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Ice is Building Up Inside My Freezer

If ice is building up on the walls of your freezer, you’ve most likely got a leakage of cold air. If the freezer is even the slightest bit ajar, moist air will enter and cold air will escape, causing frost to form. There are a few things you can do to help this situation.

Additionally, you could have problems with the defrost cycle or a failing component of the defrost system. Follow our tips to get to the bottom of your issue.

Make sure the freezer door is closed.


Make sure that the freezer door is fully closed and that no items are sticking out and preventing the door from closing fully. To confirm this, use a flashlight placed inside the closed freezer to shine light through gaps in the seal. Turn on a flashlight, put it inside the compartment you are checking, and close the freezer door. If you see light shining through the seal when the freezer door is closed, you’ve found the problem.

Inspect the door gaskets

If the freezer door is fully closed and nothing is obstructing it, the problem could lie with a faulty seal. The degree of ice build-up will vary, depending on the humidity level in the room and the severity of the gasket problems. Check the seals all the way around the freezer and look for any signs of tears, rips, or deformation. In addition, with the door of the unit closed, look for gaps between the seal and the case of the refrigerator or freeze

Defrost cycle is not working properly

If you can see ice build-up on the back wall of the freezer, your refrigerator or freezer may not be defrosting properly. When the defrost cycle is working correctly, the refrigerator and freezer’s cooling system pauses every 6 hours for 20 minutes, so that heaters behind the back wall can melt ice on the freezer coils and air can flow freely through the unit. When the defrost cycle is not working as it should, ice builds up on the evaporator coils and eventually on the back freezer wall. Ice buildup prevents the movement of air throughout the refrigerator and freezer and interferes with efficient cooling activity.

Failing defrost system component

The defrost system comprises many components, and if any of these mechanisms fail, the cycle will not function properly, so the refrigerator/freezer will stop cooling. The defrost system is one of the more complicated systems in your refrigerator. During proper operation, a mechanical timer or computer board will initiate the defrosting cycle, turning off cooling activity in the compressor and fans and turning on a heating element to melt ice buildup on the coils. A thermostat located on the coils tells the heater when the temperature has risen enough to melt all of the ice, thus turning off the heater and ending that cycle. If any of these mechanisms fail, defrosting will not happen.

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