Why Is My Refrigerator Freezing?


Did you ever put meat, fruits, milk, veggies, dairy products, or other food products into your fridge but discovered that your refrigerator is freezing food every now and then? Many of us have faced the experience of opening our refrigerators to simply find out a box of berries completely frozen. Accidental refrigerator freezing can actually be catastrophic. Although you can still eat the perishables, particularly if you have cooked them, the water molecules expanded due to freezing. It may change the texture and taste of your food completely.

Although the issue may not be very rare, it does happen. You have no other option left before you rather than thawing your food. The article acts as a guide to know the causes of your fridge freezing food.

Why is your refrigerator freezing food?

A fridge has been specifically designed to ensure that the food is kept cool for storing safely and should never freeze. In case you observe that your fridge is freezing food items, any of the following issues may have caused it to happen:

Door seals are leaky

There are seals around a freezer and fridge doors to ensure that the cold air is kept in. In case either these seals or both of them are leaking, your fridge has to work harder so that a constant temperature is maintained. Sadly though, it can result in a fridge that is extremely cold, leading to frozen food.

Storage of food

Fridges use air vents for the circulation of cold air, as well as to make sure that there is a consistent temperature all through the storage area. To make sure that there is a proper temperature inside- you have to permit space for the proper flow of air between the fridge compartments and the freezer.

In case the air vents are getting blocked by food, it can get more cold air and freeze over time. There is also a possibility that more food should be kept in your refrigerator. When your refrigerator is fully stocked, it can absorb cold air in a better manner. When there is not enough food inside, there is a tendency for the cold air to flow on the fridge’s bottom shelf. It may then freeze the food items placed there.

Temperature settings

Even before you do anything else, check the temperature settings of your refrigerator. Did you know the dial may not always be the precise technique to regulate temperature? Thus, even when it looks to be adequately high, other factors could be contributing to freezing the stored food.

When the temperature is set too low, you may want to increase it a bit. However, be cautious so that it is not set excessively high. Also, the ideal range of temperature for the fridge’s interior should be between 38 and 42 degrees Fahrenheit. You may not wish to see your food getting too warm and become a breeding ground for bacteria and other harmful microbes.

In case your refrigerator is an ancient one or is not good enough, use a thermometer so that you get a more precise temperature reading. It is easy to spot fancy digital wireless thermometers or even cheap analog ones so that the temperature inside can be monitored properly without opening the fridge door.

Air-duct positioned in the incorrect area

Newer models of refrigerators usually have an adjustable air-duct. Typically, it is pointed to the storage space designated for milk so that it can be colder than the other parts of the fridge. There could be a possibility that the air-duct is positioned in the incorrect area.

How to prevent your refrigerator from freezing food?

In case your food is found freezing in the fridge, here are some steps to resolve the problem:

1. Food can be rearranged

Ensure that the food kept inside the fridge is not touching the air vents. Also, try to distribute the items more uniformly throughout the fridge. Alternatively, you can store more food products inside your refrigerator.

After you have identified the problem area, you can check whether it is close to a vent. A majority of refrigerators feature a cooling vent either above or on the top shelf’s sides. It is where the cold air mostly comes from. Keeping your food items away from this area can prevent them from freezing.

In case you find that the door shelf is the actual problem area, its position may be adjusted. Some older models of refrigerators, which are usually side-by-side, have an air vent that facilitates the flow of cold air into the refrigerator from the freezer. The outlet is typically set on the wall, which separates the freezer and the refrigerator. It will possibly blow excessive cold air over all the places around it. The shelves can be relocated to stay away from this freezing cold air.

A bottom-freezer fridge model’s popularity has gone up by leaps and bounds in modern homes. Here, you will observe that the major problem areas can be identified around the fridge compartment’s bottom. However, as mentioned earlier, it can be because fewer food items are being stored inside the refrigerator.

2. Check the door seals of your fridge

If you feel that the doors of your fridge are leaking, spend some time to inspect and clean those door seals. In case you find them worn, warped, or torn, it is time to replace them as fast as possible. Not only will you prevent your fridge from freezing food items, but you can also save energy.

3. Check the settings of the freezer

Why is your refrigerator freezing food even though you moved the food away from the air ducts? Your freezer could be the culprit in such a case. One of the most important factors attributing to frozen food could be the freezer-orientation of your refrigerator. A bottom-freezer refrigerator can be especially a trouble-maker.

A feasible solution may be to turn up the temperature settings of your freezer, although you should apply caution about not increasing it too much. If the temperature is above 0 degrees Fahrenheit, it can help bacteria to grow, as well as, lead to spoilage of food even inside a freezer.

A second alternative is to ensure that the ice maker is not running constantly. It could also make the freezer excessively cold, thereby freezing refrigerated food items.

4. Change temperature setting

In case your food items are freezing, there is a chance that the temperature setting inside was set too low accidentally. It is a common issue, which is leading to your fridge freezing food items placed inside. Set the temperature in the range of 38 and 42 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. Detect problem areas

In case you find your food still freezing after adjusting the temperature settings, make an attempt to ascertain the area inside where it is happening. GE has pointed out that the most prevalent problematic locations tend to be the meat pans and crisper drawers (bottom) of the fridge, door shelves, and the top shelf.

If freezing is restricted to one particular area, taking remedial action is not particularly difficult. You have to simply keep the food items, which are the most temperature-sensitive, away from that area. On the other hand, if you are facing the problem from multiple areas, there could be a more severe problem at hand.

Is your refrigerator freezing food even after following all the steps we mentioned above? It means that time has come to set up a service schedule for your fridge so that a professional mechanic can look into the problem. Such a professional can repair the issue and guide you on the future course of action.