Why Is My Refrigerator Freezing? – Top Reasons

It is not uncommon for refrigerators to freeze things they shouldn’t. When this happens, you should know that there is something wrong with your fridge.

Why is my refrigerator freezing

A refrigerator that is too cold is a problem for the owner. Not to worry, a freezing refrigerator is one of the common complaints most fridge owners have. Although there could be several possibilities for this, we will narrow down the common ones for you.

Check The Settings

The first thing you should do before fussing over the fridge is to check the temperature settings. Although unintentionally, we sometimes adjust the dial in a way that encourages the freeze.

Not your fault, though, since the dial is not the best way to regulate the temperature. Hence, check the temperature settings for irregularities.

If the temperature setting is too low, increase it considerably. However, be careful not to set it too high. We recommend that you stay within 38-42 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you think a freezing refrigerator is bad, wait till you see what happens when your fridge is too warm. It breeds microbes and bacteria. So, not too high and not too low.

For an old fridge, use a separate thermometer for a more accurate reading. You can buy an external thermometer so you can conveniently monitor your refrigerator’s temperature without ever opening the fridge.

Check For Other Common Problems

If the freezing persists after turning up the temperature setting, you may need to be more specific by identifying common problem areas. Some of the common reasons for refrigerator freezing include:

Thermostat Error

The thermostat comes with markings on it that let you measure the temperature you want. However, the markings erase over time. Consequently, you can unintentionally set it too high. Besides freezing everything, it ultimately causes more energy use.

Apart from human error, it can be due to a faulty thermostat. The thermostat is designed to function automatically and trigger cooling when necessary. Hence, when it is defective, it won’t regulate its operations as it should.

If you discover this error, we recommend you contact a professional for a quick fix. However, if the markings on the thermostat have faded, you can make new markings so that you can track the measurement.

Faulty Gasket

The refrigerator gasket refers to a lining located at the door that creates a seal. The compartment seal traps heat between the refrigerator and the room; hence, it prevents heat exchange. By implication, when the gasket is faulty, there will be no system to prevent heat exchange.

A damaged or leaking gasket will drive the refrigerator into continuous operation to compensate. This will freeze everything in the fridge. To fix the fault, check the seal on the freezer door. If it is worn, ripped, or cracked, replace the seal with a new one.

Reasons why refrigerator is freezing

Alternatively, you can perform a test to see if the gasket is faulty or not. Look for a piece of paper and trap it between the doors. After this, try to pull the paper without opening the door.

If the paper does not hold in place but slides out, it indicates a bad gasket. Needless to say, you need to change the gasket. If you don’t know how to, call your repairman.

Dirty Coils

Like the gasket, the coil is responsible for heat exchange. However, it is located outside the refrigerator. Different coil types come with every refrigerator.

They include the heat exchanger, evaporator, and condenser coil. The coils are usually located inside and outside the fridge. However, when dirty or dusty, it drives the generator to work harder for optimum temperature sustenance.

When this happens, your fridge cools down. Happily, the coils are considerably easy to clean. Nonetheless, we recommend you read the owner’s manual for coil cleaning instructions. Once you get the hang of it, clean the coils regularly to avoid future occurrences.

Faulty Damper

The damper is also responsible for temperature regulation. It controls the amount of cooling air that enters the fridge.

Hence, when the damper is faulty, more air than necessary flows into the refrigerator. This gradually and significantly decreases the temperature; therefore, it needs an immediate fix.

The Foods Are Too Close To The Vents

After going through all the problem areas and the problem persists, check the vent. The cooling vent is located on or above the side of the top shelf. The vent is also the place where the coldest air comes from.

When your food items are too close to the vent, they may freeze. The obvious solution is to keep your food away from the vents.

It may also be due to the door shelf. If yes, adjust the position. Older refrigerator models with side-by-side vent features also have vents that direct cold air into the fridge from the freezer.

The vents are usually located between the wall that separates the freezer from the vent. In this case, it is considerably easy for cold air to blow over the items. Therefore, move the shelves to reduce the cold air.

Not Enough Food In The Fridge

Maybe not what you are thinking. However, not enough food in the fridge can be responsible for its freeing. If you have ever noticed, food at the bottom of your fridge freezes before the ones on top.

However, the freeze is often well distributed when your fridge is packed. Now imagine the effect if there is little in your refrigerator.

The cold air that is vented into the cavity needs to be absorbed and distributed appropriately. When the cold air is not absorbed, it will sink lower into the cavity and freeze whatever food is there. The simple solution is to stock your fridge to maintain a balanced temperature without increasing utility bills.

Check The Freezer And Setting

If your fridge still freezes after moving the foods from the vent, check the freezer setting. If the freezer’s orientation is wrong, it can cause inappropriate freezes.

Call The Manufacturer

Although we have gone over the common reasons why refrigerators freeze, it is not uncommon for the problems to persist. When this happens, we recommend you contact the manufacturer in case of a mechanical issue.

Apart from the common problem areas above, many other parts make up the refrigerator. This way, your manufacturer can send someone over to determine the cause. However, if you don’t have a warranty on it, just call your local refrigerator repairman.


Many factors can be responsible for why your refrigerator is freezing. Besides mechanical error, it can be due to human errors and oversight.

Regardless, a freezing refrigerator is nothing you can’t work your way around. Take a cue from our help above and find rest. However, if the problem persists, call a professional to take a look.