Your refrigerator is meant to keep things cold, but what if it’s freezing everything instead? Defrosting food from your fridge when preparing dinner is a huge inconvenience and wastes valuable time. An easier solution is to figure out why your refrigerator is freezing food in the first place.

The appliance professionals at Mr. Appliance have some advice to help you pinpoint the cause for this inconvenience and solve it. We also have refrigerator repair services ready to address any complications with your refrigerator, should you need them.

Why is My Fridge Freezing Everything?

If your refrigerator is freezing food, it’s a problem that must be addressed. Here’s why your fridge may be acting colder than usual:

General Causes for Why Your Refrigerator is Freezing Food

  • Low-temperature settings: Your fridge should be 2 or 3 degrees Celsius. Temperatures lower than that can leave you with frozen food. 

  • Blocked air vents: Is there food blocking the air vents in your fridge? If so, most cold air from the vent goes to those foods. Needless to say, the excess cold air can make your food freeze. 

  • Faulty door seals: When the door of your refrigerator does not close fully, cold air escapes, and warm air enters. Your appliance responds by lowering its temperature to counteract the warm air. The lower temps can easily freeze your food. 

  • Disconnected ice maker: If your ice maker is disconnected from its water supply, it lowers its temp in order to make ice. The colder air from the ice maker could be entering your fridge.

  • Dirty refrigerator coils: Dust and dirt can stop your refrigerator coils from doing their job by preventing the release of heat. When this happens, your fridge works harder to stay cold by lowering its temps. 

  • Damaged damper: Freezer/fridge combos often have dampers to separate the air that circulates in the freezer and refrigerator. If the damper is broken, bitter-cold air can creep into your refrigerator. 

How to Prevent Your Refrigerated Food from Freezing

  • Verify your temperature settings: Remember that the temperature for your fridge should be set at 2 or 3 degrees Celsius to prevent you from having this issue again.

  • Rearrange the food in your fridge: Ensure that your food is not sitting in front of the air vents to promote maximum air circulation. 

  • Repair your door seals: Replace any cracked or damaged door seals to avoid letting warm air in your refrigerator. 

  • Shut off your ice maker: Shutting off your ice maker ensures that the ice maker can’t push freezing air into your fridge. Consider doing this for a couple of days as a test to see if this solves the problem.

  • Wipe down your refrigerator’s coils: Keep your coils clean so that they can do their job (maintaining your fridge’s temperature setting). To clean coils located in the back of the fridge, unplug your appliance, and scoot it away from the wall. If your coils are on the front of your refrigerator, remove the panel to access them. Vacuum the dust from the coils, wiping away any extra dirt with a clean cloth (be sure to exercise caution with this step, as the coils will likely be hot).

Why is My Fridge Freezing Up at the Back?

It’s not uncommon for the back wall of a refrigerator to freeze. While this may not be cause to run out and buy a new fridge, it’s certainly a frustrating problem to have. 

Back-wall frost can be attributed to any of the factors listed below.

Why the Back of Your Refrigerator is Frozen

  • Your thermostat is higher than it needs to be: Be careful about turning up your fridge’s thermostat, as condensation can develop. When that condensation freezes, it turns to ice. 

  • Your refrigerator door stays open: If you or your family members keep the refrigerator door open often, you could be letting in moist air. That air clings directly to the back wall, the coldest part of your fridge.

  • The door is not working properly: Air with moisture can easily enter your fridge if the door is broken. When that humid air travels to the back wall of your fridge, it freezes. 

  • You put hot food in the fridge without letting it cool: Warm or hot food changes the temperature in your refrigerator. The heat creates condensation that clings to the back wall of your fridge. 

How to Keep the Back Wall of Your Refrigerator from Freezing

  • Lower your thermostat: Make sure your fridge’s thermostat is 2 or 3 degrees Celsius. 

  • Avoid opening the door excessively: A cold and moist air mixture creates frozen condensation.

  • Check to see if your door is broken: Examine your refrigerator door’s magnets, hinges, and gasket to make sure none of these things are allowing warm air to sneak in.

