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Why Do Fridges Make Noise?

Fridges, or refrigerators, are quite possibly one of the greatest inventions, but why do they sometimes make noise? These wondrous appliances are designed to keep foods fresh and delicious, but sometimes they have some pretty strange sounds coming from them. This shouldn't be over alarming to anyone, but knowing the reasoning behind these noises can help with the upkeep of these important appliances.

Why Do Fridges Make Noise?

There are varying sounds a refrigerator can make and each one indicates different things that they could mean. Sometimes these noises are indicators of a larger problem and should be inspected for determining what to do about them.

There are a few working parts associated with how a refrigerator operates and throughout the lifespan of a fridge, it is bound to make noise. Not all sounds are created equal though and certain noises should be assessed.

For example, loose drain pans, which are located under the appliance will rattle. This is such a simple solution as the pan just needs to be realigned.

Another noise that can occur that may be an indication that something is off is a chirping noise. Unless a bird has strangely flown near the fridge, this is not a common noise.

If a fridge is emitting this sound, it is more than likely that the evaporator fan is malfunctioning. This particular part is what keeps the freezer at the right temperature. This problem can also have a buzzing noise associated with it.

Before taking anything apart, check-in the freezer if there's ice built-up on the back of the freezer. If the ice build-up is quite severe, it can cause the evaporator fan to act up. This is the easiest solution to this problem, but sometimes a deeper look is essential.

A quick visual inspection can determine if it needs to be replaced. Usually, this will be located behind a panel in the very back of the freezer and requires a screwdriver to remove. Once removed, it is important to check for signs of damage.

Signs of damage can include corroded wiring or the fan is not spinning. Any of these problems need to be addressed and resolved as quickly as possible.

Knocking is another common noise that is not normal. This typically is associated with the condenser but is usually linked to the fan motor for the fridge. If the fan motor is getting too hot, it can create this noise.

Once again, looking at the fan motor can help determine how to resolve the issue. The motor can run hot if it is clogged with debris. It doesn't matter if someone has a pet or not, hair, dust, lint and other particles are known to cling to the fan motor.

When this happens, the motor is not getting the proper airflow and overheating can occur resulting in the oh so familiar knocking noise. However, buzzing can rise out of this issue as well. There are some buzzing noises that are normal, but taking a look to double-check is never a bad idea.

Vibration usually occurs when the fans inside the fridge are blocked by items. It is absolutely necessary to rearrange these items so the fans stay clear and free from any blockage.

When they are blocking these fans, the motor has to operate at a higher rate. When something has to work harder, things can inevitably go wrong.

While these noises are usually signs of bigger issues, they are not meant to keep people camped out in front of their appliances expecting the worst. Any appliance, small or large, will require maintenance.

In a society where tech is literally surrounding everything we do, it can be easy to get blinded by it. Plugging something in should not be the last interaction with it (other than using the fridge of course).

Everything needs proper attention to keep it operating at its absolute best. While it may seem trivial on devices meant to last for a while, proper maintenance is always suggested for extending the life of appliances.

Is It Normal For a Fridge to Make Noise?

It is absolutely normal for a fridge to make some noise. Older models more specifically will generate more noise than newer fridges. The internal parts of a fridge like a compressor or a condenser are known culprits for generating some noise during normal operation.

Distinguishing the difference between normal and serious is much easier than it may seem to be. As listed previously, the bigger issues with fridges that generate noises can be remedied or addressed by a repair tech.

While it's important to know the sounds of a serious problem, it is equally as important to realize the normal sounds as well. Getting familiar with the natural sounds that come from the fridge will help keep frustration at bay as well as unnecessary calls to repair techs or removal of any parts.

Below are some common sounds associated with the everyday operation of a refrigerator.

  • Change in fan speed. The internal fans of the fridge may fluctuate when the door is constantly opened or closed.
  • Clicking is the most common sound a fridge makes and it signifies the temperature control is turning off and on or even when the ice maker is shutting off.
  • Bubbling may sound strange, but it generally refrigerant making its rounds through the machine.
  • Clunking noises in quick succession is usually the ice maker dropping a fresh batch of ice into its storage bin.
  • Hammering noises are common with units that have a water line attached to them for water dispensing or ice making. When this water line valve opens or closes, it can create a loud hammering noise.

