Why Is My Freezer Frosting Up?

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Modern freezers are designed to prevent the buildup of frost.

More than one problem can lead to your freezer compartment experiencing an issue with frost. As condensation forms inside the freezer, it eventually turns into frost and can sometimes build up into a thick coating of ice, affecting the performance of your freezer. This build-up of frost is not normal, though, since modern freezers are self-defrosting. A buildup of frost points to problems with the defrost components or other issues with the freezer.


Door Gaskets

One of the most common causes of freezer frosting is the door gasket. Check the seal around the freezer door carefully to see if it is torn or damaged in any way. The gasket should be clean, too. If it's damaged or dirty, it could allow moisture from outside the freezer to seep inside, permitting frost to accumulate on the walls, floor or top of the freezer compartment. Replacing a damaged gasket or cleaning a dirty one to ensure a good seal is the way to fix this problem.


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Defrost Timer

If the gasket is in good repair, the problem is likely with the defrost system. The defrost timer tells the rest of the automatic defrost system when to do its job. A properly working timer will make sure that defrosting happens on a regular basis and stops when the job is done. If the timer is faulty, the defrost system may never come on and the natural accumulation of frost will eventually lead to a major buildup. The timer should be replaced if this happens.


Defrost Heater

The defrost heater is the component of the freezer that does the heavy lifting when it comes to keeping frost under control. At regular intervals, the defrost heater comes on and heats up the area around the cooling coil in the freezer, where frost forms. The small amount of frost melts and the water drains into a line that carries it away to evaporate outside the unit. If the heater is not working properly, the frost never melts away and continues to build up. If this component is malfunctioning it needs to be replaced.



Fans play an important role in the proper functioning of a refrigerator and freezer. They keep the air moving where it is needed. If the evaporator fans are not running properly or are set to spin in the wrong direction, cooling can be drastically affected too much moisture may remain on the cooling coil during operation. This may lead to frosting in the freezer. Check the fans to see that they are spinning. You may need to wait a few minutes for a fan to come on, since they turn on and off as needed. If the fans are not running at all, the problem may lie with their wiring or motors. Faulty fans should be replaced immediately to prevent frosting and to encourage proper cooling.



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