With so many moving parts, problems with your Bowie home’s refrigerator are often hard to troubleshoot. Some seemingly simple problems are in fact quite complex and other potentially major problems are as simple as a bad door gasket. So, when you suspect your circulating fan has stopped working, it’s important to know for sure so you can call for the right service. Here are some tips to help you determine if this is your problem.


As with any moving parts, noisiness is a major indicator of a problem. Specifically, if the nose comes from inside the refrigerator, it is probably your circulating fan. The fan’s job is to move air through the unit and therefore keep the temperature consistent. If the unit is in cooling mode, the fan will be running. Common sounds that mean a problem including squealing or chirping or possibly even a loud groan or grinding noise.


On the opposite end, if the circulating fan stops working entirely, you’ll notice how oddly quiet it is when you open the door. Most fans are pretty quiet anyways, but when completely off, there will be no noise at all expect for the compressor on the back of the refrigerator.

Uneven Cooling

Have you ever found the milk in the back of the refrigerator frozen solid but your vegetables are warm to the touch? This could be due to uneven cooling, at least partially to blame on the circulating fan.

Because the fan turns on when the unit is cooling your food, it works to move air around the unit and ensure the thermostat reading is correct for the entire unit. When the fan doesn’t come on, air isn’t circulated and the coldest spot in your refrigerator is right beside the evaporator coils. This can lead to freezing in the back and warmth in the front.

Diagnosing the Problem

If the refrigerator is working properly, diagnosing a circulating fan problem isn’t easy. When it is broken, the exact nature of the symptoms can have an impact on whether it’s easy to tell what is happening. In either case, a broken fan often means you need the entire motor replaced. If you wait too long, this can have a negative impact on the rest of your refrigerator, costing you money in energy costs. So, call a repairman as soon as you suspect a problem.