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Why is my refrigerator freezing food and how to stop it

Kitchentip | 5 minute read |

Discovering frozen food in your refrigerator can be frustrating. Whether it's fruits, vegetables, meats, or dairy, accidental food freezing is a real hassle. But don't worry, we're here to help. In this guide, we'll explain why your refrigerator might freeze food and share practical tips to prevent it.

The reasons your refrigerator freezes food

 

Understanding why your refrigerator becomes an unexpected icebox can help you solve the problem. Here's a simple look at the main reasons:

1. Thermostat trouble

Sometimes, you may accidentally change your refrigerator's temperature settings when arranging groceries. If it's set too high, your food might freeze. Fading thermostat markings can make controlling the temperature difficult, leading to icy surprises and higher energy bills.

Thermostat trouble

 

2. Gaps in the door seal

The gasket, which seals your refrigerator door, prevents heat from getting inside. If it's damaged or leaking, your refrigerator will run continuously, causing food to freeze. You can check this by trapping a piece of paper in the door; if it slips out easily, it's time to replace the gasket.

3. Dirty coils


Coils like the heat exchanger, condenser, and evaporator help your refrigerator stay cool. Dust and dirt on these coils make your refrigerator work harder, leading to overcooling and frozen food. Regularly cleaning the coils as per your owner's manual can prevent this.

 

4. Thermostat problems


Thermostats are supposed to control the cooling cycle accurately. In a well-working refrigerator, the thermostat stops cooling when the set temperature is reached. But if it develops a fault, it may not switch off, making it too cold inside.

5. Damper issues


For refrigerator-freezer combos, the damper controls cold air flow from the freezer to the refrigerator. Damper problems can allow too much cold air in, making the refrigerator too cold. If you think the damper is an issue, it's best to consult a professional technician.


How to prevent your refrigerator from freezing food: A step-by-step guide


Nobody wants frozen groceries. If your refrigerator keeps freezing your food, try these simple steps to fix it:

1. Step 1: Check the refrigerator temperature

Your refrigerator should be around 38-40°F (3.33-4.44 degrees Celsius) to keep food fresh without freezing it.

If it's still freezing, follow these steps as below:
  • Adjust the temperature controls as recommended by the manufacturer
  • Wait for 24 hours and check your food again
  • If it's still freezing, make more adjustments

In addition, you can also use a separate thermometer in the refrigerator for precise measurements.

Read more tips on how to keep your food fresh:


2. Step 2: Arrange food wisely

Refrigerators need good airflow to keep the temperature consistent. Don't block air vents with food, especially on the top shelf. Make sure there's at least five inches (12.7 cm) of space around air vents. If you notice freezing on the top shelf, move it to improve airflow. For bottom-freezer refrigerators, adjust the shelf placement if the bottom freezes. Keeping your refrigerator well-stocked helps maintain temperatures and saves energy.

Arrange food wisely

3. Step 3: Check the door seals


Magnetic door seals keep your refrigerator airtight. If they lose magnetism or get dirty, warm air can get in, causing freezing. Open and gently close your refrigerator door to check if it seals properly. If it doesn't, clean the seals with mild detergent and water, or replace them if damaged.

>>>Read more: How to clean your fridge easily in the right way – complete guide

4. Step 4: Inspect ice maker settings


Sometimes, an active but disconnected ice maker can overcool the refrigerator as it keeps trying to make ice. If you don't use the ice maker, turn it off using the on/off switch or metal feeler arm (if available). For touchscreen refrigerators, navigate the settings to disable the ice maker.

5. Step 5: Check control boards


If none of the previous steps works, it might be a problem with the control boards, specifically the main control board and temperature control board. While these rarely malfunction, they can be the issue. Before replacing them, inspect all other components. If you're unsure, seek professional help and get specific replacement parts if needed.

6. Step 6: Contact the manufacturer if needed


If your refrigerator is under warranty, reach out to the manufacturer for expert help. They can offer troubleshooting guidance and send a technician if necessary. For out-of-warranty refrigerators, consider a reputable appliance repair service.

By following these steps, you can ensure your refrigerator runs smoothly, keeping your food fresh without any unwanted freezing surprises.

Note: Always consult your refrigerator's user manual for specific instructions and handle appliance components with care.


FAQs about keeping your refrigerator from freezing food

Electrolux refrigerators: your solution to fresh food

 

As we strive to address the issue of food waste and promote sustainability, Electrolux refrigerators play a crucial role. By keeping your food at the perfect temperature without freezing it, these appliances extend the lifespan of your groceries. This means less food waste, fewer trips to the store, and ultimately, a smaller environmental footprint.

With Electrolux refrigerators, you can trust that your food stays fresh, contributing to a more sustainable and eco-friendlier lifestyle. By preventing food from freezing, these appliances not only save you money but also help protect our planet.

Electrolux offers two key features to prevent food from freezing:

  • EvenTemp technology: This innovative technology minimizes temperature fluctuations by cooling each shelf individually, ensuring a consistent temperature throughout the refrigerator.
  • TwinTech cooling: By maintaining stable temperature and humidity levels, TwinTech cooling prevents overcooling and keeps your food at the perfect temperature.
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