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Freezer Coils Frosting Up

Oleg Chudnovski, CEO

Technically Reviewed by Oleg Chudnovski, CEO on Feb 26, 2024 | Written by Fix Appliances CA Editorial Contributors

Authorized repair service for most home appliance manufacturers

When freezer coils start frosting up, it often indicates an issue within the freezer or refrigerator system. Various factors, such as a malfunctioning defrost system, improper sealing of the freezer door, or issues with the evaporator fan, can cause this frost buildup. As frost accumulates on the coils, it can reduce the freezer’s efficiency, making it work harder to maintain low temperatures.

Regularly defrosting the freezer, checking the door seal, and addressing any malfunctions in the defrost system or fans are essential steps to prevent excessive frost buildup and ensure optimal freezer performance.

Freezer Coils Frosting Up

When your refrigerator behaves more like an iceberg than a cooling guardian, it’s time to investigate. Frozen evaporator coils can compromise the efficiency of your fridge, leading to potential food spoilage and increased electricity bills. This article delves into the icy issue, explaining the reasons behind frozen coils and offering solutions.

The Role of Evaporator Coils in Refrigeration

Evaporator coils are the unsung heroes of the refrigeration process. They are pivotal in absorbing heat from the interior, ensuring your food remains at the optimal temperature. These coils allow the refrigerant to evaporate, which absorbs heat from the surrounding environment. Without these coils working efficiently, your fridge’s cooling capabilities take a hit.

Significance of the Evaporator Coils

The health and functionality of the evaporator coils are directly proportional to your refrigerator’s performance. If they’re compromised, you might notice uneven cooling, frost build-up, and a spike in your energy bills. These coils are integral to the fridge’s ability to maintain a consistent temperature, ensuring your food stays fresh and safe.

Common Causes of Frozen Evaporator Coils

Airflow Blockages

Overstuffing your fridge or inadvertently blocking vents can restrict airflow, leading to cold spots and eventual coils freezing. Proper ventilation is crucial to maintain the right temperature inside the fridge.

Defrost System Malfunctions

The defrost system’s job is to keep frost at bay. If it’s not doing its job, those coils are a prime target for ice build-up. This system is designed to remove frost accumulating on the coils, ensuring they function optimally.

Thermostat Troubles

Incorrect temperature readings or settings can cause the coils to cool too much, leading to freezing. The thermostat regulates the temperature inside the fridge; if it’s not calibrated correctly, it can lead to overcooling.

Refrigerant Shortages: The refrigerant’s flow is vital for cooling. If levels are low, certain parts might get colder than others, causing freezing. The refrigerant must be at the right level to ensure even cooling throughout the fridge.

Spotting the Ice: Signs Your Coils Are Frozen

Cooling Inconsistencies

If some parts of your fridge feel warmer than others, it’s a sign that the coils might be frozen. This uneven cooling can lead to food spoilage in certain fridge sections.

Frosty Interior

Visible ice or frost inside your fridge or freezer is a dead giveaway. This frost can block vents and further reduce the cooling system’s efficiency.

Unusual Noises

If you hear a constant humming or buzzing from your fridge, it might be the coils trying to tell you something. These sounds can result from the coils working overtime to maintain the temperature.

Melting the Problem: Addressing Frozen Coils

  1. Safety First: Unplug the refrigerator before diving into the frosty depths. Safety always comes first. Electrical appliances can be hazardous if not handled correctly.
  2. Coil Inspection: A visual check often reveals significant ice or frost build-up. Regular inspections can help you catch the problem before it escalates.
  3. Manual Defrost: If the automatic defrost is on strike, sometimes you must take matters into your own hands. Turning off the fridge and letting it defrost can solve the issue.
  4. Defrost System Check: Ensure that components like the heater and timer are in working order. These components are crucial for the automatic defrosting process. If there is any serious malfunction – it is time to call a refrigerator repair service.
  5. Airflow Assessment: Make sure vents are clear and the fan is operational. Proper airflow can prevent future freeze-ups and ensure the fridge cools efficiently.

Preventive Measures to Keep the Ice at Bay

Routine Clean-ups

Regular maintenance can prevent many common issues. Clean those coils, check the gaskets, and ensure proper placement. Dust and debris can accumulate on the coils, reducing their efficiency.

Space Matters

Give your fridge room to breathe. Proper spacing ensures better airflow and reduces the chances of freezing. The surrounding environment plays a role in how efficiently your fridge operates.

Pack Smart

Overstuffing can lead to uneven cooling. Organize your fridge to ensure efficient cooling. A cluttered fridge can block vents and restrict airflow, leading to cooling issues.

Final Thoughts

Your refrigerator is essential to your daily life, silently working to keep your food fresh. Addressing issues like frozen evaporator coils promptly ensures the longevity and efficiency of your appliance. With regular checks and a bit of TLC, your fridge will keep things cool for years to come.

Date of page creation: September 14, 2023

Page update date: February 26, 2024


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I was lucky enough to get a same day appointment to fix my fridge. Serge came out, was on time, very professional, took time to show and explain to me what was wrong with the fridge. He gave me a price, I said ok, and he showed me the part he replaced in the fridge after he was done. He cleaned up the bottom of the freezer which he had to defrost with a special tool and put all the racks back in the freezer. I couldn't have asked for better service. Would highly recommend them!

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Sub Zero Refrigerator Repair
January 17, 2024

I called Fix Appliances in regards to an issue with my double oven. They responded fast and showed up on time with the necessary tools and knowledge to assist me. The service was provided quickly and efficiently. Overall great experience and I will highly recommend Fix Appliances to everyone!

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Darya Anifrani, Mississauga, ON
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January 15, 2024

I was extremely happy with the service. The repair person came the morning after I called. He promptly diagnosed the problem - a burned out fan. He had the part in his truck and was able to repair the fridge on the same call.

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drzed, New Tecumseth
January 12, 2024

FAQ: Top Frequently Asked Questions

A bi-yearly peek can help spot potential issues before they become major problems. Regular inspections can save you from costly repairs down the line.
Persistent freezing might indicate a deeper issue, possibly with the defrost system or refrigerant levels. It's essential to address the root cause to prevent recurring problems.
While there are tools and kits available, for a comprehensive diagnosis, always refer to your refrigerator's user manual or get professional advice. Some tools can help you identify issues, but nothing beats expert advice.

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