parts clean, using soundproofing materials, and taking advantage of built-in alcoves. If you can’t stand the noise, you can consider replacing a new one with some of the simple tips we’ve provided. Don’t hesitate to comment down below which methods you might try as we’d love to hear your experience, and the effect it has on your fridge.

Thank you! Realgastro Pub

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