When you hear a continuous whirring sound coming from inside your fridge, you may wonder what’s causing it. You probably assume it’s an air compressor, but why would your fridge sound like an air compressor?
Your fridge makes noise when it compresses the cool air in the freezer so it can be sent over to the fridge. This is called a defrost cycle. The noise you’re hearing is caused by the airflow inside your fridge. So, the whirring sound is actually the sound of airflow.
The whirring noise your fridge makes when it’s defrosting is normal. However, if you hear a different kind of noise, it could mean your fridge is having some issues. In this article, we’ll talk about some of the problems that could cause a different kind of noise from your fridge.
Why Does My Fridge Sound Like an Air Compressor
If you notice your fridge making strange noises—such as high-pitched squealing or constant buzzing—it could be a problem with the compressor.
This is a problem that should be fixed by a professional—but you should understand what it is and what can cause it.
Compressor—The compressor is the heart of the refrigerator. It’s the device that cools down the air and sends it into the various compartments of your fridge. It also pumps out hot air, which then goes through a filter before being sent back into the compartment.
Problems with the compressor can cause all kinds of noises, including squealing, buzzing, clunking, or grinding sounds. These noises can be caused by a few things—including a bad bearing, a clogged filter, or a dirty compressor.
These problems can lead to more serious issues with your fridge in the long run—so it’s better to have them fixed by a professional.
If you notice unusual sounds coming from your fridge, contact a professional right away.
What Are the Possible Causes of a Fridge Sounding Like an Air Compressor Running
Vibration—Hinges and Door Gaskets
One possible cause of your refrigerator sounding like an air compressor running is due to the hinges or door gasket not being properly installed. These two components can create a lot of noise when they start to come loose or become damaged.
Air in the System—Frost Build-Up
Another possible cause of your refrigerator sounding like an air compressor running is due to air getting trapped in the refrigeration system. This can happen if there’s too much frost buildup in the freezer.
However, it can also occur if the drain line—leading from the ice tray—is not properly installed or clogged. This can cause the ice to build up in the tray and melt into water, which then gets trapped in the system.
Defective Compressor—Broken Fan Belt
A more serious potential cause of your refrigerator sounding like an air compressor running is a defective compressor. This can lead to overheating and over-humidifying, which will cause the compressor to run continuously. Additionally, a broken fan belt can also cause your refrigerator to run constantly.
Defective Motor—Bad Wiring or Fuse
A defective motor or bad wiring can also cause your refrigerator to run constantly. A bad fuse can also cause this issue—in which case you should replace the fuse immediately.
How to Fix a Fridge That Sounds Like an Air Compressor Running
If your refrigerator sounds like an air compressor—or if it’s louder than usual—it’s probably because the condenser coils are clogged with dust and debris.
It’s a common problem among refrigerators, and the fix is a piece of cake. All you need to do is remove the back panel and clean the coils with a broom or a vacuum cleaner.
When to Call a Professional If Your Fridge Is Producing Weird Noises
If your refrigerator is displaying unusual noises, it may indicate a problem—but it may also be completely fine. If you hear strange sounds that don’t seem normal, it’s best to have a professional come and check it out.
It’s a good idea to keep track of unusual sounds, so if you do have to call a service provider, they can hear the problem for themselves.
If your fridge is emitting strange noises, it could mean one of the following:
- The bearings in the compressor—the part that circulates cold air through the fridge—have worn out and need to be replaced.
- The motor connecting the compressor to the fan needs to be replaced.
- The motor connecting the fan to the blower needs to be replaced.
What Are the Signs of a Refrigerator Compressor Going Out
Symptoms of a Defective Compressor
One common symptom of a defective compressor is frequent—or even constant—cycling. In other words, the refrigerator constantly turns on and off—even when set at a specific temperature.
Unexplained Temperature Fluctuations
A faulty compressor can also cause temperature fluctuations—either too cold or too warm—without any apparent cause.
Decreased Refrigeration Capacity
A failing compressor can also result in a decrease in the unit’s overall refrigeration capacity—leading to frequent over-cooling or under-cooling.
Strange Noises Coming from the Compressor
A defective compressor may also make strange noises—such as banging and rattling—when operating.
Inability to Cycle
In some cases, the compressor may not cycle at all—resulting in an overly warm or cold temperature inside the refrigerator.
Can You Hear a Refrigerator Compressor Running
Yes, a refrigerator compressor running—if it is working correctly—should emit a low buzz or hum. If the compressor is not running correctly—such as if it is stuck on or off—the compressor will be much louder.
The compressor should also emit a vibration when running—although most refrigerator models today are designed not to vibrate, since they are made with stable heavy bases and heavy compressors.
If the compressor does not run at all, the refrigerator will not produce cold air, and you should call a technician.
What Does a Broken Compressor Sound Like
A broken air compressor in a fridge often sounds like a high pitched whine or buzzing noise. It may also make clunking or knocking sounds as it struggles to function properly. If you hear these noises coming from your fridge, it is important to have the compressor checked and repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage and ensure proper cooling in the fridge.
Your fridge makes a whirring noise when it’s defrosting to let you know it’s working. The whirring sound is caused by the airflow inside your fridge. So, the whirring sound is actually the sound of airflow.
If you hear a different kind of noise coming from your fridge, it could mean that your fridge has a problem. In this case, you should contact a professional to fix it for you.
I hope you found this article about the whirring noise your fridge makes helpful. If you have any other questions about your fridge, feel free to leave a comment.