These are just some of the most common noises and familiarizing the ears with them is crucial. However, anything that sounds entirely too strange should be investigated. While the common noises are recognized, there are still things that can happen out of the ordinary.

How Do I Stop My Fridge from Making Noise?

While it is normal for fridges to make noise, they can be cumbersome to some people's ears. Stopping this noise can be done in a variety of ways to help reduce the amount of noise it makes. The keyword here is to "reduce" the noise, the noise cannot be completely stopped.

As mentioned before, the noise is normal. But how much noise is just too much? Some of the noises emitted from fridges, especially older models, can truly be overwhelming for some people.

With that being said, people have set out to tackle these annoyances and reduce them as much as possible. When it comes to the serious problems that are causing unwanted noise, always try to fix it or call a repair tech. For the regular clamor that fridges produce, there are ways to aid in the reduction of hearing it.

Below are some of the ways to attempt blocking out unwanted noise from the fridge.

  • Use soundproofing products

These products are designed to reduce noise and are generally used during insulation installation. They work by absorbing sound waves emitted from objects instead of allowing them to escape into the air. Supposedly placing on the wall behind a fridge will aid in the reduction of noise. For the sake of trying, it may be worth attempting.

  • Use a yoga mat

Since vibration is usually caused by blocked internal fans, rearranging the fridge usually solves this problem. However, some really old fridge models are known for still having motors that just work too hard and the vibration still occurs. In this case, the use of a yoga mat really comes in handy (when was the last time you used it anyway?!).

Yoga mats do have some noise reduction properties since they are typically made of rubber, but it is minimal. This is why it makes for a perfect solution like this or even noisy dryers or washing machines as well.

They help to stabilize the unit and absorb any unwanted noises. The best part is that they are much cheaper than products tailored to the reduction of the vibration of things.

  • Practice good maintenance

Why spend the money on an appliance if there will be no upkeep on it? While it would be great if all modern appliances were self-cleaning and self-fixing, that just is not practical thinking.

The bottom line, if hard-earned cash bought it, a little hard work and elbow grease can go a long way. Break out the microfiber duster or cloth and check the fans periodically to clean any dust or debris from the fan's motors.

Considering this is a culprit on the problem noise list, cleaning them is essential! Not only will the noise be lessened, but there will be a cleaner appliance.

What is the Life Expectancy of a Fridge?

When it comes to home appliances, the refrigerator is one that lasts the longest with a life expectancy of almost 30 years! This even applies to newer models which make the technology behind a refrigerator quite remarkable!

Everyone's walked into someone's house and probably noticed the same fridge in the kitchen. This is because they last for quite some time. They may do a lot in terms of keeping foods fresh and cool (or frozen!), but honestly, they are built well.

Their layers of insulation and moving parts are meant to withstand years of use. While other appliances who have newer tech advances can be known for shorting out much sooner than their vintage counterparts, the fridge stays steady with its life expectancy.

How Can You Tell a Fridge Needs to be Replaced?

Very noticeable signs that a fridge needs replaced are quick spoiled foods, extreme heat from the back of the appliance, and lots of condensation. These red flags mean that a fridge is rapidly fading and shopping for a new one should be a priority!

While a hot fan motor is a normal occurrence associated with a knocking sound, if the fan motor is clean there should not be any heat. The coils in a fridge that are meant to help cool it may be faulty when any heat starts coming from the back of the appliance.

The same goes for seeing too much condensation. This is a warning sign of a failing temperature unit. Condensation comes in the form of water droplets and usually appear on items in the fridge, on the walls of the fridge and around the rubber seal on the door. This is not normal if persistent and should warrant a new purchase.

Fridges make noise and living with it is possible. But knowing how to assess a normal noise from a problem noise is true mastery that can anyone can accomplish!

Mime Petit

A home appliance enthusiast and creative writer.

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