Jenn Air Refrigerator Not Cooling: 5 Causes and Solutions

jenn air refrigerator not cooling

Let’s be honest, there is nothing worse than opening your fridge and finding your food warm and spoiled. You should expect this scenario when your trusty Jenn Air refrigerator is not cooling efficiently.

But don’t fret, you are a part of a vast community of homeowners facing the frustrating ordeal of a malfunctioning fridge.

The good news? Often, the culprit behind your Jenn Air Refrigerator not cooling is a simple fix, waiting to be discovered with a little DIY knowledge.

So, bring along your tools, dive into this guide, and get ready to restore your fridge’s icy haven.

Why Is Your Jenn Air Refrigerator Not Cooling

You can blame various culprits for your Jenn Air fridge cooling glitch. You can point your finger at these mischievous parts:

  • A faulty thermistor that fails to regulate the temperature.
  • Dirty or frozen evaporator coils that won’t transfer the heat.
  • A malfunctioning defrost system that allows ice buildup.
  • Excessive frost buildup that blocks the airflow.

Now, let’s get to work and unveil the sneaky villains behind weakening your fridge’s cooling system.

1a- Faulty Thermistor

When it comes to fridge problems, you may hear about a bad thermostat. But DIY enthusiasts and repair technicians don’t often bring thermistor issues to the table. This component is a small sensor but plays a crucial role in measuring the appliance’s internal temperature and sending a signal to the control board.

Then, The control board adjusts the power to the compressor and the fan to maintain the desired temperature.

So, as you can see a faulty thermistor can break or disrupt the smooth cooling cycle. This component malfunctions due to damage or dirt buildup. Either way, it sends inaccurate or inconsistent signals to the control board, resulting in improper temperature settings

Eventually, your fridge will run too warm or too cool and may stop running all of a sudden.

1b- How To Fix Faulty Thermistor

As with any electrical component, troubleshooting a thermistor can be a bit tricky. But with proper tools and proper knowledge on detaching and testing these parts, things can work out. But if you are not comfortable with electrical components, it’s better to seek professional help.

Start by unplugging the appliance (this is a mandatory step if you are accessing any other internal components). Then, follow these steps:

  1. Find the thermistor: Depending on your Jenn Air model, you can find the exact location. Some models have their thermistors attached to the back wall, side wall, or ceiling of the refrigerator compartment. In other models, you can find it attached to the evaporator refrigerant tube. Refer to the manual to avoid unnecessary confusion.
  2. Remove the cover: There is a panel (back panel) covering these internal components. Use your screwdriver for this task and detach the thermistor from its wiring.
  3. Perform resistance test: Grab the manual and look for testing instructions. Remove the cover or panel that protects the thermistor and disconnect the wires from the thermistor terminals.

Set your multimeter to measure resistance (ohms) and touch the probes to the thermistor terminals. Check the resistance reading and compare it with what you found in the manual.

  1.  Perform the glass of ice trick: To ensure your diagnosis, you should bring a glass of ice water and leave it at room temperature for a couple of minutes. Then, place the thermistor inside the glass and test it for resistance again.
  2. Replace and tighten the connections: Inconsistent readings point to the need for a replacement thermistor. Install the new one and make it fit tightly.

2a. Wrong Fridge Placement

This issue goes beyond the obvious causes behind the JennAir refrigerator not cooling. Wrong placement occurs when you install your new appliance in a location that does not meet the manufacturer’s specifications. This wrong location affects its cooling function and efficiency. Here are a few examples of the wrong placement of your fridge:

  • Placing it too close to an oven, a stove, or in direct sunlight. In this case, the surrounding conditions (direct exposure to heat) compromise the fridge’s ability to maintain consistent cooling.
  • Placing it where there’s too much or too little ventilation, such as tucking the fridge too close to a wall. Insufficient air circulation makes your Jenn Air fridge struggle to dissipate

Remember that demo model at the store? It probably had ample breathing room for optimal performance. If you don’t do the same for your fridge, the compressor runs non-stop, consuming excess energy and potentially leading to premature wear and tear.

Additionally, inconsistent and uneven cooling within the fridge can spoil food faster and result in questionable food safety.

2b- How To Fix Wrong Fridge Placement

If you place your fridge in the wrong way, you can easily fix the issue before it’s too late. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Leave enough space between the fridge and the wall, stove, and oven. Give your fridge 2-3 inches of clearance on all sides, especially the back where the coils release heat. Don’t choose a location, where the fridge is exposed to extreme temperatures, direct sunlight, or humidity.
  2. Use a power outlet and a water supply that are close to the fridge
  3. Provide adequate ventilation for the fridge
  4. Check the level and alignment of the fridge. Ensuring it sits level on a sturdy surface. Uneven floors can put stress on the compressor, affecting its ability to cool efficiently.

3a. Bad Condenser Fan

You can think of the condenser fan of your Jenn Air refrigerator as the appliance’s dedicated ventilator. This fan helps the appliance remove the heat instead of leaving it inside the condenser coils.

