4 Reasons Your Refrigerator Freezes Up (And How To Fix It!)

Refrigerators are a central appliance in any kitchen.

They are also the most used appliance due to their importance in storing food and drinks. Keeping this in mind, a fully functional fridge is essential for your quality of life.

A common issue that can arise is when a refrigerator freezes up. It can leave you wondering, why does the refrigerator keep freezing?

A refrigerator can freeze up when the appliance has to overwork to maintain the cooling. This occurs due to a broken seal or a simple user error that needs to be corrected. If left untouched, the evaporation process will get impeded causing excessive freezing inside the fridge.

It’s recommended to check the structural integrity of the refrigerator to see whether or not a DIY repair is possible.

Here is a breakdown of what to do when a refrigerator freezes up and what to avoid.

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Main Reasons Your Refrigerator Is Freezing Up

1. Broken Seal

If a refrigerator is freezing food at the lowest setting then it might come down to a broken seal.

The seal is what holds the cooling in and makes sure the fridge is a compact solution for cooling food/drinks. Any structural issue with the seal is going to cause the fridge to overreact to compensate.

A good example would be a seal that is letting the cooling out.

The refrigerator will try to maintain a set temperature and this can cause additional cooling to be flooded into the fridge. This might not be an issue in the short term, but prolonged exposure to such temperatures will cause freezing.

This is a serious concern for those who are noticing food freeze in the fridge.

Recommended Solution

Scan the gasket and door sealing to see where the gap is. It will be noticeable if you pay attention. if it’s a small gap, you can seal it using something small such as sealant.

If it is completely broken then you will have to replace the gasket and/or door sealing. Do not use it without fixing the issue as everything will freeze once the fridge starts overcooking to compensate for the poor insulation.

refrigerator freezes up

2. Incorrect User Setting

If you are asking, “How do I stop my fridge from freezing?” it might be time to look at the most basic issue that arises in situations such as these.

The main problem with modern fridges has to do with the settings. You have multiple user settings to customize each aspect of the appliance.

This is great when you are in control of the settings but difficult when you make a mistake. It’s normal for people to mistakenly increase the temperature making it colder inside the fridge.

Recommended Solution

Look at the temperature inside the fridge, use a thermometer to test the current temperature, and change it back to a more reasonable setting.

This is a must and it will only take a few seconds to do.

3. Fridge Coils Are Dirty

When the coils in the refrigerator freeze up, it’s common for dirt and grime to be the issue.

A symptom of this problem pops up when the refrigerator begins freezing. It will happen because the coils are now covered in grime and need to be thoroughly cleaned. Ignoring this issue will only make the situation worse.

A lot of stress is put on a fridge when the coils are dirty. They don’t work as designed and the fridge begins ramping up the temperature to offset this issue.

Recommended Solution

The best solution is to take a canister vacuum and begin cleaning the coils. You will want to run the vacuum over them as a way to get rid of excess debris.

If necessary, you can also take a cloth to wipe them. This will ensure the dirt and grime don’t settle in and become a long-term issue.

refrigerator freezes up

4. Improper Air Duct

This is not a common problem and only becomes an issue with specific fridge models.

The air duct is essential in funneling cool air into the fridge. This means its placement will also affect what’s being cooled and what’s not.

You want to have it closer to the center as a way to make sure the fridge is comprehensively covered when it comes to the cold air. If it is off to one side, this will start freezing food on that end of the fridge.

Recommended Solution

The right option for fixing an air duct in the fridge is to adjust it.

Most are going to have an adjustable mechanism to move it around. Take advantage of this and shift where the air duct is located inside the fridge.

This will improve how the cool air is dispersing inside the fridge.

Final Thoughts

What causes a refrigerator to freeze up?

A refrigerator can freeze up when the coils are dirty, the temperature is set too low, the seal is broken, and/or the air duct is in the wrong spot. Go through each problem and find what is causing the fridge to freeze.

You should be able to make quick adjustments to fix the problem once and for all.

Read More On Kitchens:

  1. Reasons Fridge Is Not Cooling But Light Remains On
  2. Do Fridges Produce Water Without A Water Line?
  3. How Should Fridge Doors Open?
  4. How To Store Refrigerator In Winter Months
  5. How To Handle A Lengthy Fridge?
  6. How Expensive Is it To Run An Older Fridge?