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Your refrigerator is an appliance that should be seen, not heard. While every fridge will make at least a little noise, some are much louder than others.
If your fridge is incredibly loud, you have options to quiet it down:
- Level Out the Legs
- Clean the Moving Parts
- Put the Fridge on a Mat
- Move the Fridge to an Alcove
- Soundproof Behind the Fridge
Depending on why your fridge is making noise, at least one of these tips can help you get some peace and quiet.
Let’s dive into more detail on each of them.
How to Quiet a Noisy Fridge
There are three main culprits that can cause your fridge’s volume to skyrocket. If your fridge is making a lot of noise, it’s either:
- The compressors
- The fans, or
- The ice machine.
The last one is the easiest to identify. If your fridge doesn’t have an ice machine, then this isn’t your problem. If it does have an ice maker and it’s only loud when it’s making ice, then that’s completely normal! You may need to grease the ice maker parts if it has recently gotten louder, but otherwise you don’t need to worry. In fact, there are plenty of noises that are completely normal.
Fan noise and compressor noise, on the other hand, can have a lot of causes. Your fridge uses fans and compressors to stay cool, but over time these parts can wear out. By trying the following tricks, you’ll be able to figure out the problem and fix it quickly and simply.
Level Out the Refrigerator
Your fridge is constantly running fans and the compressor to keep things cool. That means that moving parts are almost always in motion. If your fridge isn’t leveled out, then you’re going to have noise problems.
As the fans move in your fridge, they cause little vibrations. If your fridge doesn’t have all four legs firmly on the ground, those vibrations can add up into a noise problem very quickly. Your fridge will wiggle very slightly on its base, rattling against the floor.
Leveling out your refrigerator legs can solve this instantly.
Most fridges have legs that you can lengthen or shorten individually. Try rocking your fridge gently on its base, and you should be able to feel which leg is a little short. Then you can have a friend hold onto the fridge while you screw the short leg out until it’s firmly on the ground.
The result should be a fridge that’s suddenly quiet. If that hasn’t solved your problem, then you might need to keep looking.
Clean the Moving Parts
Your fridge’s fans and ice maker can create a lot of noise if they’re not being maintained. A fan that’s full of dirt or a clogged ice maker can both make rattling and grinding noises. Giving the inside and outside of your fridge a thorough cleaning can help reduce this noise.
To safely clean these parts of your fridge, you should unplug it first. That will help keep any moving parts still while you’re wiping them down. Then you can move your fridge away from the wall and give everything you see a good wipe with a cloth. You can also use paper towels to clean inside fans.
Cleaning ice makers is a little more difficult. You’ll need to empty the ice bin and go scrubbing with a toothbrush. A 50/50 mix of water and vinegar is a great option for this. You may also spot jammed pieces of ice – remove these, and your noise problems will probably be reduced.
Put the Fridge on a Mat
Some floors can act like a giant amplifier for any noises your fridge makes. Hardwood floors are particularly noisy, for example. If you think the floor might be part of your problem, you can get soundproof mats to put under your fridge. This will keep your fridge from rattling as much. It will also help soundproof any loud fans underneath your fridge.
Move the Fridge to an Alcove
If that doesn’t work, moving your fridge is your best option. The fans and compressor on the back of your fridge are most likely the cause of any noise at this point. Putting your fridge somewhere with natural soundproofing will help keep your kitchen a little quieter.
Some homes have alcoves built-in, or small holes designed for an appliance to live. Putting your fridge in one of these will help reduce noise in two ways:
- The walls next to your fridge will keep sound from escaping.
- Your fridge is probably further away from the rest of your kitchen.
The result is less noise, further from where you spend time.
Soundproof Behind the Fridge
If moving your fridge isn’t an option, then the final solution is to buy soundproofing. There are soundproofing panels you can buy that will absorb noise before it makes it to the rest of your house.
Putting these panels along the back of your fridge is one of the simplest ways to quiet things down. If cleaning the fans or keeping your fridge from vibrating didn’t work, then soundproof panels can help.
The best way to install soundproofing for your fridge is to cover the wall directly behind it. Something that absorbs noise, like textured rockwool, will keep the sound from echoing off the wall into your home.
You can also wrap this around the edges of your fridge to trap even more noise. Just make you leave at least three inches behind your fridge for fans to blow waste heat out. Otherwise your fridge may overheat and cause even more problems.
If none of these solutions work, your best bet is to call a professional or replace the fridge. It’s best to avoid taking your fridge apart, because you might accidentally break the insulation. If your fridge is just undeniably too noisy, it’s time to get it professional repaired or replaced.
Why Are Fridges So Loud?
There are three types of noise you might hear from your fridge: rattling, grinding, and whirring. Each of these noises can be very loud, and they all have different causes.
Rattling fridges are caused by loose parts or an unbalanced load. When the compressor and fans in your fridge are running, they’re sending all sorts of vibrations through it. Loose parts can jingle, and the fridge itself might move back and forth. The result is a loud rattling noise that comes and goes. You can generally fix it by tightening the rattling parts or stabilizing the fridge.
Grinding noises are almost always caused by jammed ice makers. The gears try to push ice out of the machine, but something is blocking it. The gears and motor then make loud grinding sounds as they fight each other and the blockage. You’ll need to clear the blockage or turn off the ice maker for it to stop.
Finally, whirring noises are the result of the compressor. Fans makes noise as they suck in cool air and blow out hot air. The compressor motor can make a lot of noise as it pushes coolant through the system. In older fridges, this can actually be very loud, even when it’s working correctly. If everything on the back of the fridge is clean, then the only solution to this noise is soundproofing or a new fridge.
Finding a Quiet Refrigerator
When all else fails, getting a new fridge can be the best option.
The newer the fridge, the more likely it is to be quiet. Modern fridges are almost unnoticeable when they’re running.
When you’re looking for a new fridge, keep an eye out for the following:
- Noise ratings. Many fridges are rated based on how many decibels they produce when they’re running. The lower the decibels, the quieter the fridge.
- “Quiet Operation” labels. Many brands that specifically work to make their fridges quiet will label them with “quiet operation.” That’s a sign that you’re on the right track.
- Rubber feet and rubber insulation will help keep noise down. The rubber will absorb any rattling or vibrations and keep noise from becoming a problem.
- Efficiency ratings. Finally, more efficient fridges are designed to use less electricity by running less often. The less often your refrigerator’s compressor kicks on, the less noise you’ll hear. Efficient fridges are simply quieter.
- Propane-run. If you’re looking for a fridge for a camper or an RV? Then consider a propane fridge. They run silently, with no compressor necessary. The result is a completely silent refrigerator.
A noisy fridge can be a constant annoyance. I hope that this guide helps you get a little more peace and quiet in your day-to-day life.
Whether you silence your current fridge or get a newer, quieter model, getting rid of fridge noise takes care of a constant source of stress.
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Thanks for reading, and have a great day.