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Is a Noisy Freezer Dangerous?

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By Elizabeth Masterman

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If your freezer has recently started making odd noises, you may wonder what could be causing it and whether you should be worried. Here we will look at some common causes and consider whether a noisy freezer is dangerous or not.

Is a Noisy Freezer Dangerous?

It depends on what’s causing the noise. Freezers make various noises as part of their standard functioning, but any changes in noise or particularly loud noises should be investigated. If you’ve ruled out obvious causes, it’s best to contact the manufacturer or get it checked out by a professional.

What Noises Are Normal for a Freezer?

Freezers are rarely wholly silent. The parts that keep your freezer working are responsible for a whole host of functions, and most of them create a noise of some sort.

The compressor is responsible for compressing and vaporising the refrigerant, and it usually makes a low humming or buzzing sound. As the refrigerant moves around the system, it can make a gurgling sound.

If you have a frost-free freezer, you may hear a clicking sound when the defrost timer switches on and off.

Alternatively, you might hear a sizzling sound, which can sound quite alarming! However, some frost-free freezers function through a heating coil wrapped around the evaporator coils, and that sizzling is just the melted ice hitting the hot coil and evaporating.

Even the non-functioning parts of the freezer can make noise. Any popping or cracking sounds could simply be the inside walls of the freezer contracting and expanding as part of normal temperature fluctuations.

What Can Cause These Noises to Increase in Volume or Frequency?

The compressor will be running (and therefore making noise) 80-90% of the time.

If you’ve just stocked up your freezer, or you’ve put something warm in there, the compressor will briefly have to work harder to get the temperature back down, which could cause it to make noise for longer or for the noise to be louder.

It should go back to normal once the optimum temperature is reached. If it doesn’t, this may be a sign that the compressor is failing, and it’s probably a good idea to get it checks out by a professional.

Why Is My Freezer Making Strange Noises?

If your freezer sounds like it’s vibrating, it might be that the unit is not sitting at the right angle.

A freezer should be tilted slightly backwards to encourage the refrigerant to flow correctly and to help the door stay shut. If yours isn’t, the legs may need adjusting. Consult the manual for how to do this.

Your freezer might also make a noise if it’s too close to the wall. You should allow about 10cm of space behind your freezer so that it can function effectively. If it’s not been placed far enough away from the wall, or if it’s got nudged closer, this could cause it to make more noise than usual.

Various maintenance issues can cause your freezer to work harder, which could make it noisier than usual. It’s a good idea to give your freezer a once over every so often just to check everything is working as it should.

For example, the freezer could be overfilled or full of ice and need defrosting. The door seal may be dirty and need cleaning or perhaps it’s worn and needs replacing.

The condenser coils on the back of the unit could need cleaning. Any of these could be causing extra strain on your appliance, making it make more noise than usual.

Why Does a Freezer Make a Loud Humming Noise?

A loud humming, clicking or buzzing sound could be a sign that the evaporator fan isn’t working properly. Many modern frost-free freezers have an evaporator fan to remove warm air from the unit when you open the freezer door.

Over time ice can form on the fan and can start to obstruct it from running properly.

If this is the case, you can usually remove the ice by switching off the unit and wiping the fan with a warm cloth until the ice is removed. Switch the appliance back on and hopefully the noise will have gone.

If the noise persists, it may be that the fan blades are damaged. If the ice build-up around the fan was particularly thick, the ice may have caused damage to the blades, meaning they now need to be replaced.

Alternatively, it could be a problem with the evaporator fan motor, which could require lubrication or repair.

How Do You Fix a Noisy Freezer?

It may be that the noises your freezer is making are part of its normal function, in which case there’s nothing much you can do.

If the noises have increased, and the freezer isn’t working quite as well as it previously did, it may be that it’s reaching the end of its useful life and needs replacing.

You can try to address the issue yourself using the tips we’ve given above, or if you are still having problems, it may be worth contacting a professional to check the freezer before you decide whether to invest in a new freezer or not.

Do you still have questions about noisy freezers? Then check these FAQs out:

Is a Buzzing Freezer Dangerous?

Not necessarily, but it could be. If the noise is constant, is getting worse or is excessively loud it could be a sign that something is wrong. Depending on the cause it could even be a fire hazard. So, if you are concerned it is definitely worth consulting a professional.

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