Whirlpool Fridge sounds like a Helicopter (Here’s Why)

Refrigerators are essential in our daily lives, keeping our food fresh and drinks chilled. But what happens when your trusty Whirlpool fridge starts making strange noises? It’s not just an annoyance; these sounds can be a sign of underlying issues that need attention.

One common culprit of fridge noises is the evaporator fan, which can create a helicopter-like sound when it hits frost or ice. Other components like the ice maker, compressor, and water valve might also contribute to the noise. In this article, I explore these common causes and provide troubleshooting tips to silence your fridge.

Whirlpool Fridge sounds like a Helicopter

The Evaporator Fan: Why your Whirlpool Fridge sounds like a Helicopter

The evaporator fan is a key component in your refrigerator, responsible for circulating cold air throughout the freezer and fridge compartments. It keeps the temperature even, ensuring that your food stays fresh.

However, when frost or ice builds up on the evaporator coils, it can obstruct the fan’s blades. This obstruction causes the fan to hit the ice, creating a loud noise that’s often compared to a helicopter sound. It’s not just a nuisance; this can lead to wear and tear on the fan and reduce its efficiency.

Here’s a quick breakdown of why this happens:

  • Frost Build-up: Often due to a faulty door seal or leaving the door open for extended periods.
  • Fan Design: Some fans are more susceptible to this issue due to their location and design.
  • Temperature Fluctuations: Inconsistent temperatures can lead to uneven frost accumulation.

Addressing the frost build-up is essential to stop the noise and prevent potential damage to the fan. In the next section, we’ll explore how to defrost the evaporator fan and keep your fridge running smoothly.

How to Defrost the Evaporator Fan and Stop the Noise

Defrosting the evaporator fan is a straightforward process that can be done using a blow dryer or by unplugging the fridge. Here’s how to do it:

Using a Blow Dryer:

  1. Unplug the Refrigerator: Safety first! Always unplug the fridge before working on it.
  2. Access the Evaporator Fan: Locate the evaporator fan, usually found behind a panel in the freezer compartment.
  3. Use a Blow Dryer: Gently use a blow dryer on a low setting to melt the ice or frost around the fan.
  4. Clean the Area: Wipe away the melted water with a towel.
  5. Plug the Refrigerator Back In: Restore power and check if the noise has stopped.

Unplugging the Fridge:

  1. Unplug the Refrigerator: Disconnect it from the power source.
  2. Open the Doors: Leave the freezer and fridge doors open to allow the ice to melt naturally.
  3. Wait: This method takes longer, usually up to a day, depending on the amount of frost.
  4. Clean the Area: Once the ice has melted, clean up the water.
  5. Plug the Refrigerator Back In: Restore power and check for any remaining noises.
Frozen mini fridge

Tips to Prevent Future Frost Build-Up

Preventing frost build-up in your refrigerator is essential for maintaining efficiency and avoiding unnecessary noises. Here’s how you can keep frost at bay:

  1. Check Door Seals Regularly: Worn or damaged door seals allow warm air to enter, leading to frost. Inspect them for cracks and replace if needed.
  2. Avoid Leaving Doors Open: Prolonged exposure to warm air can cause frost. Close the doors promptly after use.
  3. Maintain Proper Temperature: Setting the fridge and freezer to the manufacturer’s recommended temperatures ensures even cooling and reduces the risk of frost.
  4. Avoid Overloading: Overpacking the fridge restricts airflow, leading to uneven cooling and potential frost. Leave space for air to circulate.
  5. Store Food Properly: Covering food and using airtight containers reduces humidity, a common cause of frost.
  6. Defrost Regularly: If your refrigerator is not frost-free, schedule regular defrosting to prevent excessive ice build-up.
  7. Clean the Coils: Dirty coils can reduce efficiency and lead to frost. Clean them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  8. Monitor the Ambient Temperature: Keep the refrigerator in a location with a stable temperature. Extreme fluctuations can affect its performance and lead to frost.
  9. Use a Thermometer: A fridge thermometer can help you monitor the internal temperature and make necessary adjustments.

By following these practical tips, you can minimize the risk of frost build-up in your refrigerator. Regular maintenance and mindful practices will not only prevent annoying noises but also extend the lifespan of your appliance and reduce energy consumption.

Other Possible Causes of Fridge Noises and How to Fix Them

While the evaporator fan is a common source of noise, other components in the refrigerator can also contribute to unwanted sounds. Here’s a rundown of other possible culprits and how to identify and fix them:

Ice Maker:

  • Noise: Clicking or buzzing.
  • Cause: Stuck ice cubes or misaligned components.
  • Fix: Check for obstructions and realign parts as needed. Consider replacing if the problem persists.


  • Noise: Humming or vibrating.
  • Cause: Improper mounting or wear and tear.
  • Fix: Ensure proper mounting and alignment. If the noise continues, consult a professional, as the compressor may need replacement.

Condenser Fan:

  • Noise: Rattling or grinding.
  • Cause: Dust, debris, or a faulty motor.
  • Fix: Clean the fan and surrounding area. If the noise continues, the motor may need to be replaced.

Water Valve:

  • Noise: Hissing or whistling.
  • Cause: Leaks or loose connections.
  • Fix: Check for leaks and tighten connections. Replace the valve if necessary.


  • Noise: Clicking when turning on or off.
  • Cause: Normal operation or a faulty thermostat.
  • Fix: If the clicking is excessive, the thermostat may need to be replaced.

Drip Pan:

  • Noise: Sloshing or dripping.
  • Cause: Overflow or misalignment.
  • Fix: Empty and realign the drip pan.
Fridge drip Tray

By understanding these additional sources of noise, you can effectively troubleshoot and resolve issues in your refrigerator. Regular inspection and maintenance can prevent many of these problems, keeping your fridge quiet and efficient. If you’re ever in doubt, don’t hesitate to consult a professional technician, as improper repairs can lead to further complications.


Whirlpool refrigerator noises can be more than just an annoyance; they often signal underlying issues that need to be addressed. From the common helicopter sound caused by the evaporator fan hitting frost to noises from the ice maker, compressor, and other components, understanding the source is key to resolving the problem.

By following the troubleshooting steps and maintenance tips provided in this article, you can identify and fix most common refrigerator noises. Regular inspection, proper cleaning, and mindful usage can prevent many of these issues, ensuring a quiet and efficient appliance.

If the problem persists or you’re unsure of the cause, consulting a professional technician is always a wise decision. They have the expertise to diagnose and fix the issue, extending the lifespan of your refrigerator.

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