Easy Fixes for Freezer Issues

A poorly functioning freezer can be costly; not only in repairing the appliance, but also in replacing the spoiled food. Follow the below tips to ensure a fully functioning freezer and safe, edible food.

Easy Fixes for Freezer Issues

The freezer section is too warm

Clear the airways in your fridge freezer

Most fridge freezers have just one cooling mechanism for both the fridge and freezer compartments. So, if your refrigerator is working, but your freezer is not, there is likely to be a blockage in the airway between the two.

  • Look inside your freezer and you'll see a hole about 3.5 centimetres (1 1/2 inches) across, often covered with a plastic grate; this is the cold-air inlet. Keep the opening and the area around it clear to allow the air to flow through the freezer.
  • Some high-end fridge freezers have separate cooling systems for the fridge and for the freezer; for such models, persistent problems will need a professional repair.

My freezer takes a long time to defrost

Thaw it out quickly and safely

Defrosting a freezer can take hours, especially if the room is chilly.

  • Unplug the freezer, then fill a pan with hot, but not boiling, water. Place it inside the freezer on a heatproof dish and close the door. Leave the pan for five minutes before taking it out, reheating the water and putting the pan back in the freezer. Repeat until all the ice has melted.

Warning

It's tempting to use a hair dryer to help thaw your freezer, but take care. Hot spots can damage the inner walls of the fridge, and any stray water on the hair dryer presents a danger of electrocution.

How do I prevent "freezer burn"?

Fill your freezer to create a thermal buffer

If your frozen food looks gray and leathery, it has suffered freezer burn, which discolours and dries the food (though it is still edible).

  • Keep your freezer full. As you use up frozen food, replace it with nonperishable items, such as rice and flour, to use up the free space, or partially fill some open plastic containers with water and place them in the freezer.
  • Make sure the food is in sealed packages.

There's no ice coming from the ice maker

Check the ice tray arm

Most domestic ice makers have a thin metal shutoff arm that hovers over the ice tray. Its job is to tell the freezer whether to make more ice; when the tray is full, the arm is up and no ice is made. It's easy to accidentally bump this arm up — simply pull it down gently and you'll see ice in about an hour.

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