Freezer Making Noise: Causes and Solutions

August 3, 2023
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What are Those Noises Coming From my Freezer?

In this section, we will discuss the various strange noises a freezer might make, and what they typically indicate.

Freezer Hissing Noises - Normal if Noises are Occasional

An occasional hissing noise emanating from your freezer is usually normal. You may have an issue if the hissing noise is heard more frequently and grows in intensity.

Refrigerant Circulation

One common cause is the circulation of refrigerant within your freezer. As the refrigerant flows through the system and releases heat to the outside air, it may make a hissing sound. This is usually normal and not a cause for concern. Excessive persistent noise could require further investigation and may be the result of a refrigerant leak.

Defrost Cycle

During the defrost cycle, your freezer removes frost from the cooling coils. This process can create hissing sounds as heat melts the ice. This sound indicates that your freezer is going through its normal defrost cycle. It should stop once the cycle is complete.

Defrost Heater

Another possible cause of hissing noises is the defrost heater. Within the defrost cycle, water drips onto the heater, causing a sizzling or hissing sound. This is a normal part of the freezer's operation.

However, if the sound persists or becomes louder, the heater may be malfunctioning. In this case, it is wise to seek professional help to diagnose and fix the issue.

Humming Noises - Usually Caused by Normal Freezer Operation

A soft humming noise is part of normal freezer operation. Most of us are used to the background noise of a refrigerator or freezer humming away.

When it can be a problem…

If you’re hearing a loud humming noise - especially if it is constant - there could be something more sinister at play that needs attention from an appliance repair professional. Possible causes include a compressor issue, dispenser problem, evaporator fan, or ice build-up.

Popping Noise or Cracking Noise From Inside Your Freezer Compartment

Popping sounds often come from the expansion and contraction of freezer parts due to temperature changes. The storage containers and contents of your freezer can also expand and contract resulting in occasional popping sound.

Dripping Noises Are Usually Normal

The sound of dripping water could be a sign of normal water drainage during the defrost cycle. In many freezer configurations, the melting of water droplets hitting the defrost heater can produce a dripping sound.

Freezer Clicking Noises

The primary suspect for clicking noises in your freezer is dirty condenser coils. The compressor makes a clicking noise when it turns on - this is completely normal. Repeated, frequent clicking may indicate that your compressor is constantly being activated. This requires further investigation but it could be due to dirty condenser coils.

A bad start relay is another possible source of clicking that should be investigated by an appliance repair pro.

Buzzing Noise

Freezers can make soft buzzing noises as part of normal operation. For example, as water fills the ice maker it can make a brief buzzing sound. Likewise, your compressor can make what sounds like buzzing as it operates.

When you need to be concerned is when the buzzing gets extremely loud and persistent. This loud buzzing noise can be due to a variety of issues including a bad evaporator fan motor or a problem with your compressor. It is time to call in the appliance repair professionals for a proper diagnosis and repair.

Gurgling Noises From Your Freezer

Similar to the hissing sound described above, you may hear a gurgling noise as refrigerant is flowing through your system. Unless you have a refrigerant leak, a gurgling sound usually isn’t a big cause for concern.

Creaking Noises

Creaking noises usually occur when the freezer or refrigerator unit is not level with the ground, causing vibration.

Freezer Groaning Noises

Groaning noises are typically pretty normal and you’re most likely to hear them as the freezer’s compressor shuts off.

Associated Freezer Issues

Here we discuss many different types of issues that can lead to your freezer making unwanted noises.

Dirty Condenser Coils

Cleaning your freezer's condenser coils can help prevent hissing noises. Over time, dust and debris may accumulate on the coils, putting strain on the freezer system. Regularly check and clean the coils to maintain optimal performance.

How to Clean the Condenser Coil on a Refrigerator

Learn how to clean the condenser coil on a refrigerator with this tutorial.

Frost Buildup

Excess frost in your freezer can also contribute to hissing noises. To remedy this, defrost the freezer according to the manufacturer's instructions. This will remove any ice accumulation and help maintain efficient cooling.

Most fridge freezer combos are frost free - which means they have auto defrost. If you have a frost free freezer and you’re experiencing excessive ice buildup, it is likely that there is a problem with your auto defrost system. One of the following components is likely to blame: defrost heater, defrost timer, control board.

Time to defrost the freezer!

Fans and Motors

Fans and motors in freezers play essential roles in maintaining proper temperatures. Examine both the evaporator fan and condenser fan for any signs of wear or damage that may cause hissing sounds.

The evaporator fan motor may require lubrication or replacement if it generates excessive noise. Similarly, issues with the condenser fan motor can result in hissing or other unusual sounds. Inspect the fan motor for indications of wear or reduced lubrication, and address these concerns as needed.

Dealing with Freezer Noises

Dealing with freezer noises starts with understanding some basic steps to reduce or eliminate the issues.

Leveling the Freezer

First, check your freezer's leveling screws. A freezer must be level to work optimally. If it isn't, the noise can be from vibrations. Adjust the leveling screws at the bottom of your freezer by turning them until it is stable and level on the floor. This can help minimize vibrations and lower the noise.

Regular Maintenance

Keeping the freezer clean and maintained is key to avoiding noise problems. Regularly clean the filter and remove any debris or dust that may have built up. A dirty filter can obstruct airflow and cause the freezer to work harder, making more noise. You should also clean the condenser coils regularly, as dirty coils can lead to a noisier operation.

Don’t forget to give your fridge some TLC!

Replacing Faulty Components

If noise issues persist, it may be time to replace any faulty components. Start by checking the fan motor, as a worn or poorly lubricated motor can result in humming or buzzing noises. Your best bet is to call in a professional to replace all faulty parts.

After the fan motor, consider other possible causes of noise, such as a faulty start relay or a problem with the refrigerant. Getting a professional to replace these components can help fix the noise and keep your freezer running smoothly.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I stop my freezer from making noise?

First, identify the source of the noise. Common causes include dirty condenser coils, defective evaporator or condenser fans, and improper leveling. Clean the coils and ensure the freezer is level. If the issue persists, consider seeking professional help.

Should my fridge freezer make a noise all the time?

Some noises are normal during your freezer's operation, such as humming or buzzing from the compressor and clicking from the defrost timer. However, constant or excessively loud noise could indicate a problem. In that case, inspect the components and consult a professional if needed.

Frank Salvatore

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!

About Me
Frank Salvatore
I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!
Learn More About Me
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