HomeKitchenWhy Does My Freezer Feel Hot on The Outside?

Why Does My Freezer Feel Hot on The Outside?

Every appliance that is run by a motor will generate heat. This goes for both fridges and freezers, which can feel hot to the touch. While it may seem counterintuitive for a cooling appliance to get hot, it’s actually perfectly normal. 

However, if your freezer gets too hot or does not cool down, there could be something wrong with it. 

Here’s why your freezer feels hot on the outside, what that might mean and what you should do about it. 

Why Does a Freezer Feel Hot On The Outside?

The freezer uses a compressor to allow cooling liquid to run through the appliance, which in turn generates heat. The heat dissipates on the sides of the appliance, which also helps prevent condensation on the outer part of the appliance.

All this means is that it’s normal for the exterior of the freezer to sometimes feel hot to the touch. However, if the freezer feels really hot really often, this could be caused by dirty coils, broken door seals, or a broken condenser fan. 

The Compressor Is Working

When the compressor of your freezer is working, it will generate heat, which you will be able to feel when you place your hand on the freezer. This is perfectly normal, and the outside of the freezer will cool down over time. 

However, if your compressor is starting to go, or if there is an issue with the freezer that is making the compressor work extra hard, the appliance won’t have time to cool down. 

If your freezer seems to be hot whenever you touch it, and you can constantly hear the compressor running, get a repairman in to check it out. 

The Coils Need To Be Cleaned

Dirty condenser coils tend to reduce the freezer’s cooling capacity and contribute to generating excessive heat on the freezer walls. The dirt, such as lint, dust and other debris on the coils retains heat rather than releases it, causing the compressor to work harder to compensate for the blocked airflow. 

To resolve the issue, clean the condenser coils regularly. Make sure to unplug the appliance first, move it away from the wall, and use a refrigerator coil brush or a vacuum hose with a soft brush to clean the coils.

The Door Seals Are Faulty

Faulty, cracked, or damaged door seals can allow warm air to enter the freezer, which causes the compressor to work overtime to keep it cold. When it starts working harder to compensate for the warm air entering the freezer, the compressor generates more heat and it can cause the outside of the appliance to always feel hot.

If you also feel cold air escaping the freezer around the door, or if you notice the door is often left open even though you are sure you have closed it, it is likely time to replace the door seals. Call a repair service or a technician and resolve the issue.

The Condenser Fan Is Broken

A broken or malfunctioning condenser fan is another possible cause for too much heat on the freezer walls. 

The purpose of the condenser fan is to circulate air around the coils, which helps cool the warm refrigerant liquid coming from the compressor. If the fan is malfunctioning or is completely broken, the refrigerant temperature rises and causes the appliance walls to be hot to the touch.

Repair or replace the condenser fan and it will solve the problem. You will probably be able to hear it if it’s not working as it should. 

Should My Freezer Be Hot On The Outside?

It is normal for a freezer to occasionally feel warm or hot to the touch because it is a part of the refrigeration process. 

However, if your freezer is exceptionally hot or never gets cool, it might be cause to check if the appliance is malfunctioning, and if maintenance or repairs are needed to resolve the issue.

How To Fix A Freezer That Is Hot On The Outside

If a freezer feels hot on the outside for an extended period of time, try resolving the issue yourself by doing the following:

  • Clean the condenser coils if there is lint or dirt on them.
  • Check the inside of the freezer to see if the air vents are blocked. Make sure not to overstuff the freezer, rather keep it about 80% full.
  • Check if the door seals are damaged, and if necessary, replace them.
  • Defrost the freezer if the ice buildup is too big. Lots of ice will cause the compressor to work harder to keep the proper temperature, which generates excessive heat. The ice buildup can also prevent the door from closing properly, letting warm air in.

If you have checked everything but can’t find a solution, call in an expert to have the freezer checked.

If A Freezer Is Hot to The Touch, Is It Breaking Down?

A freezer being hot to the touch doesn’t have to mean it is breaking down. The heat can just be a normal byproduct of the refrigeration process. However, if the freezer’s exterior never cools down or becomes too hot, you should check for issues that might be causing the extra heat.

An additional sign that your freezer might have a problem is if the interior isn’t as cold as it should be, and if you start noticing a lot of ice buildup or food thawing.

How To Prevent The Freezer From Getting Hot On The Outside

Follow these steps to prevent your freezer from getting hot on the outside:

  • Ensure proper ventilation by leaving enough space around the freezer, allowing the heat to dissipate effectively.
  • Regularly clean the condenser coils at the back or underneath the appliance to prevent dust and lint buildup.
  • Regularly defrost your freezer
  • Check the door seals for gaps or damage to prevent temperature fluctuations and increased heat production.
  • Avoid overloading the freezer, as overcrowding can obstruct the airflow and cause the compressor to work harder.
  • Keep the freezer away from direct sunlight and heat sources, as exposure to excessive heat can make the appliance overwork.
  • Set the freezer to the right temperature. If you set it too low, the compressor will need to work more often, and you might end up wasting power unnecessarily. 

By following these guidelines, you can ensure your freezer remains cool on the outside and operates more efficiently.

Wrapping Up 

Don’t be alarmed if your freezer feels somewhat warm to the touch. The heat could just be a byproduct of the compressor’s usual workload. 

However, if the freezer seems hotter than usual or is warm to the touch all the time, make sure to check it out and see what the cause is. Not only can you prevent a freezer breakdown, you can also prevent a significant rise in your electricity bills. 


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