Why Is My Freezer Making a Noise? Reasons, Fixes, and FAQs

Wednesday 18th May 2022
by Homeforce

Written On

Wed 18th May 2022

Written By

Homeforce

Category

Guides

Share This

Most freezers make a low hum constantly, or sometimes intermittently. But it’s not until the humming becomes louder and noisier, that we actually notice. So you’re left asking why is my freezer making a noise?

Your freezer is one of those appliances that should usually be “seen and not heard”.

So that’s what we’re going through today; the reasons, and some helpful ways to fix the problem yourself. What to do if you can’t fix the problem and some common frequently asked questions on freezer noise.

First here are some of the main reasons…

Freezers make more noise when they’re first switched on. When they’re overfull with food or when defrost cycles turn on and off. Shelves rattling or the freezer feet may not be level. When door seals are faulty, or vents are being blocked. Old freezers invariably have components that wear out.

That’s just a taste of some of the reasons your freezer is making a noise.

Why is my freezer making a noise? – Normal noises

There are normal freezer noises, and there are unusual freezer noises. Firstly, need to distinguish between the two. So let’s start with what is normal noise for a freezer to make.

Normal freezer noises

Here are some of the common noises you’re potentially hearing from your freezer and why:

  • A low hum or buzzing – Normally heard intermittently when the compressor is operating
  • A clicking sound – Normal, when the defrost timer switches to cycle on and off
  • Gurgling noises – Occasional, when refrigerant passes through the tubes following a cooling cycle
  • Cracking, popping, or creaking – Occurs when the inside walls of the freezer flex. They will expand and contract as temperatures fluctuate.

That’s a list of the normal sounds you may hear. If you hear those then there’s no immediate reason to panic.

It might be that you’re just noticing them for the first time. This often happens at night when the hustle and bustle of day noises are quieter and the brain tunes in to noises that are normally drowned out, or are simply blocked out by the brain as “white noise”.

Why is my freezer making a noise?

Now we’ll discuss the noises that may seem like something is mechanically, physically, or electrically wrong, the reasons this might be happening, and potentially how to fix them.

It’s a new freezer, or it was recently turned off

Freezers make a louder noise when they are first turned on.

This is because the freezer needs to work harder to get down to the ideal temperature. The fan will also run faster and for longer during this time.

Once the freezer has reached the correct temperature, the fan will slow down and the noise should reduce.

If your freezer is relatively new, it’s likely that this is the reason it’s making a noise. In this case, there’s no need to worry. The noise should stop after a day or two at most.

The freezer might be full

A common reason for a noisy freezer is that it’s full. When a freezer is full, the air has less room to circulate. This causes the fan to work harder, which makes the freezer make noisier.

If your freezer is full, try to remove some of the food so that there’s more space for the air to circulate. This will help reduce the noise.

Shelves might be vibrating

Sometimes, the shelves in a freezer can vibrate and cause noise. This is usually because they’re not level.

This is not something that usually occurs to people, as there are normally food items on the shelves that give it stability and prevent movement. So the noise can seem unusual.

To fix this, you can try readjusting the shelf itself, or adjusting the legs of the freezer until the shelves are level. Some wire-based shelves can be tweaked so that they sit better.

If that doesn’t work, or if the noise is coming from something else in the freezer, there are a few other potential causes we’ll explore.

The door seal may be cracked

A common cause of freezer noise is a cracked door gasket. The door gasket is the seal around the door that keeps cold air in and warm air out.

If it’s not sealing properly then outside air can get in, which can make the freezer work harder and make more noise.

To check if the door gasket is cracked, open the freezer door and feel around the seal. If you notice a gap or a crack, then that’s likely the cause of the noise.

You’ll need to repair it or replace the door gasket to fix the problem.

Freezer Door Seal
Something may be touching the fan blades

Another potential cause of freezer noise is something touching the fan blades. The fan is what circulates air around the freezer, and if something is touching the blades then it can make a lot of noise.

In most freezers, the fan blades are not accessible. So you’ll need to call in a repair engineer to fix the problem. Just call this number and we’ll send someone over.

But, if you’re qualified enough to open up the freezer and take a look. You may be able to see something touching the blades and remove it to see if that fixes the problem.

Similarly, many freezers have vents where the cold air flows into the compartment. If food items are blocking this vent then they may be causing cooling issues. Ensure any events leading into the freezer compartments are clear of items.

