Is loud operation a (random but common) problem on most new refrigerators?


Premium Member
Dec 4, 2017
So. U.S.
Probably will need a new ice box soon. I've got a 23 yr old Amana top freezer that is probably failing. It (seems) ignores the temp setting. May post another about that.
Very concerned about fairly common complaints on high operating noise levels on all brands.

Any tips how not to own an unacceptably loud fridge, that mfgs say is normal & most stores won't take returns - would be great.

We've been gathering data & reading reviews of all brands, all price ranges. I don't think we'll spend $3k for a fridge / freezer for 2 retired people.
But we do need extra freezer space - more than a typical top freezer. Plus, they're not that handy to find items if freezer's full.
I think? bottom freezers might be worse to find things, but may depend on actual model & configuration. If they have any sliding drawers / shelves in the bottom freezer.

One of the most common review complaints (on lower & many higher price units) is how loud they are. Reviewers often say they should've heeded other reviews about noise.
As in, "Much louder than my old XYZ fridge." "Drives us insane - have to turn the TV up." Not just for ice makers (which seem designed to fail ASAP). Just the fans running. Not sure if newer style compressors are noisier? (Our Amana compressor is silent & fans very quiet. Never knew when it was defrosting).

But not all reviews for any given brand / model mention unacceptable noise. If there's a bad one in the bunch, I'll get it.
I know a bit of what the reviewers speak. We bought a Kenmore freezer few yrs back. Noisy from the beginning but nothing "wrong." Definitely interfered with TV. Its defrost cycle sounded like distant gunfire.

Probably made by Whirlpool. Many of the new Whirlpools (& most their other brands) are ones with too many complaints about really loud operation.
Many write that unless something malfunctions or squeals like a stuck pig, the mfgs try hard not to address the issue under warranty. Maybe it's in the design.

Best I can tell, the box stores don't take returns on refrigerators - even in a week. But you can't know how a unit will sound until it runs.
Not sure about higher priced appliance stores taking returns in 1 or 2 weeks.
I've never seen any store plug in a fridge so you could listen, but I never asked. If they did, many stores have all kinds of other loud noises. Until now, I didn't know many stores have no return policies on refrigerators.


Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Jul 11, 2006
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
Machines that use an inverter compressor are quiet compressors. Almost all newer machine use a noise filter. Some fans are louder than others. Keep looking for a store with an exchange policy.