Your refrigerator hums on a regular basis. However, it shouldn't be constantly. The compressor should click off several times throughout the day. When it doesn't do this, there are a few different things that could be wrong and you need to check these things to ensure that the internal components of the refrigerator do not overheat and become overly damaged. Here are a few causes of a constantly running refrigerator:
Inadequate Air Vent Space
In order for a refrigerator to operate correctly and be able to cool its components, it need to have plenty of circulated air. Air is constantly moving in and out of the refrigerator, so if there is something blocking airflow, it can result in compressor issues. To be more specific, if vents are blocked, the compressor will stay on for extended periods of time, which can cause it to burn up and require replacement. Therefore, check all around your refrigerator and make sure there is nothing right up next to it. Locate the vents specifically and make sure there is nothing blocking or covering them.
Wear of the Door Gasket
The refrigerator door is opened numerous times a day and thousands of times throughout the refrigerator's lifetime. Eventually, the gaskets that ensure the door is sealed when shut will break down and warp. These gaskets need to be routinely inspected and replaced when necessary. Otherwise, cold air from the refrigerator will escape and hot air will enter, which will cause the compressor to work in overtime to compensate for the loss of cold air. To check this, stick your head beside the refrigerator door. If the gasket is wearing down, you should be able to feel cold air escaping.
Placing Hot Food in the Fridge
Believe it or not, hot food can cause your refrigerator's compressor to kick on more and run longer. This is because the cold air inside the refrigerator will become lukewarm, causing the compressor to run again to cool the air off. If there are numerous plates or containers of hot food placed in the fridge at the same time, you can expect your refrigerator to run for some time. Therefore, make sure you allow your food to sit for a few hours—or longer enough to cool off—before placing it inside the refrigerator.
While it may not seem like a constantly running refrigerator is a big deal right off the bat, it can turn into a huge ordeal over time. The compressor has to work extremely hard to ensure the refrigerator keeps the air inside cool, which can easily cause the compressor to run down faster than it should. If your refrigerator is constantly running or running for longer periods at a time than you believe is necessary, contact an appliance repair professional (such as DBH Appliance Repair) to have your refrigerator inspected for potential issues.