Frozen food must be kept frozen to avoid spoilage. However, if your freezer is not freezing, it can spoil your stored food. Whether you have an individual freezer or a refrigerator with a freezer compartment, find out why it’s not freezing and how to fix it. You can get help from an appliance repair technician or try some fixes mentioned here yourself.

Reasons Your Freezer Is Not Freezing

The Freezer Is Overstuffed

Keeping a freezer filled with items is useful. However, if a freezer is filled to its maximum capacity and more, it can stop freezing. A freezer requires cool air to circulate inside the entire freezer. When a freezer is overpacked, air won’t circulate properly leading to freezing issues.

So, check your freezer and remove items that are older than 3 months to make some space. If all the items are new, you should pick out some items for clearing up space. Moreover, try rearranging food to avoid obstructions to the evaporator fan.

The Door Seal Is Worn

If you notice that your freezer is cool but not freezing food, the freezer air may be escaping from the unit. Usually, it’s due to a worn door seal. When the door seal of a freezer is damaged or worn, it will not close the door properly and there will be some space between the door and the freezer from where warm air can enter and the freezer’s air can escape.

To check if your freezer door seal is worn, keep a piece of paper or dollar bills between the door and freezer and shut the door. Try to take out the piece of paper. If the piece of paper is taken out easily, you should replace the door seal. However, if the piece of paper is not movable or you end up tearing it, the door seal is fine.

Another reason for freezer air escaping is a food item keeping the door from shutting completely. Check the freezer and place the items correctly to prevent this.

Food Obstructing Evaporator Fan

The place where the evaporator fan is located should not be obstructed by food. This doesn’t only happen when a freezer is overstuffed. Poor packing of the freezer can result in this problem as well.

If the evaporator fan is obstructed or there is not enough space under the fan, the cold air from the fan won’t reach the entire freezer causing the appliance to not freeze.

The evaporator fan of a freezer is usually located in the rear of the freezer. So, don’t put items too close to the back of the freezer. Make sure there is some space between the food items and the freezer’s back.

Wrong Thermostat Settings

A freezer freezes when the thermostat is set to the right temperature. So, check the thermostat and make sure it’s set to a freezing temperature.

Faulty Thermostat

If the thermostat is set to freeze, but the freezer is not freezing, it could be a problematic thermostat.

To check whether your freezer’s thermostat is the culprit, change the thermostat settings from the lowest to the highest. Expect to hear a clicking sound from the freezer or refrigerator. If you don’t hear a clicking sound after changing the thermostat setting, then the thermostat should be replaced.

Malfunctioning Start Relay

If a freezer is not freezing, a possible cause is a malfunctioning start relay. A start relay gives power to the compressor, so if it’s faulty, the compressor won’t start. In turn, the freezer won’t freeze or cool.

A start relay is located at the back of a freezer or refrigerator where its compressor is. To test if your start relay is faulty, perform these steps:

  1. Turn off the freezer.
  2. Open the back compartment of the freezer.
  3. You will see the start relay connected to the compressor.
  4. Unplug the relay.
  5. Shake the start relay and if you hear a rattling sound from it, the relay is faulty and should be replaced.
  6. On other hand, if the start relay doesn’t make a rattling sound, the issue could be with the compressor or any other component of the freezer.

Dirty Condenser Coils

The condenser coils take the heat from the inside of the freezer and expel it outside. They can be found at the back or underneath a freezer or refrigerator. Dust and dirt accumulate on these coils over time and it can reduce the efficiency of the coils to expel heat from the inside of the freezer. It can lead to problems like a freezer not freezing or a freezer running constantly.

You can check them by pulling your freezer from the wall and inspecting the coils. If they are underneath the fridge, remove a cover first to expose the coils. Use a brush to clean the condenser coils gently or vacuum the coils with a vacuum attachment.

Frozen Evaporator Coils

Evaporator coils are inside a freezer and cool refrigerant flows through them for cooling or freezing a freezer. If they are frozen, it will stop the freezer from freezing.

The common causes of frozen evaporator coils are a faulty evaporator fan or a heat cycle issue.

Faulty Evaporator Fan

Sometimes, an evaporator fan has ice on it that stops it from functioning. This leads to even more ice buildup on the fan and evaporator coils. The evaporator fan and coils are located in the rear part of the inside of the freezer. There is a cover with screws that you should remove to expose the coils and the fan.

Remove ice from the fan and check the freezer. If it still doesn’t work, the fan motor may be faulty and it must be replaced.

However, you should also look for bent fan blades because sometimes, they are the cause of the problem. Moreover, check the wires of the fan motor and make sure they are not broken. Call in a refrigerator ice maker repair Northern VA service for help.

Heat Cycle Issues

A heat cycle removes ice from the evaporator coils and keeps them functioning properly. It is triggered once every 24 hours to perform its task. The main components of a heat cycle are the heating element and the timer. You should check both of these components to know which one is faulty.

The Freezer Was Moved And Turned On Right Away

If you move a freezer, within your house or to another location in a truck, you should keep it turned off in its upright position for a few hours to 24 hours. This settles the refrigerant that may have gone to the coils from the compressor.

If you immediately turn on a freezer after moving, it can lead to a damaged compressor. Once the compressor of a freezer is damaged, it won’t cool the freezer. You will need to get the freezer checked and may have to replace the compressor.

A compressor is one of the major components of a freezer. So, if you were thinking about replacing the freezer, you should simply do it instead of spending money on replacing the compressor of your old freezer.


Many things can cause a freezer to not freeze. Therefore, you should follow the above-mentioned suggestions to find out the cause and fix it. To avoid damage to your freezer, it’s advised to consult a refrigerator repair Springfield expert for inspection.