Like all household appliances, your chest or upright freezer needs to be properly maintained to function at its best. Freezer maintenance is fairly simple, but the sheer number of parts that need attention makes it easy to forget some tasks. That’s why having a checklist comes in handy.
A chest and upright freezer maintenance checklist should include cleaning the condenser coils, checking the door seals, cleaning the freezer, removing ice buildup, and setting the correct temperature. It also helps to ventilate the freezer, keep its door closed, and pack it full.
Let’s take a closer look at these freezer maintenance tasks to help you understand what needs to be done and how to go about it.
1. Clean the Condenser Coils of Your Freezer Regularly
Cleaning the condenser coils on your chest and upright freezer is an important part of maintenance. This simple task can help prolong the life of your freezer and keep it running more efficiently.
The condenser coils are located behind the front grille of your freezer. They are responsible for dissipating heat from the compressor. Over time, these coils can become covered in dust and dirt, reducing their ability to dissipate heat. This compromises your freezer’s efficiency and increases its overall power consumption.
Cleaning the coils regularly (at least once a year) can help prevent this from happening. In most cases, you can simply vacuum the coils with the attachment hose. But if the coils are extremely dirty, you may need a brush to remove all the dirt and dust.
Here’s a video showing you how to clean the condenser coils in your freezer:
2. Check the Seals on the Door Regularly To Make Sure They Are Tight and Not Leaking
One of the best things you can do to keep a chest or upright freezer in pristine condition is to ensure the door seals are tight and not leaking. Not only does this help maintain the temperature of your freezer, but it also helps keep the food inside fresher for longer. On the other hand, a faulty door seal compromises a freezer’s cooling ability.
There are a few things you can do to help ensure your door seals are in good condition and not leaking:
- Check the seals regularly for cracks or holes. If you find any, you can either replace the seal or repair it with a sealant.
- Ensure the door is properly latched when you close it.
- Keep the door clean by wiping it down with a damp cloth.
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3. Keep Your Freezer Clean by Wiping Down the Interior and Exterior
The chest and upright freezer are two of the most commonly used freezer types in American households. Unfortunately, they’re also the most difficult to keep clean.
If you own either type, you must figure out how often you need to clean it. This comes down to how often you use your freezer. If you use yours daily, you’ll need to clean it more often than someone who uses theirs once a week.
Once you have figured out how often to clean the freezer, the next step is to do the cleaning. You will need to clean the interior and exterior. Cleaning the interior is a fairly simple task that can be done with a mild detergent and a soft cloth. For the exterior, you’ll need a stronger exterior cleaner to remove built-up dirt and grime.
Most people know how to clean their freezers, so I won’t go into much detail about that. If you’re unsure how to go about it, check out this easy-to-follow youtube video:
4. Remove Ice Build-Up From Your Freezer’s Walls and Ceiling Monthly
Removing ice build-up extends a freezer’s longevity. Ice build-up can cause your freezer to work overtime and use more energy than necessary. It can also contribute to faster wear and stink up your freezer.
This is why it’s important to remove ice build-up every month. It’s one of the best ways to optimize your freezer’s energy efficiency and keep it working properly for longer.
Don’t know how to remove ice build-up from your freezer? Here’s a video walkthrough:
5. Ensure That the Temperature of Your Freezer Is Set Correctly
Setting the correct temperature is another great way to get the most out of your unit. Different brands may have varying ideal temperature ranges, so be sure to check your unit’s user manual for manufacturer recommendations.
Once you find the ideal temperature range, check whether your unit is set within that range. You don’t want to set the temperature to too cold or too warm. Both extremes are problematic.
Setting the temperature too high causes food to go bad faster. On the other hand, setting the temperature too low can make it almost impossible for the defrost cycle to eliminate frost buildup. This can cause the defrost heater to malfunction, setting off a chain of freezer issues such as:
- Frost buildup on the evaporator coil, which can damage this all-important part of your freezer.
- Insufficient air circulation.
- Lower energy efficiency.
To avoid all these issues, make a habit of keeping the freezer temperature in the recommended range. Keep in mind that the environment your freezer operates in should be considered when setting the temperature.
6. Keep Your Freezer Full, But Don’t Stuff It
While it’s true that a full freezer works better than an empty one, you don’t want to overstuff it. Keeping your freezer full but not overstuffed saves energy and helps your freezer last longer.
So how do you know if your freezer is full but not overstuffed?
The best way to tell is by looking at the gasket. The gasket is the seal that goes around the door of your freezer. If it’s compressed, it means that there is too much pressure on it, and it won’t be able to seal properly. This will cause your freezer to work harder and use more energy.
Overfilling your chest and upright freezer may also cause the air vents to become clogged. This restricts air circulation and puts additional strain on the motor and condenser.
So, next time you’re stocking up your freezer, leave some space so that the freezer can work efficiently.
7. Keep Your Freezer Well-Ventilated
Proper ventilation helps circulate air and prevent the formation of ice crystals. It also helps reduce energy consumption and keeps the freezer at a consistent temperature.
There are a few things to remember when ventilating a chest or upright freezer:
- Keep the freezer in a well-ventilated area.
- Check the manufacturer’s instructions for specific ventilation requirements.
- Keep obstructions away from the vents.
8. Avoid Leaving the Door to Your Freezer Opened
One of the best ways to keep your freezer running efficiently is to keep the door closed as much as possible. This keeps cold air inside your freezer, reducing the work it must do to keep the interiors cold.
Sure, this isn’t maintenance per se, but it’s a great way to optimize your freezer’s efficiency.
9. Don’t Put Hot Food in Your Freezer Right Away
Putting hot food in your freezer compromises its efficiency. The heat from the food warms up the freezer’s interior, causing it to work harder to maintain the temperature you’ve set it at. This doesn’t just bump up your electricity bill. It also strains the compressor, increasing its chances of failing.