A nightmare! We open the refrigerator door, unsuspecting, and thick ice glaciers roll against us with a crash from inside… Well, it is usually not that drastic. However, the phenomenon that the refrigerator is gradually icing up should be well known. And it gets annoying over time. But what exactly could be the reason why the fridge is icing up? Is the device broken? Or did we do something wrong? In this overview, we get to the bottom of the causes and reveal the five most important reasons why the fridge freezes!

Ice build-up in the refrigerator

The problem

Modern refrigerators today have numerous technical tricks that are intended to prevent precisely one thing: the refrigerator from icing up. But automatic defrosting and NoFrost technology are often only found in costly devices. And even they cannot always prevent the fridge from icing up. In any case, owners of mid-range appliances usually have no choice but to turn the refrigerator down regularly and defrost it by hand.

Who exactly is faced with this problem no longer needs to despair? Because there are excellent reasons why the refrigerator keeps icing up. Usually, one of the following five reasons is behind it:

  1. Fridge badly placed
  2. Ventilation routes blocked
  3. Fridge set incorrectly
  4. The door seal is broken.
  5. The door does not close properly.

Several of the reasons listed can be to blame for the refrigerator to ice up at the same time. So to get everyone on the track, we want to introduce them again in more detail.

1. Badly placed refrigerator

The simplest, but also the most trustworthy reason why the refrigerator keeps icing up is to be found in the poor placement of the device. This problem can be quickly recognized with a keen eye. If, for example, the refrigerator and oven are right next to each other in the kitchen, warm air from the oven can quickly get inside the refrigerator if it is opened more often after baking. This is a double problem. Because warm air contains a lot of moisture, which then settles in the refrigerator. Besides, the compressor has to cool down properly so that the condensing water freezes directly to the rear wall.

The contract is the problem because there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Because most of us have a built-in refrigerator. And that cannot be moved easily. The solution has to start with the planning of the kitchen. It is essential to avoid exposing the fridge to high ambient temperatures. Because even then, the compressor has to keep re-firing. So avoid locations with intense sunshine as well as those next to heat-generating devices!

2. Ventilation routes blocked

There is another reason why it is worth taking another close look at the outside of the refrigerator. If the refrigerator keeps icing up, it could also be because the device cannot “breathe” properly. The heat that is extracted from the interior by the cooling circuit does not simply disappear, and it is expelled at the rear of the device. If the ventilation slots are blocked here, the waste heat cannot escape and builds up in the device. The compressor continues to fire, which is why there is increased ice formation. Also, the technology suffers from this problem in the long run.

So if the fridge freezes again, you should immediately check whether the device is free enough to be able to dissipate the waste heat. It is always bad if, for example, boxes or other objects are placed on top of a refrigerator, or folded cardboard is pushed behind it. Also, make sure that the refrigerator is not too close to the wall. With a little care, you can get this problem under control quickly.

3. Incorrect adjustment of the refrigerator

If an increasingly thick layer of ice forms on the back wall of the refrigerator, you should check the temperature setting. If the refrigerator is set too cold, the compressor will start up again and again at short intervals, which is why the rear wall becomes very cold. Also, the cold air inside can only absorb a little moisture. The result: The moisture condenses at the coldest point in the device, and that is the rear wall. An incorrect setting can be noticed even before the refrigerator freezes. As a rule, food will freeze directly further back in the refrigerator at too low temperatures.

The problem is exacerbated by incorrect handling of the device. Warm dishes that are leftover from cooking are often placed in the refrigerator immediately to keep them fresh. But this, in turn, means that a lot of moisture gets into the interior. Fruit and vegetables also give off a lot of moisture. It is also hardly helpful if the drain of the refrigerator is clogged. In this case, water will also form at the bottom of the fridge.

4. Broken door seal

Humidity and loss of cold also play a major role in the following problem. However, the cause lies more in the natural wear and tear of the device. In the course of its use, a refrigerator is opened and closed hundreds of times. The door seal will suffer from this over time. In addition, the material is inevitably subject to an aging process that makes it rigid and brittle. The seal cracks and loses its elasticity over time. As a result, there is a permanent exchange of air between the interior of the device and the outside air. Moisture penetrates, and the compressor has to cool down continuously.

If the refrigerator should freeze up regularly, the door seal must also be subjected to a detailed inspection. In the worst case, the problem could hardly be overlooked anyway, since the seal would then already be hanging limply from its holder. The only thing that helps here is an exchange. However, this is not as difficult as one might fear. In our instructions for changing the refrigerator seal, we show you step by step what to do.

5. The door does not close properly

Since we are already fiddling with the refrigerator door, we should now consider another possible problem. After all, there is a constant exchange of air, not only in the case of a broken seal. Maybe the door is just open! So you should try out carefully whether the door still closes properly at all. If it no longer snaps shut or even pushes open again, one of the door hinges is probably defective. The problem can be resolved immediately because an open refrigerator door not only ensures that the refrigerator freezes up quickly. The device also quickly mutates into an energy hog and drives up electricity costs.

Fortunately, a defective hinge is also not a problem, for which service has to be tried. Because it can also be mastered well on your own, however, it must be ensured that all hinges are always replaced at the same time. Otherwise, the problem could recur very soon. How exactly this problem can be got under control is described in detail in our instructions for changing the refrigerator hinge.

Problem solved?

That would name the five most common reasons why the refrigerator freezes up. Of course, a faulty control system could also be the cause. Remedying this deficiency would, however, involve additional complications. Therefore, it is worth checking first whether the problem can be traced back to one of the causes mentioned. Because then a solution would be within reach.

If you would like to find out more about the subject or have completely other worries with the refrigerator, you should not miss a look at our guide to repairing your refrigerator yourself. Many problems can be fixed in a surprisingly simple manner. And that, in turn, saves a lot of money.

Is the temperature set incorrectly?
The door seal is sagging
Does the refrigerator door close properly?