6 Foolproof Ideas to Quiet a Loud Refrigerator

6 Foolproof Ideas to Quiet a Loud Refrigerator

Last Updated: November 30, 2023 by Jessica Menefee

To silence a loud refrigerator you need to locate where the noise is coming from. This can help you determine if you have a major problem on your hands or if you just need to make some minor adjustments.

Identify the Reason for a Loud Refrigerator

Refrigerators are known for making a lot of different noises as they have a lot of moving parts. Identifying where the sound is coming from and if it is consistently making the same sound can help you determine if there is something wrong. Look over this list to help

  • Knocking – There could be a blockage in the condenser or evaporator fans
  • Clicking – This can happen if your waterline is having issues connecting to the water supply, be sure to turn off the icemaker if it is not connected to the waterline
  • Snap, crackle, pop – The plastic parts of the fridge contract and expand with the temperature changes inside the unit, it is also common with new fridges as it adjusts to the home temperature
  • Grinding – This noise typically occurs when ice is being crushed or dispensed into the tray
  • Humming – The compressor typically makes a humming sound when it is working properly, but you shouldn’t be able to hear it in a separate room
  • Rattling – Your fridge may be rubbing against a nearby wall or have a loose part
  • Beeping – Many new fridges have alerts for when your doors have been open too long or the fridge temperature is too high to keep your items cool

6 Steps to Silencing a Noisy Fridge

Here are the steps you need to take to quiet your refrigerator:

  1. Make Sure It’s Level
  2. Clean the Compressor, Condenser, and Fans
  3. Check the Drain Pan
  4. Use Soundproofing
  5. Hire a Professional
  6. Relocate the Refrigerator

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1. Make Sure It’s Level

Refrigerators are constantly in motion, from the constantly running motor to pulling on the freezer door, things can get wonky. Most refrigerators stand on legs which may become uneven. This can cause the fridge to vibrate and make a louder than normal noise.

Use a level on one of the interior shelves or on the outside door to see if it’s level. If you don’t happen to have a level, you can firmly place your hands on the outside of the fridge and rock it gently to see if it is wobbly.

Typically, you should be able to easily tell which leg needs some adjusting.

2. Clean the Compressor and Condenser Coils

If the fridge components are dirty and clogged with dust, it can put them into overdrive mode and make them even louder.

Pull out your fridge, unplug it, and look over the parts.

  • Compressor fans – The fans are usually behind a protective panel, but you may even be able to see dust that needs to be cleaned on the cover. Remove the cover and spin the fan gently to be sure it is spinning properly. Then clean off all dirty areas gently with a soft cloth and vacuum any remaining dust particles
  • Condenser coils – The coils are typically located in a panel underneath the fridge door or along the back. Use a vacuum to gently dust off the coils with a narrow hose attachment. Lightly run over any remaining debris with a condenser coil brush. Then vacuum again to clean up the debris

Check out the owner’s manual for additional instructions for your model and how to clean it properly.

Be sure to replace all panels, plug the fridge in, and return it to its position.

3. Check the Drain Pan

A fridge drain pain is usually located underneath the fridge. It can come loose and cause additional noises from the bottom of your fridge. Secure the drain pan by ensuring it is screwed in properly.

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4. Use Soundproofing

Some areas can benefit from soundproofing. For example, the type of flooring under your fridge plays a role in how normal fridge noises are amplified. If you have a hardwood floor or thin tile, your refrigerator can seem even louder.

Placing soundproofing materials around and underneath your fridge can help quiet the hum. Soundproofing options come in many sizes to fit your space. They can be found at most local home improvement stores or at Lowes, Home Depot, or Amazon.

5. Hire a Professional

If you have tried the above-listed solutions and your fridge is still making excessive noise, it’s time to call a professional. A fridge can be an expensive appliance to replace, so trying to diagnose the issue past these quick fixes can cause more issues.

In addition, trying to fix a fridge on your own that is still under warranty can void your warranty.

6. Relocate the Fridge

It is possible to have a fridge that just makes a lot of noise. Placing the fridge around walls, like in an alcove, can help create its own soundproofing. Just remember that if you decide to move your fridge you will still need access to an electrical outlet and a waterline (if you want ice/water).

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How to Find a Quiet Refrigerator

Most refrigerators have a noise output between 32 dB – and 47 dB. This is an average home noise similar to a whisper or a running computer. But, if you have a smaller home or kitchen it can feel much louder depending on your sensitivity.

If you are searching for a quiet refrigerator here are some things to consider:

  • Refrigerator design – There are six basic fridge types (top freezer, bottom freezer, French door, side-by-side, under counter, and quad door). The bottom freezer and side-by-side models are typically the quietest.
  • Quality of materials – High-quality moving parts and insulation typically make noises a bit quieter. Many upscale fridges include special soundproof covers for the motor and fans
  • Ease of maintenance – A clean fridge generally runs more smoothly. Check out how easy it is to access the compressor and condenser coils so you can perform regular maintenance to keep it clean and quiet
  • Size and location – Depending on your home, you may have some choices when it comes to placing your fridge. Selecting an option that is near walls helps to muffle the noise. However, you don’t want your fridge rubbing up on a wall space as this can make it vibrate the entire wall. Size your space to offer at least a 4-inch gap around the refrigerator (30cm or more for the ceiling, 10cm from the sides, 10 cm from the rear)