Ever wondered why your fridge fan keeps freezing up? I’m your detective to solve this frosty puzzle!

Together, we’ll crack the case of the frosty fridge fan, exploring the reasons behind this icy problem. 

why does my fridge fan keep freezing up

Why Does My Fridge Fan Keep Freezing Up?

A fridge fan can freeze up due to a defrost issue, often caused by a faulty defrost heater or sensor, a blocked drain, or an ineffective control board.

It’s crucial to troubleshoot these potential problems to keep your fridge running smoothly and efficiently.

Common Reasons for a Fridge Fan to Freeze Up

Defective Defrost System

Imagine your fridge like a little weather system. There’s a defrost system in it that acts like a warm sunny day. It melts away any frost or ice that builds up. 

But, if this system isn’t working right, maybe because the defrost heater or thermostat is broken, that ice doesn’t go away.

It starts to build up and might even freeze up the fan. 

This is like having a winter that never ends. To fix this endless winter, you might have to replace these parts.

Blocked Drain

In your fridge, there’s a little path, like a river, for water to flow out. This is the drain. It helps carry the water that comes from the melted ice to a pan. 

But, if something blocks this river, the water has nowhere to go. It might then freeze up around the fan. To stop this, you need to clear out whatever is blocking the drain.

Dirty Condenser Coils

dirty condenser coils

Dirty condenser coils can cause the fridge fan to freeze up. These coils are responsible for releasing heat from the fridge, and if they are dirty, they cannot release heat efficiently.

As a result, the fridge fan has to work harder, causing it to freeze up.

Faulty Defrost Timer

The defrost timer is responsible for turning off the compressor and turning on the defrost heater.

If this timer is faulty, it can cause the fridge fan to freeze up. The defrost heater will not turn on, causing the evaporator coils to freeze, which can lead to the fridge fan freezing up.

Malfunctioning Defrost Thermostat

The defrost thermostat is responsible for monitoring the temperature of the evaporator coils.

If the temperature gets too cold, the defrost thermostat will turn on the defrost heater.

If this thermostat is malfunctioning, it can cause the evaporator coils to freeze, leading to the fridge fan freezing up.

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Low Refrigerant Levels

low refrigerant levels

Low refrigerant levels can cause the fridge fan to freeze up. Refrigerant is responsible for absorbing heat from inside the fridge and releasing it outside. 

If there is not enough refrigerant in the system, the fridge fan has to work harder, leading to freezing up.

A Blocked Air Vent

There are usually air vents in the back of the fridge that help to circulate air. If these vents are blocked, the fan can’t circulate air properly, which can lead to it freezing up.

A Faulty Fan

If the fan itself is faulty, it may not be able to circulate air properly, which can lead to it freezing up.

Too Much Food In The Fridge

Too much food in the fridge can block the air vents and prevent the fan from circulating air properly. This can lead to the fan freezing up.

Steps to Troubleshoot a Freezing Fridge Fan

Step 1: Enter the Test Mode

To begin troubleshooting your freezing fridge fan, press the Energy Saver Key and the Power Cool Key simultaneously on the front panel of the fridge.

Hold both keys for 8 seconds. Once done, the fridge will enter the test mode, and all displays on the front panel will turn off.

Step 2: Perform Manual Operations

perform manual operations

Within 15 seconds after entering the test mode, press any key on the front panel to initiate manual operations.

Here’s the sequence of manual operations:

  • Manual Operation 1 (FF 1): Press any key once, and the display will show “FF-1.” This indicates that the refrigerator has entered manual operation mode. At this moment, the buzzer will beep as an alarm.
  • Manual Operation 2 (FF 2): Press any key once while in manual operation 1 status and the display will change to “FF-2.”
  • Manual Operation 3 (FF 3): Press any key once again, and the display will now show “FF-3.” FF-2 and FF-3 represent manual operations 2 and 3, respectively. These three functions operate the compressor at different RPMs.

Step 3: Activate Manual Operation

When you’ve selected a manual operation, the compressor will start running immediately, without the usual 7-minute delay in any mode. 

If the refrigerator is currently in the defrost cycle, it will finish the defrosting process before starting the manual operation. 

However, be cautious, as starting the manual operation when the compressor is off can cause an overload.

Step 4: Continuous Operation

Once the manual operation is in progress, the compressor and the freezer fan will operate continuously for 24 hours. 

The temperature in the fresh food compartment will be controlled according to the set temperature.

Step 5: Automatic Temperature Selection

automatic temperature selection

During manual operation, the setting temperature will be automatically adjusted as follows: the freezer compartment will be set to -8℉ (-22℃), and the fresh food compartment will be set to 34℉ (1℃).

