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Here’s Why Your Frost Free Freezer is Icing Up


Before the introduction of Frost-Free technology in domestic freezers, large volumes of frost and ice would build up inside the freezer compartments. This build-up of frost would dramatically reduce freezer space, cause drawers to freeze shut, and even prevent the door from closing properly.

Regular manual defrosting was necessary to keep this build-up of ice at bay, but now most modern freezers have a frost-free feature, which handles defrosting automatically, by regulating temperatures.

The feature also regulates humidity inside the freezer and keeps it low, so that moisture doesn’t increase, and turn into a layer of ice that would otherwise increase over time. However, no appliance is forever free from faults, and sometimes this frost-free feature can fail to work.

So, let’s get into this, and figure out what’s causing your freezer to ice up, when it should have a fully functioning auto frost free feature.

Causes of Ice Build-up

If a Frost-free freezer is icing up, there can be several reasons for this. These appliances have a number of parts that can wear out or develop faults. Fortunately, a lot of these causes can be resolved quite easily, without paying any professionals. An example of this is the incorrect temperature setting, which can quickly lead to freezing. The following points explain exactly what possible reasons for icing are and how these can be remedied.

Freezer Location

We’ll start at the basics here – where you have your freezer installed. Believe it or not, location can make the frost-free function struggle to work. For example, your freezer is standing directly in line with the blazing sun for several hours a day, the door and walls of the freezer will heat up so much that the function can no longer keep up with the lowering of the humidity.

Here’s where not to store a freezer;

  • Directly against, or very close to a high heat radiator or heater
  • Directly next to a cooker and oven that’s on high and often
  • pressed against a wall

In areas where the freezers are exposed to high temperatures over a long period such as radiators and cooking appliances, it’s also not suitable to have your freezer pressed against a wall, without any breathing space. Since the grilles for the freezer radiator and the heat exchanger are at the rear, they need some space in order to be able to release the heated air.

If this builds up, the heat load is again too high, knocking the freezers temperature regulation out of whack. Therefore, find a location that is not in the direct vicinity of heat sources and allows the freezer space to the wall.

Freezer Temperature Setting

Perhaps you have set your temperature too high using the thermometer? A freezer with frost free regulates the humidity, but if the temperature inside is set too high over the long term, this can lead to an imbalance. The following temperature values ​​are recommended for the time of year.

  • Autumn to spring: -16 ° C
  • Summer: -18 ° C

Check your thermometer to see if the freezer is set too warm and fix if it is.

Door Opening For Too Long

Opening the freezer door for a long time is also problematic, as this increases the temperature significantly and causes the humidity inside to get out of control. Therefore, pay more attention to how often and for how long you open the door during the day. Always close the door correctly, because even a small gap can lead to icing. Don’t have the door open any longer than you need to.

Tip: Be sure to check your door seals for damage and make sure there is nothing wedge between them, otherwise hot air can work its way in. It’s also a good idea to clean your freezer door seals often, to ensure an airtight seal.

Warm Food

Warm, let alone hot, foods do not belong in the freezer. If you still have leftovers from the dinner, let them cool down completely before they are put in the freezer. Foods that are piping hot with steam quickly lead to a high level of humidity, which the frost-free function cannot cope with. In the long run, this will cause your freezer to ice up. If you’ve been cooking foods and putting them straight into the freezer, stop now!

Defective Seals

As I mentioned, check your door seals often. Since these are made of rubber, they will eventually burst. If the seal is broken, there is an imbalance in temperature and humidity inside the freezer will build. To test your seals, try the following:

  1. Run your fingers along the seal – is it perfectly flush?. If you find any splits or even pieces that have broken off, get replacements.
  2. When it’s dark outside, put a bright LED torch or lantern inside the freezer. Now shut the door and switch the kitchen lights out – do you see any light escaping through the seals?
  3. Take a sheet of un-creased paper and open the door. Put the piece of paper in the crack in the door and close the door. If the sheet cannot be pulled out or is difficult to pull out, the seal is good. However, if it can be pulled out without any problems, you will need to replace the seal.

If any of these tests are a fail, you should obtain the correct seal for your model and replace it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Faulty Components

Your freezer is a system operated by many parts, if one or more fail, you’re freezer can develop and build-up of heavy frost, even with a frost-free feature.

The following parts can fail, causing icing.

  • Thermostat
  • Control board
  • Compressor

While a defective thermostat is easy to replace, things look different with a compressor. In and of themselves, all of these components are difficult to replace, and depending on the age and condition of the device, it may be more profitable to buy a new freezer right away.

If you cannot confirm any of the other reasons mentioned above as the cause, you should call an electrician to have the device assessed. The Frost-Free technology relies on modern technology that requires an experienced eye, so a specialist is recommended.

Tip: Instead of the thermostat, only the safety temperature limiter may be damaged. However, this can only be determined by using a power meter or checking by a specialist.