It can be frustrating and stressful when your freezer is not working correctly as this can lead to food safety issues and food wastage. Luckily, you can take several steps that allow you to identify the problem and solve it so that your freezer is working once again. Read on to find out what to do.
Check the controls
Your freezer should be set at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below for optimal freezing. Sometimes the thermostat can be bumped so that it is no longer at the ideal temperature. It is also possible for it to be accidentally turned to the highest possible temperature instead of the lowest.
If the thermostat is set to the wrong temperature, this should be an easy fix. Simply adjust it to the desired temperature.
Check the thermostat
If you have confirmed that the thermostat is set to the correct temperature, the problem may be with the thermostat itself.
When a freezer is not freezing properly, you can check the thermostat by switching it from the lowest to maximum settings and listening for a click. If you hear a click, this means the thermostat is functioning and is not the cause of your freezer problems.
If you do not hear a click, this means your thermostat needs to be replaced. You can order a replacement thermostat from your freezer’s manufacturer. If this does not solve your issue, move on to the next step in our guide.
Check for overcrowding
The next thing to look for if your freezer is not working correctly is whether the shelves are packed too closely. Overstuffed freezers may limit airflow, particularly if the evaporator fan is obstructed.
We advise cleaning food out of your freezer if your freezer is not cold enough. Rearrange your food and reposition anything that may have been blocking the freezer’s evaporator fan.
Once this is done, check back in a few hours to see if your freezer is freezing again.
Check for frost buildup
For a manual defrost freezer:
- If you have already checked for overcrowding, pay attention to how much frost is accumulating on the internal walls. This could also be reducing airflow and reducing the effectiveness of your appliance.
- A quick defrosting should fix the issue, allowing your vents and coils to breathe again and continue to do their jobs. This is especially necessary if you detect a lot of ice crystals or if it has been more than a year since you last did so.
- You can manually defrost a freezer by removing the food from inside, turning the freezer off and letting it sit until the ice melts. You can also use a hairdryer to speed up the melting process.
For an auto defrost freezer:
Please note, if you can see thick layers of ice and your freezer is supposed to be auto-defrosting, this is a clear sign that something has gone wrong with the auto defrost system. You can contact your freezer manufacturer in order to purchase a replacement part to fix this issue.
Check the door seals
The gasket on your freezer door is what keeps the cold air inside and warm air outside. Every time you close the door, if it does not entirely seal, cool air escapes, raising the temperature inside your freezer.
In order to test the door seals:
- Place a piece of paper flat on the gasket of your freezer door and shut the door.
- Next, pull on the paper. The seals need to be replaced if you feel little to no resistance when attempting to remove the paper from the door.
- Make certain to test various locations along the seal.
Note: No tools are required to replace the gasket in more recent freezer models. These freezers typically include gaskets that may be pressed into position or wrapped around. If your freezer is an older model, the gasket may be screwed into place.
Check the evaporator fan
If you have still not found the source of your freezer’s issues, it is time to check whether your freezer’s evaporator fan is functioning properly. In order to do this, unplug it before removing and cleaning the evaporator fan blades. Your freezer’s evaporator fan blades can become clogged with ice and stop effectively circulating air.
If you find ice buildup on the blades, it should solve your problem once cleaned off. However, if you detect a bent fan blade, you need to replace the fan.
If your fan is able to rotate freely 360 degrees if you spin it by hand but is not operating on its own, you may need to replace a bad motor or fix frayed wires that connect the fan motor.
Check the start relay
A non-freezing freezer could indicate that your start relay is malfunctioning and failing to supply electricity to your compressor.
To test your start relay:
- Unplug your refrigerator.
- Open the compartment under the freezer.
- Take out the start relay and shake it.
- Your start relay has to be changed if you hear what sounds like dice in a can rattling.
- If the start relay does not rattle, that is not the cause of your problem. In this case, a repair person should be hired to resolve the issue.
Clean the coils
Last but not least, dirty coils can be to blame. If everything appears to be in order after you have performed all of the earlier steps in this guide, consider moving the appliance away from the wall and vacuuming the coils with a crevice or brush attachment.
A thorough cleaning of the coils might be all that’s needed to get the temperature back down and your freezer freezing properly once more.