The crack noises propagating from a refrigerator disturb residents in a household; however, the reasons behind the mechanisms of such noises have not been identified yet. In this study, the crack noises in modern household refrigerators are identified and their root causes are explored. The appropriate parameters for overall and Fourier analyses are first determined and the noise characteristics of typical household refrigerators under various conditions are presented. Then, a special test rig providing remote control of the subcomponents including the compressor, fan and heater is designed and structural acceleration and sound pressure measurements inside and outside the test rig in a quiet room are performed. The acoustic and vibration measurements are conducted under various conditions by separately controlling each subcomponent. The crack noises in typical household refrigerators are identified and their root causes are explored by using the results of the overall and Fourier analyses. Some solutions to minimize the crack noises in household refrigerators are also summarized. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.