Refrigerators are big, but they are relatively easy to troubleshoot. And there are many repairs you can tackle yourself.
If you suspect that the controls are defective, unplug the refrigerator and remove the cover to the controls, typically at the back of the interior.
Look for obvious damage, debris, or other factors that may cause problems. If necessary, you can open the control panel and check for visible problems. Consider calling a refrigerator technician for anything more.
A refrigerator is a large appliance for chilling food. A motorized compressor forces refrigerant through two sets of metal coils. In one set, the refrigerant becomes a gas and absorbs heat. In the other set, the gas changes into a liquid and disperses that heat to the room air.
Most refrigerators today have a system for eliminating frost. A timer turns on a defrost heater about every 12 hours to warm the evaporator coils on the back of the refrigerator. Some freezers also include an automatic defroster while others must be defrosted manually. The melted frost from either system drains into a pan under the refrigerator and evaporates.
Major problems will require a trained refrigeration technician. However, many times the problem is simple and you can do it yourself.
Refer to the photos in this Fix-It Guide and to the refrigerator owner's manual.
Test and replace door gaskets:
Test the door seal in several places by closing a piece of paper in the door, then pulling it out. There should be some resistance, indicating that the door is sealed.
Remove the old gasket one section at a time. Some gaskets are held on by retaining strips, others by screws or even adhesive.
Install an identical gasket using the retaining strips or screws, or new adhesive.