Even though your fridge making loud humming noises, you would most likely ignore it. You might not attend to it unless the sound gets too loud and irritating. But sometimes, these humming noises can be symptoms of a potential repair in the future. So make sure to check them in time and confirm whether it’s normal or needs to be repaired.
Go through this and check whether you can detect any possible defects in your fridge. Start your investigation by identifying where the sound comes from. Then, take necessary safety precautions to ensure your safety, and always disconnect the appliance from the power supply before troubleshooting any component.
Possible Causes for Refrigerator Humming
It is normal for any appliance to generate a slight noise when operating. But a loud noise indicates a possible defect, and you need to attend to it as soon as you can. Here are some possible causes that might be the reason behind this.
You might find the freezer making loud humming noise every time the ice maker fills and starts the process of making ice. But if this sound is louder than normal, it indicates a lack of water supply to the ice maker. So check whether the water lines are connected properly to the fridge. If there is not enough water for the process, the ice maker could get damaged easily. Get it fixed by a professional if the connections are loose, frozen, or damaged in any form.
It is normal for the compressor to make a constant humming noise while operating. It is located on the back of the appliance on the side of the wall. This noise occurs when the compressor is cooing the inside of the appliance. So this occurs almost all of the time and generates a low-level noise. But if the sound levels increase until it becomes intolerable, this might be due to some accumulation on the compressor.
The compressor can get dirty as it is located at the back near the wall. You can disconnect the fridge from power and clean the compressor thoroughly. Use a soft brush to avoid any damage and fix it back. If you don’t want to do it yourself, call an expert technician to service it.
If you clean the compressor, but the fridge making humming noise continues, then there may be a more complicated problem associated with it. This is not easy to repair or replace at home. So call a professional technician experienced in appliance repairing. The average compressor replacement cost is around $200 to $450. Since this is expensive, it would be beneficial to buy a new appliance rather than replace the compressor, depending on the age of your refrigerator.
Refrigerator making buzzing noise could also be due to a blocked air vent. Sometimes, certain items block the airflow against the walls. So, placing and organizing the fridge properly would help you eliminate this sound. Make sure not to place food items blocking the air vents inside your fridge.
When something is placed pressed upright against the side of your fridge, it might vibrate aggressively due to the normal vibration. So try moving the items around to different locations, especially the glass jars. You will notice that the sound reduces even when you hold a shelf still. This situation does not need any special repairs and can be solved easily. If the fridge’s airflow is optimized after rearranging the items, it would also help increase the efficiency of the operation.
Try to locate where the fridge making loud humming noise comes from. If you hear it from the bottom of the refrigerator, it would be caused by the drain pan. The problem is that the drain pan might be moved from the correct position and dislocated. Hence, it causes a loud noise as it gets vibrated with the function of the refrigerator. This can be fixed easily by taking out the pan and positioning it correctly.
If you find your refrigerator making buzzing noise or a squealing or grinding sound, then it might be due to a condenser fan problem. You might find that this sound comes from the back of the fridge. The condenser fan is what cools the condenser coil by dissipating heat. Both the condenser fan and coil would often be the reason for this humming sound as they get accumulated with dust. Sometimes the coil itself would need more cleaning than the condenser fan.
When the coil gets plastered with dust and debris, it cannot cool and will overwork trying to get the system cooler. Hence, a loud buzzing noise can be heard from behind the appliance. Locate these parts at the back of the fridge and clean or vacuum them to allow better airflow through them. If you cannot locate or reach these parts, you can get it done by a professional.
Like in the condenser fan problem, this also results in the fridge making loud humming noise. As the evaporator fan is also located at the back of the fridge, you might confuse this with the previous case. If the noise coming from behind the fridge gets louder as you open the door, then this means the humming sound comes from the evaporator fan. This is the component responsible for circulating cool air from the freezer to the refrigerator.
Unlike the condenser fan, if the evaporator fan makes noise, it is not due to dust or dirt but because of an actual defect. Access the evaporator fan from your freezer and check whether the fan blade spins smoothly. Examine the wires and see if they show any wearing and are tightly secured. If there are any damages, you will need to replace the fan blades.
Other Ways to Stop the Refrigerator from Humming
Sometimes, you will find your fridge making loud humming noise even if there is no defect identified in the components. In this case, the only option you have is to reduce the impact of the sound. Here are some practical measures that you can use to make your refrigerator quieter.
