As long as there is enough room to store all of your frozen goods and your food isn’t freezer burnt, you probably don’t have any reason to think about your freezer too often. Other than the occasional cleaning, freezers don’t require as much maintenance as other kitchen appliances.
However, if your freezer suddenly stops working, you’ll have plenty of reasons to suddenly pay attention to it. Though your freezer has a relatively simple task, that task is an important one. Without a freezer, you don’t have any way to keep your frozen goods at the necessary temperature.
If you don’t want to find yourself throwing away all that meat you just purchased, you need to immediately spring into action.
Figure out what to do with your food
One of the first steps you’ll want to take is determining how long your freezer hasn’t been working and if your food is still okay. According to the FDA, food in a full freezer can stay good for up to 48 hours, as long as the door is kept shut most of the time. However, if you’re trying to figure out what is wrong with your freezer, you might not have the luxury of keeping the door shut.
Figure out what food you can eat immediately, what food can move to your fridge, and what food needs to move to another freezer. You’ll want to figure all of this out before the food begins to thaw.
Try to find the problem
Once you have all the food moved out of your freezer, it is time to start troubleshooting. There are a few different reasons why a freezer might suddenly stop working. A common problem is that the condenser coils are dirty. You’re going to need to unplug the freezer, move it away from the wall, use a coil brush to get rid of any debris, and vacuum any debris stuck behind the freezer.
If that doesn’t work, you could have a more serious problem, such as a malfunctioning evaporator fan or problems with your start relay. There is a possibility that one of these parts might need to be replaced.
Contact a specialist
If cleaning your coils doesn’t work and you can’t figure out what part is causing the problem, you may need to call in someone who specializes in freezer repair service. A specialist will be able to troubleshoot all parts of your freezer and help you determine what your next steps are.
The nice part about working with a specialist is they’ll also fix or replace the faulty part for you. Most of the time, these parts are hard to replace if you don’t have the right equipment. Instead of frustrating yourself by spending hours trying to find the right tools and replace the part, you can have a specialist do it in a much more timely manner.
Read the owner’s manual
Once your freezer is working again, it is time to break out the owner’s manual. The owner’s manual is that little booklet that came with your freezer. Most people simply shove this into their junk drawer, but you’re going to want to read it so that you can determine how you can prevent a similar problem from occurring again in the future.
While freezers don’t require as much maintenance as other appliances, there are still certain things you should be doing on regularly. If you’re not sure where your owner’s manual is, try searching for it online or talking to the store you bought it from.
Provide regular maintenance
Once you have an idea of how you should be maintaining your freezer, make sure to give it the care it deserves as part of your cleaning routine. Regularly maintaining your freezer will help guarantee that your food stays cold.
Some regular maintenance that almost all freezers need includes checking the thermostat to make sure that it is set at zero degrees Fahrenheit, keeping the interior clean, checking parts for wear, and keeping the condenser coils clean. None of these tasks should take up a significant amount of time. Checking the temperature only takes a matter of seconds. Cleaning the interior of your freezer only needs to happen every three months, unless you accidentally spill something.
Regular maintenance of your freezer helps ensure that your food is kept at the right temperature. Of course, even if you are providing regular maintenance, sometimes parts do wear or malfunction. If you’ve done everything you can for your freezer and it still isn’t working right, it is time to call in a professional.