The freezer might be getting too cold

In some cases, the freezer might be making noise because it’s getting too cold. This usually happens because the freezer is set too low or there’s something blocking the airflow.

Check the settings on your freezer and make sure it’s set to the correct temperature. If it’s already at the correct temperature, then there might be something blocking the airflow. Check to see if there are any items in front of the vents that can be removed.

This might also be because the freezer is working too hard, so let’s include some of those…

The freezer is working harder than usual

This could be for a number of reasons including, the door has been left open more frequently letting all the cold air out causing the freezer to have to work harder and longer to cool back down again.

The freezer might need cleaning

The freezer might be clogged up with dirt.

Over time, dust and debris can build up on the coils and prevent proper airflow. This makes the freezer work harder and can cause a humming noise.

Have a professional come in and clean the coils at least once a year to prevent this from happening.

Expanding on this point further…

The freezer might need repairs

If the freezer is old, parts might start to wear out and break down. This can cause a humming noise as well.

If the freezer is still under warranty, contact the manufacturer to see if they will cover the cost of repairs. If not, then don’t let the problem get worse as it could cost you a freezer full of food! Simply contact us and we’ll organise a repair for you.

The freezer is noisy and thawing at the same time

A humming noise coming from your freezer can also indicate that it is not cooling properly.

If the freezer is turned up too high, it will start to thaw and ice will build up around the coils. This will cause the freezer to work harder and make a humming noise.

Turn down the freezer to see if that stops the noise. If not, then you may need to get the freezer repaired.

Freezer Ice

Why is my freezer making a noise – Frequently asked questions

Here are some frequently asked questions and common manufacturer issues.

Is a noisy freezer dangerous?

A freezer is not necessarily dangerous if it is making noises. However, if the freezer is not cooling properly, it can cause the food to spoil.

On rare occasions, there may be an electrical issue. Manufacturers take great care to ensure electrical components do not come into contact with freezer areas dealing with water.

But just be aware that if it seems like electrical issues may be the cause then seek professional assistance as soon as possible.

Can I fix a noisy freezer myself?

There are some things you can do to try and fix a noisy freezer yourself which we’ve outlined above. However, if the freezer is not cooling properly, it is best to call a qualified repair engineer. 

Safety first, whilst it may be frustrating, it’s not worth causing any accidents that could be prevented simply by getting help from a professional. We would rather you give us a call and allow our service engineers to take care of it for you.

In fact, you can make life so much easier for all your appliances easily by getting our appliance cover so we can deal with any issues that may arise.

Kitchen Freezer
GE freezer making a loud humming noise

Freezers made by GE are designed to run quietly, so you may be concerned if yours has started making a loud humming noise.

The reasons outlined above should be checked first. But GE freezers also mostly contain ice makers which make a noise, or possibly the water valve.

The icemaker may produce rattles, buzzes, hums, or vibrations under certain conditions.

  1. It will fill with water every 60 to 90 minutes. It might be turned on but has no water supply. It will attempt resupply every 15 minutes and may rattle or buzz. Check the water supply to the freezer.
  2. Some GE models contain a filter that may produce a buzz for 5 seconds each hour. This is a normal operation from an isolation valve designed to prevent major leaks.

Also, on GE models, if your freezer is fairly old (more than 15 years), the evaporator fan motor may be malfunctioning and will need to be replaced.

Wherever you are in the UK, you can get a replacement part from us as qualified repair engineers to fix this.

Frigidaire freezer making a loud humming noise

Some Frigidaire models may have issues with the evaporator fan motor. The part can be replaced and we’re able to get hold of these parts for you.

If your Frigidaire freezer is fairly old (more than 15 years), the evaporator fan motor may be the first thing to go wrong and will need to be replaced

Beko fridge freezer is making a clicking sound

It’s common for the Beko range of freezers and fridge freezers to have a louder than normal clicking sound. This is simply the defrost timer which will produce a clicking noise when switching between the defrost cycle and normal operation. While it may be annoying, this is perfectly normal.

Freezers under warranty – And the easiest fix

If your freezer is still under warranty, then it’s best to call the manufacturer regarding any repair that can be carried out under warranty.

What if my freezer is making a loud noise but it’s not under warranty?

If it’s an older freezer, and you’re still having problems with noise, then you should contact us for assistance. And consider our appliance plan to give you peace of mind – and easy repair cover for all your household appliances.

Ready to get started? Call us anytime on 0800 014 6336 or

Get a quote