Is your refrigerator running? If your fridge is exhibiting any of these symptoms, it's time to bring in the pros.

By Nicole Sforza
Updated September 19, 2012
Tom Schierlitz

1. The fridge isn’t cooling well.
Assuming the door seals are tight and the condenser coils are clean, there could be a problem with the thermostat. (Check the freezer for frost; that’s a telltale sign.) This is the best-case scenario, as a new thermostat will run only about $200. Worse? It could be the compressor. That’s so expensive to replace ($500 to $700), it might make more sense to buy a new machine.

2. There’s a puddle under the refrigerator or moisture on the seal.
The mullion heater—a mini heater embedded in the unit, which counters condensation—may have burned out. Or you may have a faulty door seal.

3. The fridge is making strange noises.
If you hear thumping, the compressor could be shot (see above). If it’s more of a squealing sound, you might need a new freezer fan, which will cost about $200.