While it’s operating, a refrigerator’s humming can reach up to 47dB. However, there may be some instances when your refrigerator will make weird noises – like a cracking noise – that will make you question whether it’s normal, or it’s a sign that your fridge is dying.
Fortunately, the cracking noises that are emanating from your refrigerator are completely normal. These noises happen because of thermal expansion and should be no cause for alarm.
In this article, we will discuss why a refrigerator makes this noise, and why you shouldn’t lose sleep over it.
Why a refrigerator makes a cracking noise
A refrigerator’s job is to provide a cold environment for your food to be stored and preserved in. As the temperature inside the refrigerator rises and falls, its parts (especially those made from plastic) contract and expand – and this thermal expansion is the one causing the cracking noise.
Don’t worry though, the plastic parts are not literally cracking. In fact, they will come out unscathed. The sound can also be made by the frost melting off the freezer walls. It may sound horrifying at times, but once you’ve been around your refrigerator for a long time, you’ll realize that the cracking sound is a normal operating sound that your fridge makes.
What kinds of refrigerators make a cracking noise?
Every kind of refrigerator makes a cracking noise at some point. However, there are some kinds of fridges that are more susceptible to this.
- Newly-bought refrigerators – they make this noise as they acclimate to the new environment they are in. Once they get used to the humidity and ambient temperature level in your home, the occurrence of cracking noises will be reduced.
- No frost models – automatic defrost models have a heating element hidden inside the freezer compartment. The cracking sound usually happens during the defrosting cycle as the temperature rises (expansion) and then after the cycle as the temperature goes back down again (contraction). Also, as stated earlier, the cracking sound may come from the ice melting off and falling after the defrost cycle.
- Large refrigerators – the larger the refrigerator, the more plastic parts it will have. Hence, the cracking noise may be more pronounced if your refrigerator is larger.
In summary: the cracking noise your refrigerator makes is a completely normal part of its operation. You shouldn’t be worried about it at all!
- Beko Global. (n.d.). My refrigerator is making a cracking noise. Is that normal? BEKO BN. https://www.beko.com/bn-en/Support/help-center/fridge-freezer/troubleshooting/faq/my-refrigerator-is-making-a-cracking-noise-is-that-normal
- GE Appliances. (n.d.). Refrigerator – Normal Sounds and Noises Made. https://products.geappliances.com/appliance/gea-support-search-content?contentId=15901
Miguel Mores worked for 5 years as a member of the product management team for a home appliance company in the Philippines. He started 101appliance to answer the most common customer questions that he has encountered during his time in the industry. He now works in the digital marketing field and manages a small online bookstore on the side.