Skip links

Why is my Freezer Not Getting Cold? 9 Reasons Why Your Freezer is not Working

A working freezer is an integral part of most of our kitchens. It serves as a place to store perishable food for more extended periods safely and have snacks and desserts readily available. It’s an excellent kitchen helper until it stops working. Suddenly the pizzas, ice cream, and frozen fruit and vegetables thaw, threatening to go bad. You could be looking at hundreds of dollars destined for the trash.

This blog will look at reasons for your freezer not getting cold or not working.

Why is My Freezer Not Getting Cold?

Let’s first look at how a freezer works to understand why it might not get cold. 

Most freezers use a cooling pipe filled with fast-evaporating liquid coolant. This process involves compressing, condensing, and evaporating the refrigerant gas through the freezer’s mechanical components, which include the 

  • condenser, which changes the gas refrigerant into liquid refrigerant,
  • compressor, which pumps refrigerant gas to the other freezer parts,
  • evaporator, which moves the heat from the freezer to the condenser,
  • filter, which filters out undesirable particles from the refrigerant, and the
  • accumulator, which stores extra refrigerant to compensate for some of the loss during the compressing, condensing, and evaporating process. 

Top 9 Reasons for the Freezer Not Working/Freezing

Whether you have a chest, upright, or combination refrigerator/freezer, they all work the same, and often, there are a few usual suspects for any freezer that’s stopped working. It could be caused by user error, regular wear, and tear, or a broken part. 

Here are some of the most common causes for your freezer not freezing.


One of the most common reasons for your freezer not cooling properly is shelves that are packed too tightly. Overpacked freezers can block the airflow required to circulate the freezing air in your freezer. Especially if the evaporator fan is blocked, this can lead to the problem arising. Try to reorganize your freezer and check if the food is still good, especially toward the bottom or back of the freezer.

freezer overpacking scaled

Frost buildup

Another factor that can block circulation is excess frost buildup. Built-up ice can clog vents and coils, which can prevent air circulation. Breaking down the ice can remove that congestion and allow your freezer to return to its proper temperature.

Please note that most modern freezers have an automatic defrost process, so if you see ice building up, it could be a sign that some parts may need replacing. In this case, contacting a professional is essential.

Dirty condenser coils

If you have a combination refrigerator-freezer with cooling issues, dirty condenser coils are a widespread cause. Dust and dirt buildup can reduce the cooling capacity of your freezer. Cleaning the coils with your vacuum and a crevice attachment is easy.

Please note that if you have a chest or upright freezer, the coils are inside the freezer walls and cannot cause a malfunction.

Malfunctioning start relays

Your compressor’s power is provided by a start relay. A malfunctioning relay will prevent the compressor from running and cause the temperature to rise. As there are no universal signs for a broken start relay, and the signs vary between models, we recommend scheduling a service technician.

Broken evaporator fan motors

As mentioned above, the evaporator fan is responsible for cold air circulation throughout your freezer. If the motor stops due to a malfunction, so will the circulation. With most freezers, the fan motor will shut off when you open the door, so to check if it is working correctly, open the freezer door and manually hold down the freezer door switch. If the motor does not turn on, it may need to be replaced.

Defective thermostats

Your freezer’s thermostat could be another cause for your freezer to stop freezing. This thermostat is the control hub of your freezer as it controls several parts of your freezer necessary to regulate the temperature, such as the compressor, the evaporator fan motor, and the condenser fan motor.

To determine if the thermostat is the cause of a freezer not getting cold enough, set the thermostat to the lowest setting and then dial it up to the highest setting. If you don’t hear a click, the thermostat must be replaced.

Worn condenser fan motors

Another reason for your freezer failing to stay cold is a broken condenser fan motor. This fan draws cool air through the condenser and over your freezer’s coils. A broken motor will cause the inner temperature of your freezer to rise.

Improperly sealed gaskets

If your freezer isn’t cold enough anymore, old gaskets that don’t seal properly are among the most common causes. The gasket keeps the cold air in your freezer and your home’s warm air locked out. If the gasket does not correctly seal, it will cause cold air to leak out and the temperature inside to rise. 

A straightforward way to check your gasket is to put a piece of paper flat against the gasket and close the freezer’s door. If you tug on the paper with little to no resistance, the seals are loose and need to be replaced.

Broken compressor

Finally, if you have checked all of the above and still have not found the root of the problem, the issue might be the compressor. The easiest way to determine if it is the source of the issues is to listen for its familiar humming sound. You’ll have to pay attention for at least 30 minutes. If this humming sound does not appear during this time, the compressor might not be working correctly.

You Might Also Like: 6 Reasons Why Your Freezer Door Is Not Sealing

Why is the fridge working but not the freezer?

While your fridge and freezer share many components, a few only serve your freezer, such as its thermostat or the evaporator fan. Another possible reason could be the gaskets around the freezer door not sealing correctly anymore and losing cold air.

How long do freezers last?

Typically, freezers are among the longest-lasting kitchen appliances if properly maintained. Freezers last anywhere from 12 to 20 years on average, but you can extend their life by following the freezer maintenance tips below.

Tips for Freezer Maintenance

There are a few proven ways to help your freezer do its icy job without interruptions.

  • Familiarize yourself with the maintenance instructions in the owner’s manual. Most models will come with clear instructions on maintaining it and fixing certain things.
  • Check the freezer’s thermostat now and then. If your model does not have a thermostat, check the temperature with a thermometer. The optimal temperature for a freezer is 0 degrees Fahrenheit or -18 degrees Celsius.
  • Regularly clean the condenser coils with a vacuum and crevice attachment to prevent dust and dirt buildup.
  • Keep the interior clean. Use a damp rag and some dish liquid to keep your freezer nice and sparkling.

With these simple maintenance tips, you can help your freezer to remain calm, cool, and collected.

Contact Professional for Your Freezer Repair

Many factors can influence why your freezer has given up on freezing, some of which are simple fixes, while others require an experienced professional to assess and repair.

At iCare Appliance Repair, our technicians are factory-trained and licensed to service almost every major model and brand. We offer same-day and after-hours repair services that include evenings and late hours. Contact us today at (647) 370-2828 or complete our convenient online form to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my Frigidaire Fridge Freezing but not Cooling?

While your Frigidaire fridge and freezer share many components, a few only serve your freezer, such as its thermostat or the evaporator fan. Another possible reason could be the gaskets around the freezer door not sealing correctly anymore and losing cold air.

Why is my Frigidaire Freezer not Working?

There are many causes for a Frigidaire freezer to stop working. It could be as simple as an overpacked freezer compartment or dust accumulation on the condenser coils but also some more complex problems with the evaporator fan motor or the compressor.

Why Would a Freezer Suddenly Stop Working?

If your freezer suddenly stops working, it could be a problem with the compressor or the motor of the evaporator fan. Maybe the thermostat has stopped working, or the start relay broke. Contact the professionals of iCare Appliance Repair at (647) 370-2828 or fill out our convenient online form to find out how we can help you.

How Do You Fix a Freezer that Doesn’t Freeze?

There are a few things you can check yourself to determine what the problem with your freezer is. Higher up in this blog, you can find some helpful tips on checking different factors that could be responsible.

About the author