HomeKitchenWhy Is My Fridge Making A Loud Humming Noise? 

Why Is My Fridge Making A Loud Humming Noise? 

Arguably one of the worst ways to be woken up in the middle of the night is to hear your fridge making a loud humming noise. And it’s not any more pleasant in the daytime. 

If your fridge has suddenly started to hum loudly, your first concern is likely whether or not you will need to replace it soon. Here’s what may be causing the noise and what you should be doing about it. 

Why Is My Fridge Making Noises? 

Some fridge sounds are normal: the compressor will hum mildly when working, as it should. Other sounds, like a loud humming noise you can hear from the other room, could be a sign that you need to move or fix something. 

Don’t start to worry as soon as the fridge starts to make a new noise. There could be a very simple explanation behind it, and you may be able to fix it in a matter of minutes. Recognising which noises your fridge makes every day and which ones are new will help you determine what your next step is. 

Here’s what might be causing the humming sound: 

The Fridge Is Not Level 

If you hear a rattling or humming coming from your fridge after moving it, it could mean you have not levelled it out properly. If a surface is rubbing against a wall or a cabinet, you’ll hear that weird noise. The same can happen if you’ve not put the drain pan back properly after defrosting your freezer

If you know the fridge has been moved or cleaned recently, try wiggling it a bit and see if that makes the sound go away. Check the drain pan too. If you keep your microwave on top of your fridge, it can actually be the one making the sound, also if it’s not aligned properly. 

If moving the fridge slightly does not work, you can investigate further. 

The Light Is About To Go 

If there is a humming or buzzing sound coming from the fridge when you open the door, and the light inside is also flickering, it means the light is about to wear out. 

This can be a very easy thing to check. Simulate closing the door by pressing on the trigger that turns the light off. If the sound stops, you need to replace the light, and that’s it. 

The Evaporator Fan Is Stuck 

The evaporator fan is located at the back of the freezer. If you determine this is where the sound is coming from, it may mean that the fan has been damaged or that there is something that’s blocking it. 

If you are handy, you can check it yourself. Turn the fridge off and unplug it, and then check if you can remove the panel at the back of the freezer. The fan is located behind it, and you should be able to tell if it’s chipped or if there’s anything stuck to it. 

You can also call in a repairman to help you out. 

The Air Vents Are Blocked 

A fridge will also make a loud humming noise if the air vents inside are blocked. A food item may be plugging it, and the lack of air circulation will make the fridge work overtime. 

Simply check that the air vents inside both the fridge and the freezer are free and see if that makes the noise go away. 

The Doors Are Not Closed 

If you have accidentally left the fridge door open, you can expect it to start making a loud humming noise. The same rule applies for leaving the freezer door open: the compressor will fight hard to keep temperatures low, in an attempt to combat the warm air that is coming into the compartments. 

The solution is simple: close the door. Make sure to also check how long food in the fridge has been without proper power, and get rid of everything that has started to go off. 

The Compressor Is Faulty 

The most common cause of a loud humming noise from the fridge is the compressor. If it used to softly hum but is now humming loudly, you probably need to replace it. 

Before you call someone in though, make sure to clean the condenser coils at the back of the fridge, defrost your freezer and make sure the doors are shutting properly. Also check that you haven’t accidentally set it to the coldest temperature. If your compressor is being forced to work overtime because there is too much warm air in the appliance, fixing the cause of that can also fix the humming. 

The Condenser Fan or Coils Are Dirty 

If there is too much dirt on your condenser coils or fan, the compressor will need to work overtime and will start to hum more loudly. 

If you haven’t cleaned them in a long time or if you have a pet whose hair has probably converged at the back of the fridge, make sure you clean them first. 

The Fridge Needs To Work Too Hard 

If there is a lot of ice buildup in your freezer or if you have set it to a very cold setting, the compressor will need to work extra hard to keep temperatures low. This is especially true during the height of summer, when temperatures in the kitchen are higher than usual.

