What Makes a Freezer Stop Freezing? Reason Explained

The most common causes of a freezer not freezing are dirty condenser coils, faulty evaporator fans, frost buildup, bad seals, or compressor problems. These issues can affect the airflow, temperature, or pressure inside the freezer, preventing it from working properly. In this article, we will explain how to identify and fix these problems, and how to prevent them from happening again.

Dirty Condenser Coils

Condenser coils are located at the back or bottom of the freezer. They are responsible for releasing the heat that is generated by the compressor. If the coils are dirty or dusty, they cannot dissipate the heat efficiently, and the freezer may overheat and stop freezing.

To fix this problem, you need to clean the coils regularly, at least once every six months. You can use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment or a coil cleaning brush to remove the dust and dirt from the coils. Be careful not to damage the coils or the refrigerant lines. After cleaning, plug the freezer back in and check if it is cooling properly.

Faulty Evaporator Fan

The evaporator fan is located inside the freezer, behind the back panel. It circulates the cold air inside the freezer and keeps the temperature even. If the fan is not working, the cold air will not reach the food items, and the freezer will not freeze.

To check if the fan is working, open the freezer door and listen for any noise. If you hear a humming or buzzing sound, the fan is running. If you hear nothing, the fan may be broken or blocked by ice. You can also try to spin the fan blades manually with your hand. If they do not move freely, there may be something obstructing them.

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To fix this problem, you need to replace the fan or remove the obstruction. You can access the fan by removing the back panel inside the freezer. Make sure to unplug the freezer before doing this. If the fan is broken, you can order a new one online or from a local appliance store. If the fan is blocked by ice, you can defrost the freezer by turning it off and leaving the door open for a few hours. Then, wipe the excess water and plug the freezer back in.

Frost Buildup

Frost buildup is a common problem in freezers, especially in manual-defrost models. Frost is formed when the moisture in the air condenses and freezes on the walls, shelves, or food items inside the freezer. This can reduce the available space, block the vents, and interfere with the airflow and temperature inside the freezer.

To fix this problem, you need to defrost the freezer regularly, at least once a year. You can do this by turning off the freezer and leaving the door open for several hours, until all the ice melts. Then, wipe the excess water and dry the interior of the freezer. You can also use a hairdryer or a fan to speed up the process, but be careful not to damage the freezer or cause an electrical shock.

To prevent frost buildup, you need to avoid opening the freezer door too often or for too long, as this lets warm and humid air enter the freezer. You also need to keep the freezer well-stocked, but not overcrowded, as this helps maintain the temperature and reduces the air circulation. Moreover, you need to seal the food items properly, using airtight containers or freezer bags, to prevent moisture from escaping.

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Bad Seals

The seals, or gaskets, are the rubber strips that line the edges of the freezer door. They create a tight seal between the door and the freezer, preventing the cold air from escaping and the warm air from entering. If the seals are damaged, worn out, or dirty, they will not seal properly, and the freezer will lose its efficiency and stop freezing.

To fix this problem, you need to inspect the seals for any cracks, tears, or gaps. You can also perform the dollar bill test, by placing a dollar bill between the seal and the freezer, and closing the door. If you can easily pull out the bill, the seal is loose. If the seal is damaged, you need to replace it with a new one. You can order a new seal online or from a local appliance store, and install it yourself or hire a professional. If the seal is dirty, you need to clean it with a mild soap and water solution, and dry it with a cloth.

To prevent the seals from deteriorating, you need to avoid slamming the door, pulling the seal, or spilling any liquids on it. You also need to lubricate the seal occasionally, using a thin layer of petroleum jelly, to keep it flexible and smooth.

Compressor Problems

The compressor is the heart of the freezer. It is a pump that compresses the refrigerant and circulates it through the coils. The compressor is controlled by a thermostat, which regulates the temperature inside the freezer. If the compressor is not working, the refrigerant will not flow, and the freezer will not freeze.

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To check if the compressor is working, you need to listen for any noise. If you hear a clicking or humming sound, the compressor is running. If you hear nothing, the compressor may be faulty or the thermostat may be broken. You can also touch the compressor and feel if it is hot or cold. If it is hot, it may be overheating or overloaded. If it is cold, it may not be getting enough power or refrigerant.

To fix this problem, you need to call a professional, as this is a complex and dangerous task. The professional will diagnose the problem and replace the compressor or the thermostat, if needed. They will also check the refrigerant level and pressure, and refill or recharge it, if needed.


A freezer not freezing can be a frustrating and costly problem, as it can spoil your food and increase your energy bills. However, by following the steps above, you can identify and fix the most common causes of this problem, and prevent it from happening again. If you need any help, you can always contact a professional appliance repair service, or visit our website for more tips and advice.