When malfunctioning, these fans won’t pull hot air through the vent, leading to heat buildup and the overall fridge’s temperature rises.

Usually, a condenser fan goes bad due to dust buildup, broken fans, or a damaged fan motor. To identify a malfunctioning fan from unusual rattling or whirring sound, or check if the fan isn’t spinning freely.

3b- How To Fix Bad Condenser Fan

Troubleshooting a condenser fan is not a complex process, but make sure you bring a flathead screwdriver. Also, refer to the manual to locate the fan. Usually, you can find it behind the rear panel of your Jenn Air fridge.

  1. Remove the panel: Before accessing the fan, ensure to unplug the fridge for safety. Remove the screws holding the back panel in place to have access to the fan assembly.
  2. Assess electrical components: Take a look at the wires and tighten loose connections. As for frayed or corroded wires, you should replace them. Remember, DIY troubleshooting of electrical wires requires solid expertise with electrical parts.
  3. Clean the blades and coils: Use a dust cloth to remove any debris or buildup blocking the rotation of the blades. Clean the coils (located near the fan). Dirty condenser coils hinder the airflow.
  4. Replace the fan: Try to manually spin the blades, if they don’t spin smoothly, you should get a new fan. Use your screwdriver to remove it from its housing and insert the new fan.

4a- Defective defrost heater

Despite its small size, credit goes to this heater for removing frost buildup from the evaporator coils. With each defrost cycle, the heater melts any icy buildup. When it goes bad, frost accumulates, choking cooling efficiency.

You can diagnose a defective heater when you notice the following symptoms:

  • Visible frost buildup in the freezer
  • Inconsistent temperature ranges
  • Hearing unusual clicking noises during the defrost cycle.

Remember, these symptoms may suggest a problematic defrost heater. However, testing the heater’s resistance gives proof.

4b- How To Fix a Defective Defrost Heater

Following these steps helps in finding and fixing Jenn Air refrigerator’s defrost heater:

  1. Look at the freezer compartment: Depending on the model you have, you can locate a defrost heater and the whole defrost system. Find it behind the back panel of the freezer section or under the freezer floor. It is not far from the evaporator coils. You can check the manual for the specific location.
  2. Remove the rear panel: As with most internal components, this panel acts as their protective shield. So, remove it using a nut driver or a screwdriver.
  3. Remove the spacer: For a clear view and better control, you should take the freezer shelf space.
  4. Disconnect the evaporator assembly and the ice maker: Find the evaporator fan and the ice maker and unplug their wire harnesses.
  5. Slide the evaporator coils: Gently slide out the coil to freely handle the heater.
  6. Test and replace: Read the testing instructions and readings average on the manual to compare accurately. Replace if the readings don’t match the manufacturer’s specifications. Seek help from a certified technician if you don’t have experience in this matter.

5a- Power Issues

Despite being a common cause behind a Jenn Aire refrigerator not cooling, you might not blame it like the other culprit. Power issues in your Jenn Aire refrigerator disrupt its cooling efficiency, leaving you with warm groceries and potential food spoilage.

These issues are usually associated with the following problems:

  • Power outages and surges: These issues confuse your fridge’s delicate electronics, causing the compressor to stutter or shut down completely.
  • Bad wiring: Electrical wires and connections transmit electrical signals between the fridge’s internal components. When defective, signals might not reach the compressor properly, leading to inconsistent cooling or even complete shutdown.
  • Overloaded outlet: In this case, the electrical outlet fails to provide enough consistent power. This leads to sluggish cooling performance and your Jenn Air refrigerator won’t cool as expected.

5b- How To Fix Power Issues

Resolving power issues of your Jenn Aire refrigerator depends on the cause. This requires digging deeper to reveal the hidden culprit:

  1. Check your residential area: If there is a power outage in the neighborhood, wait for it to get back. Just make sure to unplug it when the power is out to avoid sudden surges that may damage this expensive appliance.
  2. Invest in a surge protector: Keeping your Jenn Air fridge plugged into this protective outlet saves you from various damages associated with inconsistent current and voltage spikes. Also, avoid overloading the fridge’s outlet. It’s recommended to use a separate outlet for it.
  3. Check the wiring: Hearing sizzling noises from the fridge can indicate faulty wiring. Unplug it immediately and visually inspect the power cord and internal wiring for any visible damage or loose connections. However, you shouldn’t go this far unless you are experienced in detaching and reinstallation of electrical components.


When faced with a Jenn Air refrigerator not cooling, it’s crucial to understand the potential causes and solutions that empower you to tackle the problem head-on.

Whether it’s a faulty thermistor, improper fridge placement, or power issues, DIY troubleshooting can often lead to a quick resolution. Also, timely intervention is key to preventing spoilage and costly repairs.

By following the details and steps outlined in this guide and utilizing the proper tools and techniques, you can breathe new life into your fridge and restore its cooling efficiency. Remember, when in doubt, it’s always wise to consult a professional technician to ensure the safety and longevity of your appliance.

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