Depending on the cause, a homeowner may be able to fix a refrigerator that is not cooling, but if not, a certified repair professional can typically fix the problem. Possible causes range from the appliance coming unplugged, debris in the coils or a faulty condenser fan.
Some suggestions for homeowners before calling a refrigerator repairman include checking the plug into the wall. If the refrigerator is drawing power, the light should turn on when the door opens. If it is plugged in but no light comes on, it is wise to check the circuit box to see if the kitchen circuit has tripped.
Next, look at the thermostat to ensure it is still set to cool. Opening the freezer to see if containers of food are blocking the vents is the next step, as the vents need some clear space to circulate cold air. Rolling the refrigerator out from the wall and vacuuming the coils is another good idea, as clogs in the coils can interfere with cooling. If a refrigerator does not have coils, it has a condenser fan. The location of the condenser fan is in the owner's manual. The fan should run at the same time as the compressor. If replacement of a condenser or evaporator fan is necessary, calling in a repair professional may be a requirement of the warranty. These requirements appear in the paperwork that came with the refrigerator.