Freezers have one job—to keep your food frozen! But if the door isn’t sealing properly, this job is much more difficult—or even impossible. If your freezer door keeps falling open, or if your fridge is constantly beeping to let you know the door isn’t closed properly, don’t panic! We’ve got the most common causes and solutions so your freezer can be working properly once more.
Why is a Freezer Door Seal So Important?
Firstly, let’s get into a little about why a proper seal is so important! Freezers work via the circulation of refrigerant, removing heat from the interior of the freezer compartment and allowing it to dissipate outside of the freezer. A good seal is essential for this issue, as it keeps the warm air on the outside and the cold air on the inside, ensuring efficient operation.
A faulty door seal means that the freezer has to work much harder to maintain the temperature, and it can also lead to other issues. If the door isn’t properly sealed it allows warm, humid air to enter the freezer compartment. This air then condenses when it touches the cold interior, leading to ice crystals forming on the inside of your freezer. This can also lead to issues such as freezer burn on your food.
A faulty seal also means your freezer will use more electricity than one with a functional seal, and the freezer components may wear out more quickly because they have to work harder.
What Can Cause a Freezer Door Not to Seal?
If your freezer door isn’t sealing properly, one of these issues is likely to blame:
An Obstruction Preventing Door Closure
This may sound almost too obvious, but make sure you check for anything obstructing the door. A lump of ice or some food that got stuck in the door could be preventing it from closing properly. Quickly inspect the door for obstructions, and if you notice anything, remove it. You may need to use a hairdryer if the obstruction is frozen.
Too Much Weight in the Door
If your freezer has compartments in the door where you can store food, check to make sure they’re not overfilled. If too much weight is placed on the door, it can mean that the door is too heavy to be held in place with the gaskets. To check if this is your issue, remove all food from the door compartment and then check to see if the door is now sealing. If it is, make sure you don’t overfill the door compartment in the future and your issue should be solved!
The door seals or gaskets are what keep the freezer door closed, but if they’re dirty they won’t be able to do their job properly. Carefully inspect the seals for grime, dirt, food, and debris. If they’re dirty, give them a thorough cleaning with a damp, clean cloth, then test the freezer door again to see if it is sealing properly.
Broken or Worn-Out Gaskets
If you cleaned the gaskets but the issue persists, they could be worn out or broken. Visually inspect the gaskets to see if they appear old, cracked, or loose. You can also test to see if they’re in good shape by closing the freezer door on a piece of paper. The gaskets should hold the paper firmly in place, and there should be resistance if you go to pull it out. If your gaskets are damaged or worn out, they’ll need replacing:
- Purchase new gaskets, ensuring they are compatible with the make and model of your freezer. If you have a fridge freezer unit, you may want to consider replacing the fridge seals at the same time.
- Remove the old gaskets and throw them away.
- Carefully clean where the gaskets were with a clean, damp cloth.
- Install the new gaskets. Most simply press into place, but some may have screws or clips to secure them
- Once the gaskets are installed, test to ensure the seal issue is now fixed.
If your freezer door is misaligned, it won’t be able to close properly as the gaskets won’t be meeting correctly. This can happen if you repeatedly put heavy items in the freezer door compartment, or if the freezer has been knocked or banged. Luckily, fixing this is usually a simple process:
- Inspect the door hinges. A misaligned door is often caused by hinges that are too loose.
- If you notice that the door is hanging too low and the hinges are loose, use a screwdriver to tighten them.
- After tightening, close your freezer door firmly and check to see if the door is now flush. If it isn’t, move on to the next step—the door hinges may need replacing altogether.
If your freezer door is sagging and tightening the hinges didn’t fix the issue, you may need to replace the hinges altogether.
- First, you’ll need to find replacement hinges online from an appliance parts retailer. Ensure that the ones you purchase are compatible with the make and model of your freezer.
- Once the new hinges arrive, unscrew and dispose of the old hinges.
- Screw the new hinges into place, then check the door’s alignment, readjusting the new hinges if necessary to get a good seal.
- Test to ensure that the fridge is now sealing properly.