Your Whirlpool refrigerator can make all sorts of noises, and some of them may be completely normal. Others may not be so normal and can indicate one of many problems. If you are beginning to wonder whether birds are living in your refrigerator because of all the chirping that originates from the appliance, you may have an issue that requires attention. It may not be an immediate concern but it could be a problem that needs to be addressed before it gets worse and affects your refrigerator's ability to do its job.
Evaporator Fan Bearing
Fans are one possible source of occasional chirps and annoying chirping noises in a refrigerator. Your Whirlpool refrigerator creates cold storage like other brands. A refrigerant gets compressed, which causes it to heat up, and then the refrigerant expands quickly in the freezer compartment and chills the evaporator coil. The evaporator fan blows air across the coil, chilling the air, which then gets circulated throughout the unit. If the fan stops working, the rest of the refrigerator will not get cold. When fans fail it is often because of a problem with the motor bearings. When these bearings get worn out from use, they will begin making a chirping sound that you may hear from outside the refrigerator. Replacing the fan motor is the solution and it will stop the noise as well as ensure proper cooling inside.
Condenser Fan Dirty
After the refrigerant in your Whirlpool is compressed at the beginning of the cooling cycle its temperature rises sharply. The compressed refrigerant flows through a coil on the outside of the unit called the condenser coil. This occurs so the increased heat in the refrigerant can dissipate into the air outside the refrigerator. A fan nearby blows air across the coil to help this heat dissipate, making the refrigerant even colder when it expands later. If the fan has a bad bearing or if it gets dirty, which often occurs with condenser coils and fans, the fan may begin chirping, indicating the need for repairs or cleaning.
The worst potential cause of your refrigerator's chirping is an issue with the compressor. This powerful motor cannot be lubricated or repaired easily. Unfortunately, when the compressor begins to wear and starts to make loud chirping or other unusual sounds it is a sign you will soon need to replace it. Replacing a compressor can be costly, but you will have to do it or buy a new refrigerator because this component is the heart of the entire cooling system. When it stops, your refrigerator is little more than a storage cabinet.
Another possible source of a chirping noise is the damper doors that control the airflow from the freezer to the fresh food compartment. If your Whirlpool is a model that has automatically adjusting damper doors, they could produce a chirp or howling sound, indicating they are moving. This may not be a major source of concern. Many refrigerators do not include this type of damper door, but if yours does, it is one possibility.