Of all the incredible 20th century inventions, modern refrigeration radically changed the eating habits of every day people. Before this, food was preserved through pickling, canning, drying or salting. For centuries the closest anyone got to a freezer was when ice and snow was transported by cart or even ships from colder areas for use in underground iceboxes.
The beloved refrigerator arrived on the scene in the 1920’s and combination freezer-fridges followed. It was not until after World War II that frozen food began to be a common feature as consumers had realized the ready convenience of being able to freeze large quantities of food for later use.
Quick Guide of How Refrigeration Works
Ever wondered how the cooling process works? The basic principle behind how refrigeration works is evaporation of a liquid which causes the surrounding area to cool. Your body uses something similar in the form of sweat evaporating on your skin in order to cool you down.
Refrigeration, though, involves the use of liquids (called refrigerants) that evaporate at very low temperatures. Every freezer has a compressor and a system of coils to contain the refrigerant. Essentially the cooling system works by continually turning a refrigerant from a liquid to a gas and then condensing that gas back into a liquid. A thermostat monitors the interior temperature and turns the compressor on and off as needed.
Common Freezer Problems
Knowing more about the functioning of your freezer may assist you when trying to solve common freezer problems:
Freezer is not cold enough
Let’s look at some possible reasons for this and what to do:
- Ensure that the thermostat is at the correct temperature and that the defrost timer is working as it should.
- Is the door sealing properly? Even a perfectly functioning freezer will not retain its temperature if the door is left slightly ajar.
- It is also important to ensure that you pack the freezer contents correctly. A freezer works best when it is two thirds full as the food items act like thermal batteries, easing the freezer’s workload. Be sure that nothing is positioned close to the evaporator fan vent which circulates the cool air.
- Is the compressor motor running? This is normally situated at the back, near the bottom of the freezer and usually emits a low humming noise.
- Are the evaporator coils malfunctioning? Sometimes they get frozen over or covered in dirt and this affects the functioning of the appliance.
- Other possible reasons for a warm freezer are a clogged drain tube or a refrigerant leak.
It may well be time to call in a repair technician to assess the problem and repair or replace any worn parts.
Frozen over Freezer
If the inside of your freezer looks like the north pole and food items are frozen together there may be a problem with the temperature control or the self-defrost system (assuming your freezer has one). Self-defrosters should turn off the compressor for a few minutes every 6-12 hours to melt excessive buildup of frost which is drained into a pan beneath. If you suspect it is the automatic defroster which used to work perfectly, call in a technician to test the components.
Freezer keeps Running
Since it is the thermostat that switches the freezer on and off, it is possible that you have set it too high causing the freezer to run constantly. If not, it is possible that the thermometer has worn out and needs to be replaced. A leaky door gasket could be allowing warm air in, making temperature control difficult. Another possibility is that there are low levels of refrigerant in the system. If this is the case, be sure to contact a qualified technician to work on the sealed components.
Whatever the problem, contact us it to collect and repair your faulty freezer!