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What to do if your freezer is not freezing

When it comes to food storage, it’s essential to maintain optimal freezer temperatures. Storing food in a broken freezer may put your family at risk, but it can also reduce the lifespan of your appliance as it struggles to maintain optimal temperatures.

The optimal temperature for freezer food storage is 0° F or below. If the temperature is any higher, then you may be experiencing freezer problems. Get ideas and tips for how to fix a freezer with this step-by-step guide.

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Can I fix a freezer on my own?

You may be able to complete simple freeze repairs like lightbulb changes, gasket cleaning and door blockages by consulting the troubleshooting section of your owner's manual. To find product-specific information for your Whirlpool® freezer, visit the Whirlpool Manuals & Literatures page. Professional service is strongly recommended for all other freezer repairs.

How can I get help with my Whirlpool® refrigerator or freezer?

For professional support for your Whirlpool® refrigerator or freezer, visit the Whirlpool Customer Care page. You’ll be able to access appliance-specific resources, order replacement parts and schedule service appointments. You can also visit the Whirlpool YouTube channel for more helpful information. 

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How to fix a freezer that isn’t cold enough

Try these simple fixes first when it comes to repairing your freezer. These common troubleshooting issues may help you avoid a service call. Get a better understanding of how to fix a freezer with these tips and ideas. 

What you’ll need

  • Cleaning agent and cleaning cloths

  • Vacuum with crevice attachment

  • Ice-pick or scraper

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Step 1: Check the setting controls

To be sure your appliance is set to the appropriate temperature, check your appliance’s control settings. However, if your freezer is cold but not freezing, it may be time to inspect the thermostat. Try changing the thermostat from the lowest setting to the highest setting. If you don’t hear a click sound, then a professional replacement is recommended.

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Step 2: Clear out the freezer shelves

Some freezer problems can be solved by clearing out the freezer’s shelves. Overpacking can result in a covered evaporator fan and airflow blockage, so avoid overcrowding your freezer and store only as much food as the dimensions of your appliance will allow. Take the opportunity to wipe down exposed areas to remove lingering dirt, dust or food particles.

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Step 3: Clean the condenser coils

If you’re experiencing freezing issues with your combination refrigerator-freezer, check the state of your condenser coils, which are usually accessible from the back or bottom of the fridge. When dirt builds up on the condenser coils, the cooling capacity of the appliance is weakened. You can use a vacuum with a crevice attachment to remove dust and keep your condenser coils clean.


Be sure to check your Use and Care Guide for model-specific maintenance recommendations.


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Step 4: Eliminate excess frost buildup

Break down built-up ice to release congestion and allow your freezer to reach and maintain an acceptable temperature for proper food storage. When frost layers onto the interior walls of the freezer, the freezer must work harder to maintain its temperature. However, note that because most modern freezers have auto-defrost functionalities, a freezer that is accumulating ice too quickly should be evaluated by a professional.


A white Whirlpool® All Refrigerator in a laundry room

How can I keep my freezer cold and working properly?

In addition to knowing how to properly defrost a freezer, there are several ways to help your kitchen appliances hold their temperatures more effectively:

  • Keep fridge and freezer components clean: Be sure to regularly check condenser coils for dirt build-up.

  • Ensure airways are open: All air vents and fans should be kept clear to ensure optimal airflow and temperature regulation.

  • Eliminate leaky door seals: The seals surrounding your refrigerator and freezer doors keep cold air inside the appliance. Make sure all doors create a tight seal when closed to ensure optimal internal freezer temperatures.
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Get more tips about freezers and freezing food

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