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Why does my fridge make noise at night? Is there a way to silence it?
It is not uncommon for fridges to make noise, but when it happens at night, it can be quite unsettling.
So, is there something wrong with it? Should you be worried? Can you silence it?
These might be just some of the questions that might be going through your mind.
Now, let us get the answers to all these questions and see what you can do about it.
Why does my fridge make noise at night?
To begin with, it is important you understand that fridges are not designed to run silently.
In other words, a healthy refrigerator can make several kinds of noises as it runs.
You see, some noises are so normal that some manufacturers include a section (in the user manual) detailing the possible normal noises your fridge might make.
However, some types of noises are not a good sign as they may point to an acting-up fridge.
Quick tip: The noise is more audible at night since nights tend to be quieter compared to the daytime. This might be why you are able to hear the fridge clearly as it runs at night.
Having said that, below are some of the reasons that might cause your refrigerator to make noise at night…
The fridge is undergoing normal thermal expansion and contraction
Just to be clear, this is usually so if the refrigerator is making some popping noises.
Usually, the noise is because the refrigerator walls are undergoing thermal expansion and contraction and this is what might be causing the noise.
That being so, you should sleep better knowing that this sound is normal and hence should not cause any concern.
The fridge is defrosting
Again, this is usually the case if your fridge is making popping sounds.
You see, during defrosting, if there are some layers of ice, they might ‘pop’ as they melt.
This pop sound is more audible at night considering that nights are more quiet compared to the daytime.
However, there is nothing to worry about – the sound will go away on its own once the unit finishes defrosting.
As you probably know, the compressor is responsible for the refrigerator’s gentle humming(remember the compressor circulates the refrigerant) as the unit runs.
However, this humming might be more pronounced at night due to one of two reasons:
- You have probably put some food inside the fridge before going to bed. This will result in the compressor overworking for quite some time as it cools this food.
- You opened the fridge for some time as you took out dinner and drinks from the unit. Again, this can lead to the compressor running for some time as it tries to cool all the warm air that has entered the fridge.
It’s just the ice maker
This is more so if the fridge seems to be making occasional ‘clunking’ noises.
You see, what you are hearing could be just the sound of ice falling from the icemaker into an empty ice bucket.
The good news is that the noise will go away pretty quickly – as soon as some ice starts accruing inside the ice maker.
Fridge noise reduction – what you can do to reduce the noise
Now, there are a few things that you can do to reduce the noise coming from your refrigerator.
One of these is to make sure that you are regularly cleaning the coils.
The thing is,it could be that dust, grime, pet hairs, and other debris have built up on the coils.
In turn, this is resulting in the compressor having to overwork just to maintain the internal temps.
That said, get a vacuum cleaner or a soft brush and remove any debris that might be trapped on the coils.
Quick tip: Make a point of cleaning the refrigerator coils once or twice per year.
Other than that, make sure that you are not leaving your refrigerator’s door open for long.
This way, you will be reducing the amount of frost build-up inside the unit.
As a result, your fridge will defrost less often thereby minimizing the night noises it is making.
Quick tip: If you note that your fridge has layers of ice build-up, easily manually defrost it and see if this fixes the noise.
Finally, confirm that your fridge is not standing on a squeaky floor.
Here’s the thing, if the floor is squeaky, it might make noises that will become more audible at night due to the extra silence.
Quick tip: I have seen people being advised to cover their fridge in noise reduction foams. However, you do not want to do this as this will impact your fridge cooling. You see, manufacturers recommend that the fridge have at least 2” of free space all around it as this allows it to dissipate the heat from the fridge to the surrounding.
Is a noisy fridge dangerous?
Yes and no.
Typically, most refrigerator noises are not dangerous as they indicate the fridge is running as it should.
However, some noises are dangerous as they indicate that there is a serious issue with your refrigerator.
For instance, loud buzzing noises could be an indication of an overworking or failing compressor.
With that in mind, you might want to know what all the possible refrigerator noises mean and what kind of noises should have you worried.
If this is the case, you can read our other comprehensive article: Different refrigerator noises – when to be worried and when not to (We have also talked about how to troubleshoot your refrigerator if it is making noises that might be pointing to a faulty unit so it’s worth going through anyway).
Why does my fridge make noise at night – conclusion
Usually, a normal fridge will make noise both during the day and at night.
However, the noise is just more audible at night since nights tend to be quieter compared to the daytime.
That being so, you should not lose sleep over most fridge noises!