My Freezer Is Too Cold

August 8, 2023
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Help! My Freezer is Too Cold!

A freezer that’s too cold could make your freezer work too hard and result in a shorter overall lifetime for your freezer or fridge freezer combo. Additionally, the energy required to keep a freezer at temps lower than necessary can be costly. A less obvious consequence of a freezer that is colder than necessary is that your frozen food will take much longer to thaw.

Your freezer is a great appliance to store food for a longer time without it spoiling, so you want to maintain it as much as possible. Look at the thermometer and main control board to see if those need replacements and resolve the issue quickly. But you might have a more complex, underlying problem at hand.

How To Check If Your Freezer Is Too Cold

Check your freezer temperature by using a freezer thermometer (you can buy these at the store) or check the built-in thermometer of your fridge and freezer units. The Food and Drug Administration recommends setting freezers to zero degrees Fahrenheit, but food can tolerate sub zero freezers. Try turning the thermometer to zero if programmed lower, which could resolve the issue.

Give your freezer compartment 24 hours to reset and adjust to the temperature change. Increase the setting one degree at a time and give the unit a day to see if it feels any different or if you need to make further adjustments. The freezer has to stabilize. Therefore, it might feel cold regardless of the warmer programmed temperature.

Why Is My Freezer Too Cold?

Here are the most common reasons that may be causing your freezer to run too cold.

Defective Air Damper

The fridge may have a defective air damper, which controls how much cold air moves into the fridge. If damaged, it might not move cold air correctly, making the freezer freeze and the fridge warm. Or, it provides too much cold air because the compressor runs more frequently.

The air damper could be stuck open, especially if you have a freezer and fridge compartment in one unit. If it’s stuck in one position, most of the cold air stays in the freezer. You can remove the vent and replace it, or you can get an appliance repair technician to take a look.

Get their opinion of the appliance service contractor to make sure everything looks to be in order according to the manual. Sometimes it’s plausible and more money-friendly to do DIY repairs. But when dealing with electrical appliances that store precious food, it’s better to save the hassle and get a repairman to fix a problem you can’t locate.

Malfunctioning Temperature Sensor or Thermometer

These devices monitor the whole unit’s temperature and adjust the evaporator fans, damper, and compressor accordingly to send cold air to preserve the food. If they’re not working properly, they can’t make adjustments to maintain the right temperature.

The sensor may only need to be reset, which you can locate in the air inlet. The device should be enclosed in plastic, but double-check the owner’s manual. The booklet should also provide a fault code to reprogram the sensor. If that doesn’t work after inputting those numbers, a professional needs to replace the thermometer.

The thermistor tells the appliance to cool the compartment down when your freezer is too warm. When that component isn’t working or is faulty, the freezer cools below the recommended temperature, even though it’s unnecessary.

Your fridge may have an automatic temperature sensor attached that measures the coldness of your freezer. Confirm the bulb’s position within the fridge. A lot of these problems can be inspected and tested manually. But you might need to get a technician for further appliance repairs.

In the end, you may need a few minor refrigerator repairs, or you could face a bigger problem where you require assistance to get your freezer back to a normal temperature. You don’t want these problems to persist, ruining your expensive cooler and food.

Main Control Board

The controls might be acting up, but you should only address them if you rule out the other issues previously mentioned. Why? If you can't repair the freezer, you must replace it. That can be an expensive, albeit necessary, process.

The main control board is the central part of a freezer that controls every component. If it’s not working, you could experience short circuits, power surges, and additional heat and moisture exposure. Moreover, the compressor or damper could be faulty. These broken elements make your freezer chilly since the control board doesn’t turn on.

A professional technician removes the circuit board and disconnects it from the two wire connectors. Then, they install a new board and set your freezer at a temperature cold enough to freeze your food but not damage the unit.

Get your freezer back in working order with these simple do-it-yourself instructions.

So, Why Is My Fridge Freezing Food?

Multiple causes trigger a colder refrigerator. You could have a faulty temperature sensor, blocked air vents, or leaky door seals.

The primary function of fridges is to keep food cold for safe storage. Your refrigerator temperature must be set below 40 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent the growth of dangerous bacteria on food. An ideal temperature range for a refrigerator is between 36 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit. They shouldn’t freeze, but on rare occasions, they can. If you accidentally set the temperature too low, you might see that some items need to defrost.

Reset the temperature and adjust it via the control panel to a reasonable temperature. The fridge should properly circulate cold air for a consistent temperature, but you must allow room for proper airflow between the freezer and fridge. Rearrange your food evenly so the groceries get more cold air.

Organize your freezer contents for optimal airflow!

The seals around the fridge keep cold air in, and if they’re torn, warped, or worn, they have to work harder to maintain the temperature. Clean, inspect, and replace them as needed.

Finally, the ice maker could be a problem. Be sure to disconnect the water supply if your machine tries but fails to make ice. Locate the on or off switch and adjust accordingly depending on whether you need ice at a specific time of year.

A few key practices must be followed to ensure optimal performance and temperature regulation of your refrigerator. These include reorganizing your food items to promote consistent airflow, performing routine cleaning and seal inspections, and resolving any ice maker issues as soon as possible, such as disconnecting the water supply if necessary. By following these guidelines, you can ensure the efficient operation and longevity of your refrigerator and extend food freshness.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will a freezer that is too cold result in freezer burn?

No, a super cold freezer won’t result in freezer burn. Freezer burn is caused by two things: improperly packaged food stored in your freezer and freezer temperatures that fluctuate above zero degrees Fahrenheit. Keep in mind that repeatedly opening the freezer door on can contribute towards these temperatures fluctuating instead of staying at the proper temperature setting.

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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