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How to prevent ice buildup in upright freezers

Updated February 21, 2017

One of the most bothersome issues with stand-alone upright freezers is often ice build-up. Defrosting a freezer is time consuming, messy and inconvenient. Preventing the problem is the best way to deal with ice build-up. All you need to do is examine your freezer and change some of your habits.

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  1. Reduce the amount of time your freezer door is open. Ice build-up is most often caused when warm air is introduced into the freezer. When storing foods, prepare and package them beforehand so they can be immediately placed into the freezer. Organise your foods so they are easily identified.

  2. Check the gasket to ensure a tight seal. Poor seals constantly introduce warm air into the freezer. This causes ice build-up and strains the condenser by forcing it to work harder. A loose seal also reduces the energy efficiency of the appliance. If necessary, replace the gasket or hire a professional to do so.

  3. Keep your freezer as full as possible, even if this mean storing containers full of only water. With less air space, moisture isn less likely to develop and form ice.

  4. Adjust the freezer's thermostat. Sometimes the build up of frost and ice is caused when the freezer is set to a temperature that's far too cold. Gradually lower the thermostat and keep an eye on the results so you know when you've reached the proper setting.

  5. Move your freezer to a drier location if it's located in an area that traps humidity, such as a laundry room or a damp basement. If that's not possible, add a dehumidifier to the area to decrease air moisture.

  6. Examine the drain if you have a frost-free freezer. Frost-free freezers are supposed to be just that---frost free. Occasionally the drain becomes obstructed resulting in frost or ice build up. This is especially common if the freezer has been unplugged for a time.

  7. Tip

    Consider products such as Frost Free, a spray that helps dissolve ice as well as prevent new ice from forming, and Mega Freeze, an easy-to-install filter that helps remove moisture as well as odours.

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About the Author

Annie Mulligan

Annie Mulligan is an editor, author, and developer of education materials for children in grades K-8 as well as for adult learners. She has published more than 100 books in reading, mathematics, test prep and language arts.

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