Quieting A Noisy Refrigerator Compressor: Keep Your Kitchen Calm

Researched & Written by Craig

There’s nothing more annoying than the constant humming of a refrigerator compressor. Are you looking for ways to quieten yours? Then this article will show you the easy steps for you to do so.

To quieten a noisy refrigerator compressor do the following:

  • Level the refrigerator’s legs
  • Use a soundproofing mat
  • Regularly clean the compressor and fans
  • Remove items on top of the refrigerator
  • Soundproof the wall
  • Change the location of the refrigerator

Are you looking to restore the bliss of peace and quiet to your home? Then you’ll have to quieten that noisy refrigerator compressor! Do you fancy checking out some of these steps in more detail? Then make sure you take a look at the extended guide below!

Quieting A Noisy Refrigerator Compressor: Keep Your Kitchen Calm

Everyone loves arriving home in the evening after a long day in a busy, noisy work environment. But that peace and quiet you want is often disturbed by those annoying household noises. And no, I’m not talking about the kids. I mean those annoying background noises that you can’t help but hear. Those noises that slowly but surely get under your skin like:

  • The whistle of the wind blowing through gaps in the windows.
  • Burbling radiators
  • The click, click, click of rattling doors
  • Noisy pipes
  • Squeaking cupboard door hinges

I’m sure that merely reading that list of noises made your teeth clench together. But you’ll probably agree that the annoying sound that gets the top spot on the list is a noisy refrigerator compressor. The constant humming, clunking, and occasional gurgling of a refrigerator compressor is tedious.

And, of course, it could seem like there’s no quick fix for a noisy refrigerator. I mean, plugging it out is the only way to immediately get some quiet and that’s not a very good solution at all. So, what can you do to silence your noisy refrigerator?

Take a look at the 6 tips mentioned below. These tips will help you put an end to loud refrigerator noises.

Level the Refrigerator’s Legs

One of the reasons why your refrigerator is making noise might be because its legs are uneven. You can check that the legs are level by leaning your hand on the refrigerator and gently pushing it. If it immediately begins to tilt and take its weight off of one leg then it is unevenly set.

One of the nice things about modern refrigerators is that they come with adjustable legs. So, if your floor surface is somewhat uneven, you can adjust the legs to match your floor.

But what if you are dealing with an older refrigerator that doesn’t have adjustable legs? In this case, you’re going to have to go old school. In most hardware and handyman stores, you will be able to find leg cushions. These are the type of stick-on cushions that you might apply to a table with an uneven leg. The cushions are usually adhesive and are super simple to apply. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Draw around the base of the refrigerator’s legs with a pencil onto the cushion. You should do this before removing the backing paper.
  2. Cut around the mark you drew so that you have a cushion that perfectly matches the size of your refrigerator’s leg.
  3. Remove the backing paper of the adhesive sticker. Stick the cushion onto the uneven leg of the refrigerator.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3. Do so until you have built up enough cushions under the leg to stabilize the refrigerator.

Use a Soundproofing Mat

Most refrigerator noise comes from the vibrations of your compressor and other components. If your refrigerator is located on a thin, laminate floor, then it could be really noisy.

But this problem can easily be solved. To do so, you should place a soundproofing mat underneath your refrigerator. The mat must be large enough to cover all the refrigerator’s legs for it to be effective. The mat will lift the refrigerator from the floor, eliminating vibrations. It will work to engulf any background noise that is the result of uneven flooring.

Soundproofing mats are available in many shapes and sizes. This will make it easy for you to find the perfect one to fit your refrigerator. Once you’ve got your soundproofing mat, do the following:

  1. Remove the refrigerator from its place.
  2. Place the mat where you want to put the refrigerator.
  3. Return the refrigerator to its place. Make sure all four legs are firmly on the mat.

Regularly Clean the Compressor and Fans

A dirty fan or compressor will make your refrigerator noisier. Why? Because the refrigerator will have to work harder to keep its temperature regulated. It will also have to constantly battle against the build-up of dust.

You should clean your compressor and fans regularly to stop excessive refrigerator noise. But, that might be easier said than done for a couple of reasons. Here’s just two of them:

  1. Opening up the back of your refrigerator could be complicated if you don’t know what you’re doing.
  2. Opening up your refrigerator could invalidate your warranty.

So, what should you do instead of blindly performing a DIY operation on your refrigerator? Take a look at the following suggestions:

  1. Phone a professional! If your refrigerator is still under guarantee then you may be able to get someone to come and look at it for free.
  2. Check your user guide. The user guide may have more instructions on what to do when your compressor and fans are dirty.
Professional Fixing A Fridge

If you can’t solve the problem yourself, calling a professional is the next best thing

Remove Items on Top of the Refrigerator

I get it. I get it. Refrigerators are kind of boring and ugly to look at. Up until recently, I had some simple decor on my refrigerator, a vase with some flowers inside. Just to make the kitchen look a little more homely. But little did I know that my homely touch was the very thing that was disturbing my peace.

It turns out that the base of the vase I had on top of the refrigerator was ever so slightly uneven. So, when the refrigerator vibrated, the vase would tremble, just a fraction. It didn’t shake enough for me to notice it just by looking at it. It was only when I removed the vase from on top of the refrigerator that I realized how much noise it was making.

