Why Chest Freezer Making Buzzing Noises? – Troubleshooting Guide

Buzzing, humming, gurgling, and “whoosh” sounds are part of the normal function of any freezer. Refrigeration systems aren’t the most silent indoor equipment, but these sounds are usually nothing to worry about. In some cases, though, weird buzzing noises signify something is wrong.

Chest freezers make buzzing noises due to faulty compressors, damaged evaporator fans, or frost build-up. Fixes include carrying out proper and regular maintenance for your unit, defrosting, and repairing any broken internal components.

If you always hear a strange buzzing sound from your freezer, this blog post is for you! We’ll take a closer look at why chest freezers make buzzing noises and how you can stop the issue once and for all.

1. Chest Freezers Make Noises During Normal Operation

Freezers make low-pitched noises in their normal operation due to the compressor, even though it’s one of the most important parts of any refrigeration system. It pressurizes the refrigerant, making it hot enough to evaporate before heading into the condenser coils.

The compressor is a motor and pump that makes a low-pitched hum or buzzing sound as it tries to pressurize and control the refrigerant flow. If you listen closely, you’ll see that your chest freezer’s compressor is particularly active right after loading it with items. 

Generally, warmer foods make the compressor work hard to cool them down to freezing temperatures. The “buzzing” shouldn’t be loud enough to disrupt your environment, and in most cases, it’s easy to ignore. 

Read: Why Chest Freezer Not Working In Garage?

How To Fix?

Noises arising from normal freezer activity are no major cause of concern. However, you can always keep your system operating at lower noise levels with a little bit of maintenance. 

  1. Make sure nothing has come loose inside your freezer. If something has become dislodged or shifted around inside, it could create additional friction against other parts and cause extra noise.
  2. Check all hoses, pipes, and coils inside your freezer. Have your freezer coils professionally checked every 6 months.
  3. Clean out any dust or debris build-up on interior parts. Dust accumulation on certain components can lead to increased vibrations and more noise.
  4. Check for signs of wear or damage on any interior parts. Worn-down components such as the compressor motor or its capacitors may need to be replaced for the unit to function correctly again.

Contact a professional repair technician if none of these tips help. Sometimes more complex problems require professional assistance.

Read: 3 Reasons Why Chest Freezer Is Not Working After Power Outage

2. The Freezer Has a Faulty Compressor

If the “buzzing” has a “whiny” tone and is loud enough to make you uncomfortable, you could be looking at a faulty compressor. 

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The annoying buzz may be accompanied by a warmer-than-usual cabin. The compressor is made of moving parts, and sometimes they fail or require lubrication. If you suspect your chest freezer’s compressor is faulty, contact a certified technician to diagnose and fix the problem. 

However, if you know what you’re doing, you might be able to fix it yourself.

How To Fix?

Check the compressor capacitor first. The compressor capacitor stores electrical energy that powers up the compressor motor during startup. 

If it’s malfunctioning, then it could be causing your compressor problems. To check if this is the case, use a multimeter to test the capacitor’s capacitance value measured in Farads. It should be between 12-15uF, depending on your model of the freezer. 

If your multimeter reads far outside of that range, then you may need to have it checked by a certified repairman.

If any issues are present, then they will need to be replaced before proceeding with your troubleshooting. Additionally, ensure that all connections are secure and tight before powering up your freezer again.

Read: 3 Possible Reasons Why Chest Freezer Not Freezing At Top – Troubleshooting Guide

3. Chest Freezer Has a Damaged Evaporator Fan or Frost Build-Up

Kenmore evaporator fan frosted over

Your freezer is full of moving parts, and like any machine, these parts can get jammed up. In the case of your freezer, excessive frost is the likely culprit that can disrupt the free movement of the evaporator fan blade. 

In this case, the buzzing sound is usually louder from the inside of your chest freezer than on the outside. Test this theory by opening up your chest freezer cabin and listening.

Close the cabin door and listen once again, and if the noise is noticeably louder inside the freezer, then you should inspect for frost build-up. This build-up is usually a result of moisture freezing on the evaporator coils inside your freezer. 

It can result from multiple causes, including but not limited to the following:

  • A damaged or leaky gasket, which is the rubber door seal, causes air to flow in and out of the fridge cabin. The warm incoming air carries moisture while the cold freezer air leaks out, creating frost. This problem is exacerbated by placing warm or hot food in your freezer. 
  • Open freezer doors also allow moisture to flow in and out of the cabin. It is important to promptly close your freezer door when you’ve retrieved your items. Do not let it sit open longer than a few minutes. 
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How To Fix?

Dealing with frost build-up is a necessary step to maintaining your chest freezer’s performance, so here’s how to do it:

  1. Defrost your freezer and wipe it down. 
  2. Empty the unit, and unplug it from the main supply. Let all the frost melt, and then use a clean cloth to wipe down the resulting ice blocks and dirt build-up. 
  3. If your evaporator coils and fan blade are visible, use a soft brush and vacuum cleaner to remove any dirt. 

Don’t use sharp or metal objects to scratch or scrape frost, as they’ll scratch and scrape the inner surface of your fridge cabin and may damage the chest freezer. Upon replugging your chest freezer, if the loud “buzzing” is still present, consider calling a qualified technician to have a look, especially if the fan and coils are out of sight. 

Read: Why Chest Freezer Not Working After Moving? How To Troubleshoot? 

How To Prevent Frost Build-Up?

To prevent excessive frost and the need for frequent maintenance, consider applying these tips:

  • Organize your freezer. Proper circulation is important when freezing your food, so you don’t want to overcrowd or overload your chest freezer. Organize your items in a way that allows you to quickly reach for what you need to promptly close your freezer.
  • Don’t place hot food in the freezer. Other than leading to frost build-up, warm food is not only harder to cool down but introduces humidity into your freezer cabin. Let your food cool down on your countertop before you freeze it.
  • Load a large batch of food in stages. Prioritize heat-sensitive items like ice cream and raw meat. Store the other items in a cool area on your counter and organize them in your freezer a couple of hours later.
  • Keep your chest freezer away from direct sunlight and heat-producing appliances like heaters, furnaces, and boilers. This makes it harder for the compressor to keep up and keep your freezer cold.
  • Leave some space between your chest freezer and solid surfaces. Don’t push your chest freezer too close to any surface on any wall. Give your chest freezer a minimum clearance of at least 4” – 7” (10-18 cm) from any surface.

Inspect your gasket seals and check for any wear and tear. It’s a good idea to regularly inspect your door seal, especially if you’ve had the chest freezer for a long time.

Read: Why Chest Freezer Not Freezing? How To Troubleshoot?


No one likes dealing with annoying buzzing noises coming from their appliances. Thankfully, most issues with chest freezers causing loud buzzing sounds are relatively easy to fix and don’t require too much time or money. If all fails, get in touch with a professional repair technician.

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