Is a Noisy Freezer Dangerous? 

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Freezers don’t operate silently, and it’s normal to hear the occasional sound. Which freezer sounds are normal, and when should you become concerned? Should you be worried about a noisy freezer?

A noisy freezer can be dangerous. However, it depends on the kind of noise and how loud it is. Normal freezer sounds include soft humming, buzzing, and the occasional gurgling, popping, and clicking sounds. Anything other than this is a reason to be concerned. 

Read on to learn about freezer noises, including what you should do if your freezer is abnormally loud. 

Different Freezer Noises and What They Mean 

In the introduction, I mentioned that the most common freezer noises include the following: 

  • Soft buzzing and humming
  • Clicking
  • Gurgling
  • Cracking or popping

I’ll discuss these freezer noises in more detail below:

Soft Humming or Buzzing 

It’s completely normal for a freezer to produce barely audible humming and buzzing sounds. When you hear your freezer making these sounds, it’s a sign that it’s working as it should.  

In most cases, it isn’t dangerous and indicates that the compressor is functioning normally. The compressor is the heart of the refrigeration system and acts as a pump to enable the refrigerant to flow. 

You’re more likely to hear a humming or buzzing sound when your freezer’s temperature is higher than the set one. This is because the compressor must work harder to maintain the temperature. 

However, excessive humming noise in your freezer can indicate several problems:  

  • Severe ice build-up in the evaporator blade
  • Faulty evaporator fan blades

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

Clicking Sound 

Your freezer might make a clicking or creaking sound if the cooling system components are expanding or shrinking due to temperature changes. It could also be the thermostat or the defrost timer switching on and off. 

A clicking sound can sometimes indicate a bad compressor or a dirty condenser coil.

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Gurgling Noise 

Another common noise in a freezer is a gurgling or sloshing sound. This is usually the refrigerant flowing in the tube during the cooling cycle. However, it can also happen when the freezer defrosts and water is dripping. If the noise persists, you may need to have your freezer serviced. 

Read: Why Freezer Not Cold Enough? What’s The Cause? 

Cracking or Popping Sound 

It can be alarming when you hear the freezer pop or crack, especially when it’s loud. The most common cause is the interior wall expanding and contracting, which is normal in freezers. 

This is usually due to temperature fluctuations, but it can be an issue if it gets louder. 

When to Worry About Freezer Noises?

Some freezer noises aren’t normal and can indicate an underlying problem, such as a faulty part. If that’s the case, you’ll need to repair or replace the part in question. You can buy replacement parts online or at your local appliance spare parts store. 

I’ll discuss these issues in more detail below:  

1. The Freezer Isn’t Stable 

Constant noise from your freezer can be because it’s unstable. Most freezers come with leveling feet, but they can loosen over time, especially if you often overload the freezer. 

The Solution 

If your freezer is unstable, it’s an easy fix. Position the freezer correctly, and check the floor underneath to ensure it’s in a level position. You must also check the leveling feet, and the screws and tighten them. Another potential solution is to use a level platform strong enough to support the weight of the freezer to make it more stable. 

Read: Freezer Problems In Hot Weather. How To Fix?

2. Faulty Compressor 

The compressor compresses refrigerant and circulates it in the cooling system. It has several moving parts, which can be noisy if faulty.

They can sometimes lose friction, which can cause unusual vibrations and a humming sound upon contact. 

The Solution 

Since a compressor consists of a sealed cooling system, you should call a technician if it’s faulty. This is because you might accidentally release the refrigerant inside the system, which can be a health risk. As such, it’s one job that you should leave to those with knowledge and tools. 

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Read: Common Freezer Problems And How To Fix Them?

3. Dirty Condenser Coil 

The condenser coil is where the refrigerant vapor enters, and dust and dirt can clog these coils. Hence, it will restrict airflow, and will need to exert more effort to work, which could be one of the reasons for freezer noises. Worse, the freezer can break down, requiring an expensive repair. 

The Solution 

Cleaning the condenser coil can help eliminate the noise. Unplug the freezer before working and pull it away from the wall. Use a soft-bristled brush to clean it, and remove dust using a vacuum cleaner. 

The video below provides a visual guide on cleaning condenser coils:

4. Broken Evaporator Fan

Physical obstructions in the evaporator fan can prevent it from working correctly, and sometimes make noises. The evaporator fan might be defective if there are no obstructions, but it’s noisy. This can happen when the blade jams and cannot turn. In such cases, it can make an intermittent high-pitched sound. 

Aside from the fan blade, the motor can also be an issue because it can deteriorate and lose lubrication, making it noisy. 

The Solution

Checking the continuity using a digital multimeter is one of the first solutions to try. If it no longer works, you’ll need a replacement. It can be repaired, but don’t attempt to do so if you don’t have the knowledge and the skills. Consulting with a professional for help is a safer option. 

Read: Freezer Compressor Hot To Touch? Is It Normal?

5. Ice Maker Jam 

An ice maker is a convenient feature in many freezers. However, it can sometimes become problematic, especially when it jams. When this happens, your freezer will make a noticeable noise when the ice tries to get out. The most common noise is a knocking sound.

The Solution 

Check the ice maker for obstructions and remove them but take care when removing the ice cube, as your hand might get stuck. You can also disconnect the power supply and wait for the stuck ice to slide out. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Here are some frequently asked questions about freezer noises:

Is It Normal for Freezers To Make a Noise?

It’s normal for freezers to make a noise. Often, it’s a sign that it’s cooling. However, if it’s too loud or bothersome, it’s best to look at the potential problems and perform the necessary fixes. If you’re unsure of the next step, call a licensed technician to deal with the issue. 

How Can I Prevent My Freezer From Being Noisy?

One of the best ways to prevent freezer noises is to ensure it’s stable and on level ground. Balancing the load can also help, and it’s also wise to conduct proper care and maintenance. Otherwise, faulty parts can result in unusual noises. 

Can I Repair a Noisy Freezer Myself?

You can repair a noisy freezer yourself if the issue is minor, such as a clogged fan or jammed ice dispenser. However, if you suspect the problem originates in the compressor, you should contact a technician so that you don’t accidentally damage the freezer further. 

Conclusion

It’s normal for freezers to make sounds and these are not typically dangerous. Soft humming or buzzing sounds mean that your freezer is operating as it should. However, if your freezer sounds louder than usual, it could be due to one of these issues:

  • It’s unstable or on unlevel ground
  • Dirty condenser coil
  • Faulty compressor or evaporator coil
  • Jammed ice maker
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