Bizarre new fridge noise

Hi. My kitchen refrigerator (GE Hotpoint) started making an odd noise this morning. From a distance, it sounds like a hissing sound; but when you get closer, you can hear that it's actually a high-frequency clicking or flapping (maybe 20 or 30 clicks/second). It appears to be coming from the back of the fridge, and it only occurs when the compressor is going; when the fridge is otherwise quiet, the sound isn't present. There's been no impact yet on the fridge's cooling. The fridge does not have an ice-maker.
I'd almost guess that it's simply some piece of paper or whatever sticking into a fan; but I don't know why this would start this morning. There hasn't been any activity around the fridge in the last couple of days that would afford the opportunity of something falling back there and getting into a fan. Pulling the fridge out of its cubbyhole is a major endeavor; I'd almost have to call the appliance repair people for help just to do so.
I'm wondering if people have some plausible diagnoses for what this might be other than just some piece of paper sticking into a fan, so that I'm a tiny bit more educated if/when appliance repair people come and tell me it's going to cost 18 bajillion dollars to fix. Given that the refrigeration doesn't seem to be compromised (yet), does it seem likely to be an ignorable thing, or is there a good chance that someone needs to look at this right away?
Thanks for any info. Sorry, I'm pretty ignorant about refrigerators.
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On Mar 15, 2:14 pm, Chris Metzler

The refrig is on rollers so why is it a major endeavor to pull it forward? If you can, there is a cardboard cover at the rear bottom of the refrig. Remove 4-5 small screws holding the cover on and you have visual access to the compressor and fan. The fan pulls air in from the front bottom of the refrig, moving the air across the coils, and exits thru the fan to the rear of the refrig. Any dust, hair, pieces of paper, etc. can be sucked into the fan and get hung up. A very easy fix if that is what the problem is.
Red
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On Sun, 15 Mar 2009 12:33:35 -0700, Red wrote:

We bought the house about two years ago; the fridge came with. We didn't notice (or it didn't make an impression on us) at the time, but 1) this unit isn't on rollers (no idea why this is), and 2) the kitchen floor is tiled thickly up to but not including the cubbyhole where the fridge is. So in addition to rocking it back and forth to get it out, I've gotta get it up and onto this tile without damaging the tile edges. Some thick newspapers might be enough for the latter, I dunno.

Thanks much! If I can get this guy out, I'll check that first.
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Chris Metzler wrote:

If you do take the fridge out... consider building up the floor where the fridge slides in. I had the same problem under the dish washer. The previous owner cut some corners when he put the floor in. I had a hell of a time getting the old dishwasher out. before I slid the new one in I built the floor up using a couple of pieces of scrap plywood that were about the same thickness.
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I'm remembering one refrig I repaired. They had done a heck of a job of building the fridge into the house. Cabinets overhead, tile in front, and the island or counter was so close, there wasn't enough room to get the fridge out even if you tried. I had them cut some drywall behind the fridge, which was along the stairs to the cellar. I was then able to get the start components off the compressor, and put the start boost kit on. It was a one of a kind repair, for sure.
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Christopher A. Young
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Sounds like it could be ice buildup in the freezer just behind the fan.
Next time you hear it open the freezer and have a listen. If so could be a defrost timer
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It had to start sometime. I'm always ammused with people who say "it worked fine yesterday". As if they can schedule equipment breakdowns.
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perhaps they failed to notice symptoms that occurred prior to the failure.
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