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What Is an Evaporator Fan in a Refrigerator?

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If you want to keep your food fresh, you know how vital it is to have a working refrigerator.

Understanding how your fridge works can help you save a buck or two instead of replacing the whole unit when something goes wrong.

The evaporator fan is one of the essential parts of your fridge or freezer. It plays a significant role in keeping the unit cold and your food fresh.

Do not worry if you need some more information on your evaporator fan. We will look at what it is and its function in your refrigerator.


This article will discuss everything you need to know about an evaporator fan and how it works. In addition, we will also help you understand how to identify a faulty evaporator fan.

Please stick around and learn more about the purpose of the evaporator fan and how it affects the efficiency of your refrigeration system.

What Is an Evaporator Fan in Your Fridge?

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Have you ever wondered what keeps the cold air in your freezer flowing? Well, that is all thanks to the evaporator fan.

An evaporator fan pulls air from the refrigerator compartment towards the evaporator coils, where heat is absorbed and cold air is pushed back to chambers.

Likewise, it allows cool air circulation throughout the fridge while removing its moisture.

However, it is worth noting that not all refrigerators have evaporator fans. Many older models, like small bars, dorms, and mini-fridges, did not have the fan installed.

On the other hand, most modern frost-free refrigerators come with an evaporator fan to provide even cooling due to their large size.

A small motor between the fan and the shroud powers the evaporator fan.

How Do Evaporator Fans Work?

Used Coil Evaaportor Part Central

As we previously stated, the evaporator fan significantly promotes the refrigeration cycle’s efficiency.

There are four main components of the refrigeration cycle:

  • The compressor
  • The condenser
  • The expansion device
  • The evaporator

The evaporator is the second heat exchange in your fridge. The air in the fridge’s compartments is cooled as it flows through the evaporator coils and fins, where heat is absorbed and transferred to the refrigerant.

The evaporator fan motor is found next to the evaporator coils and fins. When the motor starts running, it spins the fan blades, which pull the air from the fridge’s compartments toward the evaporator coils for cooling.

The fan also enhances air circulation, providing even cooling throughout the freezer and the refrigerator compartments. In addition, the fan also comes in handy when defrosting food in the unit.

How To Tell if the Evaporator Fan Malfunctions

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If your evaporator fan malfunction, you will notice a rise in the temperature of your refrigerator. However, your compressor will continue running to try and compensate for the lack of cooling.

In addition, loud noises coming from the evaporator might be an indication of a problem. However, the fan normally runs smoothly, producing a soft humming sound.

However, loud squeaks or chirping might indicate inadequate lubrication, worn-out bearings, or a mechanical malfunction.

Where Is the Evaporator Fan Located in a Refrigerator?

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Most refrigeration units have the evaporator fan motor at the back of the freezer. A protective panel shields the fan from ice and other elements that might damage its electrical components.

If you need to replace the evaporator fan or motor, you will need to remove the shelves in the freezer compartment to access the rear panel.

In addition, you might also need to remove the screws that secure the panel to the back of the freezer, to get to the fan.


If you do not know how to replace the evaporator motor, it is in your best interest to ask a professional to help you with the repairs to prevent more damage.

In addition, you should always replace the evaporator fan with a genuine part recommended by the manufacturers.


The evaporator fan is crucial for allowing air circulation in your refrigerator. It pulls air toward the evaporator coils, where heat is absorbed, and pushes it back into the freezer and fridge compartments.

If your evaporator fan motor malfunctions, you might notice the fridge’s temperature rising and the fan making loud noises.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Refrigerator Fans Supposed To Be Loud?

Fan motors produce a soft humming sound when running. Loud noises can be an indication of something wrong with the fan.

How Long Do Evaporator Fans Run?

The evaporator fan does not run consistently when the refrigerator is turned on. Instead, the fan automatically turns on and off during a refrigeration cycle.

How Much Would It Cost To Replace an Evaporator Fan in the Refrigerator?

Most evaporator fans cost between $20 and $50. However, the price is relative depending on the type of refrigerator you own.

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