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Step 6: Power Functions Disabled

While in manual operation, the Power Freeze and Power Cool functions will not work. If you select any of these functions, the power function icon for the selected function will automatically turn off after 10 seconds.

Step 7: Cancel Manual Operation

To cancel the manual operation, you can either turn off and then on the fridge (reset) or proceed to step 3, which is the test cancel mode.

Step 8: Continuous Alarm

During the manual operation, an alarm (0.25 seconds ON/0.75 seconds OFF) will continuously beep until the manual operation is completed. There is no function to stop this alarm sound.

Maintenance Tips to Prevent Your Fridge Fan From Freezing

Keep the Condenser Coils Clean

To prevent your fridge fan from freezing, start by ensuring that the condenser coils are clean.

Over time, these coils can accumulate dust and debris, obstructing proper airflow and causing the fan to freeze.

Regularly vacuum or brush the coils to remove any buildup and maintain efficient cooling.

Check the Door Seals

Faulty door seals can lead to warm air seeping into the fridge, causing the fan to work harder and potentially freeze.

Inspect the door seals for any signs of wear or damage. Close the door on a piece of paper and try to pull it out. 

If it slides out easily, the seals may need to be replaced. Tight, secure seals will help maintain the right temperature and prevent freezing issues.

Avoid Overfilling the Fridge

avoid overfilling the fridge

Overfilling the fridge restricts proper airflow, which can strain the fan and result in freezing. Ensure there is enough space between items for air to circulate freely. 

Avoid blocking the vents inside the fridge and freezer compartments. Organize your food items efficiently, allowing cool air to flow and maintain consistent temperatures.

Set the Temperature Correctly

Improper temperature settings can lead to freezing issues. Set your fridge to a temperature that is appropriate for your specific model. 

Generally, the recommended range for the fresh food compartment is between 35°F (2°C) and 38°F (3°C), while the freezer should be set between 0°F (-18°C) and 5°F (-15°C). 

Use a reliable thermometer to ensure accurate temperature readings and make necessary adjustments if needed.

Avoid Opening the Door Frequently

Frequent opening of the fridge door can cause temperature fluctuations and put additional strain on the fan.

Limit the number of times you open the fridge unnecessarily and try to retrieve all items you need at once.

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This practice helps maintain stable temperatures and reduces the risk of fan freezing.

Perform Regular Defrosting

perform regular defrosting

Ice buildup in the freezer can obstruct proper airflow and lead to freezing problems. Schedule regular defrosting sessions to prevent excessive ice formation. 

Once defrosted, wipe away any excess moisture and ensure the fan area is clean and free from ice or frost.

Check for Proper Ventilation

Proper ventilation around your fridge is crucial to prevent the fan from freezing.

Ensure that there is enough space between the back of the fridge and the wall to allow for adequate airflow. 

Avoid placing the fridge in an enclosed area or near heat sources that can affect its performance. Good ventilation helps maintain optimal operating conditions for the fan.

FAQs About Fridge Fan Issues

How Can I Prevent My Fridge Fan From Freezing Up?

To prevent your fridge fan from freezing up, ensure proper ventilation around the appliance and clean the condenser coils regularly.

Avoid overfilling the fridge, and keep the door seals in good condition. Set the temperature correctly and schedule regular defrosting sessions.

Can A Dirty Condenser Cause The Fan To Freeze Up?

Yes, a dirty condenser can obstruct airflow and cause the fan to freeze up.

Dust and debris accumulate on the condenser coils over time, impeding proper cooling and increasing the workload on the fan.

Regularly cleaning the condenser coils helps maintain optimal performance.

What Should I Do If My Fridge Fan Is Frozen?

If your fridge fan is frozen, start by unplugging the appliance. Allow the fan and surrounding area to thaw naturally.

Once completely defrosted, clean any ice or frost buildup and check for any underlying issues like a faulty defrost system or damaged seals.

Could A Malfunctioning Thermostat Cause The Fan To Freeze?

Yes, a malfunctioning thermostat can cause temperature irregularities, leading to the fan freezing up.

If the thermostat doesn’t regulate the cooling properly, it can result in excessive cold temperatures, affecting the fan’s performance.

Consider getting the thermostat checked or replaced.

Are There Any Signs To Watch For Indicating A Freezing Fan?

Yes, some signs indicate a freezing fan. These include inconsistent cooling, excessive ice buildup in the freezer, or a loud humming noise coming from the fan area.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to address the issue promptly to prevent further problems.


Your fridge fan freezing up can be a bummer, but you’re not helpless.

A little attention to regular maintenance, like keeping those coils clean, maintaining correct fridge temperatures, and not overstuffing your fridge, can keep that fan humming along. 

So, take control, ensure your fridge runs smoothly, and freeze those popsicles perfectly!

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