If the fridge is making a loud humming noise, try setting it to a lower temperature and see if that helps. Defrosting the freezer can also help. 

An Issue With The Water Line 

If your fridge comes with an ice maker, the loud noise could be caused by an issue with its water line. If the fridge is trying to make ice but there is no water for it, you will hear a loud humming noise. 

Check to see if the water line is okay by pouring yourself a glass of water from the ice maker. If it’s not working, this is the issue. If you have disconnected the water supply yourself since you don’t use the ice maker, make sure to also turn it off. If the water supply is connected, call in a repairman to help you fix it. 

What Fridge Noises Are Normal? 

Every fridge will make some sort of noise. A soft humming sound coming from the compressor is completely normal. Popping and cracking coming from the fridge is also okay, as is a sizzling sound if you have an ice maker. 

A new fridge will need a bit of time to settle in, so it may be louder when you first install it. In the next two days, it should switch to emitting its usual humming sounds, which you will get used to. 

If you notice any sound that is not usual for your fridge, investigate. Louder humming when the fridge is very full, when it has recently been stocked or when it’s really hot is normal and should not be cause for concern, but do keep an ear out to make sure a part is not malfunctioning. Older fridges also tend to be louder than newer ones, due to the wear and tear of their parts. 

Check the temperature and level of ice: if it’s still okay and the noise is not getting worse, it could just be your fridge working a bit harder. If you are worried, call in a pro to check the fridge out. 

How Often Should A Fridge Be Humming? 

A fridge should make a soft humming noise every day. This is just the compressor working and is no cause for concern. 

However, if the noise gets louder, run through the list above to see if there is anything off with it. 

Note that a fridge that is completely silent all the time is also a sign that something is malfunctioning. If you don’t hear it at all, call in an expert to check it out. 

Why Does My Fridge Make Noise At Night?

Your fridge is probably not making more noise at night than it is during the day. However, since it’s more quiet at night, you are more likely to hear every noise, including your fridge working.

All sounds are much louder at night, simply because things tend to be more still. Noises you don’t even notice during the day can sometimes even wake you up.

Our fridge for example makes a rather loud whirring noise on a regular basis. It’s just what it does. We don’t notice it during the day, but at night, if we fall asleep in the living room, the fridge will wake us up. 

Is It Dangerous When A Fridge Is Making Noises? 

Most fridge noises are not dangerous and are just a sign the appliance is working as it should. If the sound is very loud, you should check that everything is working and consult your manual to see what the manufacturer lists as normal fridge noises. 

If a noise appears suddenly or is very high pitched or loud, call in a maintenance expert to make sure nothing is malfunctioning. 

When Do I Need to Worry About Fridge Noise? 

You should worry about the noises your fridge is making if they are unusually loud or very different from the sounds it usually makes.

Here are some examples of sounds that should be investigated:

  • If the accustomed sounds of your fridge are louder than usual 
  • Sounds your fridge never makes 
  • A scraping or grinding noise
  • Clicking or buzzing from the ice maker
  • Any kind of clicking 
  • Rattling sounds 

How Do I Stop My Fridge From Making Noise? 

To stop your fridge from making unusual noises, you will need to ensure that it is used properly and that none of its parts are malfunctioning. 

Here’s a quick checklist for you:

  • Make sure the doors are firmly closed
  • Check that you have set the right temperature
  • Check that there is not too much ice buildup in the freezer 
  • Make sure the air vents are not blocked
  • Check that the fridge is not too close to the wall or cabinets
  • Clean the compressor coil and fan
  • Check that the drain pan is attached properly 

If you have done all of this and the fridge is still making a noise, try to determine where it’s coming from. Once you identify that, you can call in a repairman to come and lend you a hand.

Wrapping Up 

While a fridge should be making a humming noise, if it gets too loud or the sound is unusual, make sure to investigate. It may be a sign one of its parts is malfunctioning, and fixing it sooner rather than later can save you a lot of money and hassle. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Popular posts