why is my refrigerator buzzing

Why Is My Refrigerator Buzzing

Why Is My Refrigerator Buzzing?

Have you ever wondered why is my refrigerator buzzing?  Well, I have some news for you.  You are certainly not alone.  There are many members of the refrigerator buzzing club, and in this post we’ll answer a bunch of your questions.

Hearing the constant noise of a noisy and buzzing fridge can be distressing.  Many people wonder whether their fridge is overheating or if it could catch on fire.  I know, this sounds crazy but that’s one of the first things that comes to people’s minds when they hear the noisy sounds from a kitchen appliance.

Why Your Fridge Buzzes

There are several reasons for the buzzing sound.  If your refrigerator is working too hard, you might notice a louder than usual sound.  However, a light humming is normal. All appliances make some sort of low grade sounds as they are working.  Remember, your fridge is working all the time to cool the food that’s inside of it.  If it were completely silent I’d be concerned that it’s not doing its job.  However, the noise should never be loud or startling.

The Condenser Makes Noise

Your fridge buzzes because it’s running.  You probably don’t know this, but there is a part of your appliance which is located on the back side.  This part of the appliance is usually not exposed for anyone to see and sits against the wall.  It’s the other side of the appliance that holds the doors, however the backside has a mechanical part called the condenser.  This is the mechanism which makes noise as it operates.

You can put your ear against your fridge and you will notice the low hum being made by the condenser.  However, if the humming noise becomes loud and you are afraid your fridge could overheat or explode, that is probably a sign to get it checked out.  While it would not be normal for your fridge to explode, hearing a loud noise that makes you think of that is definitely a sign that it’s time to be replaced.

Your Condenser Coils Might Be Dirty

The condenser coils that sit at the back of your appliance get dusty and need regular cleaning and maintenance.  Over the years, your condenser coils will build up dust just like any other area of your house that is hard to get to.  Now imagine the impact of a large amount of dust on the engine of a machine that is supposed to run efficiently?

Making sure your condenser coils are free of dust and debris will help your fridge to run more efficiently.  In addition, you will notice it doesn’t have to work as hard and doesn’t sound as noisy as it did previously.

Before you consider refrigerator disposal, be sure the condenser coils are dust-free!  You will be super annoyed if you hire someone for appliance removal when the solution to your problem was a 10 minute wipe down.

Your Ice-Maker Makes Noise Too!

Your ice maker also makes noise, but that usually only happens as your appliance is making ice.  If you notice anything out of the ordinary or more noise than usual, you should call a technician to see what’s going on.  In addition, if your ice maker is making noise when it’s not producing or making ice, this could be the sign of a problem too.

Your Fridge Might Need To Be Replaced

It’s possible your refrigerator might need replacement.  Once you establish that your fridge needs to be replaced, you will be faced with another set of issues.  You will probably want to know how to dispose of your refrigerator.  Additionally, you will probably be curious about what type of new one to buy.

The fact of the matter is that once your refrigerator is past its age of proper operation, you should probably remove and get rid of it.  A new fridge is an investment however you will not want to hang on to the old one for a bunch of different reasons.

Reasons To Get A New Fridge:

  • Your new fridge will be more efficient and will save energy and money on utilities
  • Better cooling and refrigeration of foods
  • Won’t make noise like the old one
  • Food will taste better as it will be properly cooled and last longer

How Old Is Your Fridge?

Before you decide to toss the old fridge, it’s possible to have a technician come in and look at it.  However, be aware of your refrigerator’s age.  After a certain amount of time, it is recommended that you just throw it out and move on.

You can read this article about when to get rid of old appliances.  It give you an idea of how long appliances last so you have a better frame of reference.  In addition, you can consider hiring a junk removal company or even renting a dumpster for your disposal project.  Whatever you choose to do, you’ll be better off with a brand new appliance!

When Did Your Refrigerator Start Making Noise?

Another thing you should ask yourself is when did the fridge start making the noise.  If it happened all of a sudden, it could be a mechanical thing that a technician can easily fix.  It could also be dust on the condenser coils as we discussed above.

If the noise started a long time ago and has progressively gotten worse, this is a sign of age and a refrigerator slowly beginning to reach its end.  A refrigerator that gets progressively noisier is a tell-tale sign that it’s on its way out.

DIY How To Fix A Noisy Refrigerator

If you want to try to fix a noisy refrigerator yourself, here are some steps you can take.

Inspect Your Condenser Fan Motor

In today’s day and age, most refrigerators that are frost-free will operate with a condenser fan which provides cooling to your refrigerator system.  The condenser fan does two things.  It circulates air through your refrigerator as part of the cooling process and it removes heat from your fridge.  In addition to this, it also evaporates water from your refrigerator more efficiently.

Sometimes when a fridge becomes noisy, it’s the result of a problem with the condenser fan motor.  It’s important to figure it out because your fridge might not be cooling food properly and food could spoil and make you sick.

Inspecting Your Condenser Fan Steps

Step 1: Disconnect your fridge so it is not plugged into the power source

Step 2: Remove the panel at the rear of your refrigerator

Step 3: Locate the condenser fan motor which can usually be found at the bottom portion of your fridge.

Step 4: Do a quick inspection of the fan motor.  Is dust or debris causing the problem?  Can you buy a replacement for your fridge?

Inspect The Motor Of Your Evaporator Fan

Another part of your fridge that could be causing buzzing is the motor of your evaporator fan.  This unique motor pulls air over evaporator coils.  It does this as your compressor runs and works to cool food.

You can diagnose a problem with your evaporator fan motor by paying attention to where the noise originates from.  If it seems to be coming from the freezer, you should inspect your evaporator fan motor.

This Is How To Do It

Step 1: Unplug your fridge

Step 2: Remove the cover on your evaporator fan.  It is inside the unit in the compartment of your freezer

Step 3: Check for signs of damage or wear

Step 4: If you notice a large amount of ice on the motor, simply defrost it and check if that resolves the issue.

Step 5: Consider replacement if it is damaged or you can’t resolve the issue

Check Your Evaporator Fan Motor Grommet

You can check your evaporator fan motor grommet for wear and tear.  This device is used to isolate the motor in order to reduce noise from vibrations. 

Here’s How To Check It

Step 1: Disconnect your refrigerator

Step 2: Remove the cover on your evaporator fan (inside your freezer)

Step 3: Look at the fan motor grommet.  Has it fallen off or is it damaged?

Step 4: Determine if you need a replacement


Your refrigerator may be buzzing for many different reasons.  We hope we have helped you address some of the causes of a noisy refrigerator and things you can do to make it stop buzzing.  We hope we have answered your questions why is my refrigerator buzzing and wish you the best.

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