  • Allow hot or warm foods to cool: To avoid changing the temperature in your fridge, let hot food cool off before storing it.

Why are Vegetables Freezing in the Refrigerator Drawer?

When you put your vegetables in the crisper drawer, you probably aren’t trying to freeze them. Yet sometimes, this does happen to fresh vegetables. The solutions to this problem are quite simple and easy to implement.

Why Your Veggies are Freezing in the Refrigerator Drawer

  • The temperature setting is too low: Are you able to control the temperature of your crisper drawer? If so, check to see if yours is too low. 

  • There isn’t enough food in the drawer: Your drawer should be filled halfway so that the cold air can be evenly distributed.

How to Prevent Your Veggies from Freezing in Your Drawer

  • Raise the drawer’s temperature: Your drawer’s temperature should be between 2 and 5 degrees Celsius. 

  • Add more veggies to your drawer: When your drawer isn’t at least halfway full, there’s not enough food to absorb your fridge’s cold air.

Why is Everything in My Freezer Covered in Frost?

Freezer frost smells unpleasant and consumes space; to say it’s an annoyance is an understatement. Luckily, there are easy ways to prevent this inconvenience. 

Why Your Freezer is Covered in Frost

  • Your food is warmer than the freezer: It’s a given that any food that isn’t frozen is going to be warmer than your freezer. When not-as-cold food goes in the cold freezer, it may form condensation, which later turns into frost. 

  • Oops! Your freezer door is open: Moisture from the air outside of your freezer can create frost if it constantly has a chance to enter the freezer.

  • Your temperature settings are off: If your temps are too high, you’ll produce humidity that later turns to frost. Or your freezer temperatures may be set low enough to produce frost. 

How to Prevent Frost from Forming in Your Freezer

  • Use freezer bags: Freezer-safe bags or containers deter ice from forming on or around your food. You should remove as much air as possible before sealing.

  • Look for cracks or breaks in your door: As long as there is a way for room-temperature air to seep into your freezer, there’s a chance for frost to accumulate. Examine your freezer door to see if it may be broken or is not sealing properly. 

  • Check your temperature settings: In general, your freezer should be set at -18 degrees Celsius, but the model of your freezer, as well as the environment, play a part in how high or low your temperature settings should be.

Let Mr. Appliance Repair Your Faulty Refrigerator or Freezer 

Whether you are preparing meals for one, two, or an entire family, taking additional time to defrost food from your refrigerator can become a time-consuming hassle. Plus, no one should have to eat frozen apples and be happy about it. If your refrigerator freezes food or gathers frost, allow the certified appliance professionals at your local Mr. Appliance to repair it for you. We have experience repairing a wide variety of appliances, including all the major brands and some that are not as well known. You can count on our team to get your appliance working properly again. And with the Neighbourly Done Right Promise™, your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Refrigerator Brands We Service

  • Whirlpool

  • Samsung

  • Frigidaire

  • LG

  • GE

  • KitchenAid

Call the Pros When You Need Help

It feels great when you can fix an appliance issue on your own. Unfortunately, not every problem has a DIY solution. Regular maintenance from Mr. Appliance experts will help keep your appliances working efficiently throughout the year and ensure your household runs smoothly daily. If you need emergency appliance repair or would like to setup a maintenance schedule, give us a call at (888) 988-5597 or schedule an appointment online today!

FAQs About Refrigerators Freezing Food

What number should a fridge be on?

Many refrigerators have number dials. To figure out the relationship between these number settings and temperatures, you’ll need to refer to your appliance’s instruction manual. Generally, your refrigerator should be set to 3 degrees Celsius. 

Is a fridge colder on 1 or 5?

Usually, 5 is the coldest setting on a refrigerator, while 1 is the warmest.

How do you keep salads from freezing in the refrigerator?

There are three main ways to prevent your salad lettuce from freezing:

  • If it’s in a crisper drawer, make sure the drawer is at least half full so that all the cold air isn’t blowing directly on your salad.
  • If it’s on a shelf and not in a drawer, make sure that your fridge’s temperature settings are set correctly. Also, check to make sure the salad isn’t right in front of an interior air vent at the back of your refrigerator.