Freezers not only preserve your food for extended periods of time. They save you time, money, and stress, so freezer maintenance is essential. Everyday life can be overwhelming, and being able to take a meal out of your freezer frees up time, so you can do the things that you and your family enjoy. Whether it's a chest freezer or an upright freezer, you always have essential foods at hand to pull out whenever you need them.
After spending time planning and filling your freezer with your favorite foods, it would be a shame if it malfunctions. Taking the time to perform a few steps of preventative maintenance will keep your freezer running efficiently, keeping food safe and conserving energy.
Check the Gaskets
Gaskets are the rubber seals around the freezer door or cover. Frost on the gaskets prevents the door from sealing completely. Without a seal, heat from the room seeps into the freezer. When this happens, the freezer uses more energy to maintain the correct temperature.
Wipe any frost off the gaskets with a soft cloth. Then check them for tears, holes, or leaks.
Clean the Coils and Blower
When the freezer coils build up too much dust, it causes excessive work for the compressor. Too much dust also makes it harder to keep the freezer at its required temperature.
Unplug your freezer for a few minutes. Attach a brush to your vacuum and carefully vacuum the dust that has collected around the freezer's coils. This not only helps your refrigerator work more efficiently, but also allows it to use less electricity, lowering your carbon footprint.
Keep the Freezer Full
Keeping your freezer full helps maintain the temperature inside the freezer. When placing your food inside, be careful not to pack it too tight. You want the air to circulate freely around your food.
Clean the Freezer Interior
Wipe out your freezer with a baking soda and warm water mixture. This helps remove any odors. Also, check around the door seals for mold and mildew caused by moisture.
Clean them off with cloth dipped in a bleach and water solution. This kills mold and removes any areas stained by mildew.
Check the Internal Temperature
Use a freezer thermometer to check the internal temperature. The optimal temperature for a freezer is 0° F (-18° C). If you see any frost near the door gaskets, it means outside air is getting into the freezer. If you see excessive frost, the temperature might be too low.
Some freezers like this Midea model are equipped with a convenient external electronic temperature display. This lets you see the accurate internal temperature of the freezer. Since you don't have to open it, the food won't be exposed to warm air from the outside.
Defrost When Ice Builds Up
Regular freezer maintenance includes defrosting ice buildup. The reason ice crystals form in your freezer is that whenever you open the door, warm air and moisture get inside. Over time, the frost builds up and blocks the air vents. This makes your freezer work harder and use more energy.
Follow these steps to defrost your freezer. Before starting this process, store the food in coolers or the refrigerator.
- Unplug the freezer.
- Keep towels handy to wipe up the water.
- Open the door and let the ice melt.
- After the ice melts, wipe out the interior of the freezer and around the floor.
- Turn it on and wait for it to reach the right temperature.
- Put your food back inside.
- Some newer freezers, such as this Beko model are equipped with Frost Free Technology. In fact, several modern freezers feature automatic defrost, which saves you time because you never have to defrost the freezer.
Keep Out of Extreme Temperature Zones
Living in an area that gets extreme heat or cold affects the internal temperature of a freezer located in a garage or basement. If your freezer is in the garage and the temperature drops below freezing, the compressor might fail to turn on. The same is true if your freezer is in a garage in hot weather. For these reasons, the best place to station your freezer is in your home, where the temperature is consistent.
If you don't have space for a freezer in your home, some select freezer models are built specifically to be ''garage ready.'' One example designed for garages is this GE model. It's equipped with a Turbo Freeze feature, which is a fast freeze option. It also ensures a set internal temperature.
Check Owner's Manual For Additional Tips
Always check your freezer manufacturer's manual for specific freezer maintenance tips. Your freezer's manufacturer understands all the features of your model and makes precise maintenance recommendations.
How often should freezers be cleaned?
It is recommended that you give your freezer a deep cleaning approximately every 2-3 months. This can prevent mold and mildew from forming, compromising your food’s quality and prevent odors.
What causes ice buildup in freezer?
Ice builds up when moisture enters the freezer compartment meets the coils inside the appliance. Moisture condenses in cold temperatures and eventually freezes, creating the ice crystals which form frost.