So, if you are having problems with a noisy refrigerator, remove any items from on top of it. This may help to silence your kitchen!

Soundproof the Wall

Is your refrigerator lying close to more than one wall? If so, then the vibrations from the refrigerator are bouncing between those two walls. The sound waves bouncing off one another back and forth make the refrigerator sound louder than it is.

So, what can be done to fix this problem? A simple solution is to soundproof the walls that are closest to the refrigerator. What will happen if you soundproof them? The walls will absorb the vibrations from the refrigerator instead of deflecting them.

If you plan on soundproofing your wall there are quite a few materials to choose from. Here’s a list of some of the most popular options:

  • Soundproofing panels like textured Rockwool
  • Foam mats
  • Vinyl mats

Change the Location of the Refrigerator

If you are still having problems with your refrigerator, you should try moving it. The vibrations of a refrigerator bounce around the walls of your kitchen. The sound waves bouncing off one another back and forth will make the refrigerator sound louder than it is.

So, what can you do to silence a noisy refrigerator? Take a look at the following tips below.

  1. Nestle your refrigerator between kitchen units. Is your refrigerator freestanding in the kitchen? Then it will have lots of space to bounce its noisy sound waves back and forth. So, move it so that it is nestled between large kitchen units that will absorb the vibrations.
  2. Place the refrigerator in an alcove. An alcove is a small set-back section of a room. Keeping your refrigerator there will reduce the bounceback of noisy vibrations.
  3. Place the refrigerator in a corner. Is your refrigerator freestanding in the kitchen? If so, you should move it to a corner so that half of its surface area will be covered by walls. The walls of your property will help to absorb the noisy vibrations.
Fridge In the corner of a Kitchen

Try placing your freestanding refrigerator in the corner to help reduce vibration noise

The Final Resort

Have tried all the refrigerator quietening tricks in the book? Are you still struggling to silence your unit? If your refrigerator is old and your warranty is up, then your only solution may be to get a new refrigerator.

Signs Your Refrigerator is Getting Old

Do you have a hunch that your refrigerator is on its last legs? Are you hoping to hang on to it as long as possible before it konks out on its own? Then take a look at some of the telltale signs that your refrigerator is about ready to throw in the towel. Here are three of them:

1.   Condensation

One of the most obvious signs that your refrigerator is getting old is a build-up of condensation. If your refrigerator builds up condensation in any of the following places it may need looking at:

  1. Condensation on the outside of the refrigerator
  2. Condensation on the rubber gaskets
  3. Condensation on the inside of the refrigerator.

But there is something you can do before you write your refrigerator off completely. That is to check the efficiency of your rubber gaskets. If they are somewhat slack, they could be the cause of the condensation. And if it’s only the gaskets that need changing, you’ll save yourself from forking out on a new refrigerator!

But, how can you be sure whether the gaskets are the problem or not? Take a look at the following steps that will help you see if your fridge gaskets are still working as they should be:

  1. Cut an A5 sheet of paper in half.
  2. Open the refrigerator door and place one end of the sheet inside the refrigerator. Leave the other half poking outside the refrigerator then close the door.
  3. Try to pull and push the piece of paper further in and out of the refrigerator. If you’re able to do this with next to no tension then your gasket needs replacing.

The good thing about refrigerator gaskets is that they are inexpensive. They’re also dead easy to find in any size at the hardware store. Make sure you measure yours before heading to the store!

And here’s a handy tip for you. Soak the gasket in hot water or put it on the coolest cycle in your clothes dryer before installing it. The warmth will make it easier for you to get the new gasket in place.

2.   The Motor Constantly Runs

Are you suspicious that the motor on your refrigerator is doing way too much overtime? Then that could be for a couple of reasons. Take a look:

  1. Your refrigerator is constantly being opened and closed.
  2. You live in a hot, humid climate.

But what if you are living in a cool climate and your refrigerator runs for hours without being opened? Then your refrigerator motor should be relatively silent. But if that’s not the case, then you should probably get a technician to look at it.

What should you do if your refrigerator’s warranty is up and you’re reluctant to call a technician? Then you should look into replacing your refrigerator.

3.   It Doesn’t Cool as It Used To

Do you find you have to throw out your milk and yogurts sooner than you used to? Is it taking your refrigerator longer than ever to cool warm food down? Then these are definite signs that your refrigerator needs replacing asap. Here’s why:

  1. Your food will spoil. Your fridge should be kept at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. So, if your food is exposed to temperatures even a fraction higher, it will begin to spoil faster. This could be quite dangerous if you have poultry and fish in your fridge.
  2. Your electric bill will skyrocket. Is your refrigerator failing to chill your food properly? Then it’s likely that it is using far too much electricity just trying to keep ticking over. Old refrigerators are not energy efficient. So, consider it an investment to buy a new one.

Conclusion

I try not to let things get to me. But a noisy refrigerator compressor is one of the few things that will really drive me up the wall. That’s why this article is full of tips that I’m sure have helped you fix your noisy refrigerator problem.

If this article has been useful to you, then why not check out some of our other articles and free guides? You could even sign up to our email list!

Have a great day!

-Craig