Eliminate Floor Vibrations
Floor vibrations could also cause your fridge making loud humming noise while running. If the legs are on an uneven floor, you can feel the vibration accompanied by the sound. Check the floor and the legs regularly to confirm whether they are properly leveled. You can easily check this by giving a rattle to the fridge once in a while, and if it shakes, you know that the fridge needs to be adjusted.
If the legs are not leveled, you can fix it with the adjustable legs in your refrigerator. If there is no visible issue in your appliance, place a thick rubber mat under it to absorb the vibrations. This will help reduce the overall humming noise. You can also use anti-vibration mats for this. There are some additional ways that you can use to keep your refrigerator from shaking.
Use Acoustic Foam
If your compressor coils create noise, you need to consider more about the wall behind your refrigerator. Acoustic forms are used for absorbing the noise. They have an efficiency of noise elimination by 50% to 90% when installed correctly. They can be fixed easily on the wall behind the fridge. You will feel the difference in noise reduction when the fridge is placed close to this insulated wall. But do not cover the compressor coils as they could overheat.
Make a Wooden Enclosure for Fridge
Create an encasement to place the refrigerator, but do not cover sides and allow proper ventilation. This can be done easily at home if you have the proper tools. Leave the back open, and you can use acoustic foam for this, as mentioned above. This prevents the noise from getting around in the area. This will be more efficient if you soundproof this enclosure as well.
Soundproof From Inside
You can use mass-loaded vinyl to soundproof the interior of the fridge. Covering all spaces inside gives you lesser sound transmission. Not only the interior, but you also need to cover the motor with mass-loaded vinyl. This needs to be done after turning off the fridge and allowing it to defrost. Remove the shelves, clean the fridge thoroughly, and dry it completely before installing the soundproofing material. However, adding such material inside the fridge can be unhygienic. So, this should be the last option only if you have no other soundproofing mechanism.
Fill the Fridge
Empty refrigerators are prone to create more noise due to different reasons. When the fridge is empty, it is unstable and turns on and off constantly. When it is filled with items, it will run consistently and quietly. This is also energy efficient and saves your electricity bills at the same time. If you don’t have enough food items, use some water bottles to fill the fridge. This will noticeably reduce the sound coming from your appliance.
Use White Noise or Move your Fridge
This is not a permanent solution, but you can get a white noise machine to cancel off the buzzing sound of your fridge with the melodies. Sometimes, whatever the remedy you do, the noise coming from the refrigerator is inevitable. So, it is better to consider changing the location of your fridge to reduce the damage caused to you by the sound. For example, if you have your fridge next to the living room or a bedroom, try changing it to a more distant place or a separate room, then you would only hear the refrigerator’s sound when you enter this room.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is my fridge making a loud humming noise?
When the condenser coils get covered in dust, it will overwork to cool down the inside of the appliance. This results in a loud buzzing noise in the fridge.
Why is my refrigerator making popping noises?
The thermal expansion in the refrigerator is one of the most common reasons for popping noises. This is because refrigerators change temperature regularly as the cooling cycle turns on and off. In addition, the defrost system melts frost off the evaporator coil, and these processes cause the popping sounds in the fridge.
Why is my freezer making a loud humming noise?
If the evaporator blade is damaged, the frost-free freezer would make a loud buzzing or humming noise. This is because the evaporator fan has its blades attached to the motor shaft using a spring clip. When this fan rotates, it passes air over the evaporator coil to cool it.
Can a noisy fridge cause a fire?
Sometimes, the rear side of the refrigerator can get extremely hot as the gas refrigerant moves through the compressor. As a result, the compressor’s coils contract, and the gas can become trapped due to this. This causes the compressor’s coils to contract, and the gas can become trapped if it doesn’t vent properly. It can eventually lead to bursting through the enclosure. Previously, a plastic backing was used in older and cheaper models, which was highly flammable and vulnerable to fires, emitting toxic gases. But the newer designs are backed with a metal heat shield that prevents fires.
What are the signs of a bad refrigerator compressor?
You can identify your compressor is bad when it starts making abnormal noises. It also indicates that the compressor is overheating or not providing proper cooling. Sometimes the fridge compressor clicks on and off too frequently, which is another sign of a defective compressor.
These are some of the reasons for your fridge making humming noise. As you must have figured out the cause for this, you can try to fix it. In addition to this, sometimes you would find your refrigerator making a knocking noise. There are various reasons for this and make sure to attend to this as soon as possible. It is necessary to check the causes of these sounds and repair them to ensure the longevity of your appliance. If you cannot solve it alone, get it repaired by professionals.