Refrigerator Freezing Food on Lowest Setting – Fridge Icing Up!

Updated: | Author: Brad Javernick | Affiliate links may be present.

It is not uncommon to notice your fridge icing up, especially near the back of the shelves. However, if you have your fridge on the lowest setting and this is still a problem, it can be frustrating. Especially when it causes the food in your fridge to freeze.

There are a few potential issues with your fridge that could be causing this problem. It is important to find the root cause and fix it, to get your fridge working properly again.

If your fridge is freezing the food on the lowest setting, first check that the thermostat is working correctly. Also, consider how much food you are keeping in the fridge. Compromised vents or coils could also be to blame for a frozen fridge. Finally, the fridge light may be causing a false temperature read and affecting the thermostat.

Why is My Refrigerator Freezing My Food?

The best temperature setting to use in your fridge is between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the temperature that should keep your food safe without freezing it.

However, if you have set your fridge to this temperature and still notice freezing, there could be a problem.

Here are some possible issues as well as how to fix them to get your fridge working well again.

Faulty Thermostat

If your fridge is icing up even on the lowest setting, your fridge’s thermostat might be to blame. A broken or malfunctioning thermostat can cause the temperatures in your fridge to be unpredictable or hard to control.

To check if your thermostat is working, try turning the temperature setting to the lowest setting. Wait a moment, then turn it all the way up to the highest setting. Listen closely and you should hear the clicking noise of the thermostat kicking in.

If you do not hear this noise, the thermostat could be broken or not working properly. Try resetting your fridge or unplugging the power source for 10 minutes to allow it to restart.

If restarting the system doesn’t help, you will likely need to have the thermostat repaired or replaced.

Not Enough Food in the Fridge

If you have noticed that your fridge is freezing your food, even on the lowest setting, the problem could be as simple as how much food is kept in the fridge.

Similar to how an over-packed fridge will have trouble cooling all the food if your fridge is too empty the food can become too cold.

If you only keep a few things in a large fridge, this can cause the food to freeze. If this could be the case, try to keep more food in the fridge or group the items together. Also try to keep them closer to the door and not by the back of the fridge, where it is coldest.

Insufficient Air Circulation

If the vent or condenser coils in your refrigerator are frozen or broken, this could be the root of your problem. You can check the coils to see if they are frosted over or dirty.

Depending on the type of fridge you have, the coils could be in the back or on the bottom of your fridge. Locate the coils and see if they are covered with ice, debris, or broken in some other way.

If the coils or vent are dirty, they should be cleaned. It is recommended that you deep clean your refrigerator, including the condenser coils at least twice a year. If you haven’t done this, dirt or dust build-up on the coils could be the problem.

If this is the case, try thawing out your refrigerator for 24 hours and cleaning off the coils before restarting it. If this doesn’t fix it, the coils or vent will need to be replaced or you may even need to buy a new refrigerator.

Faulty Light

All fridges have a light above the door that should switch on when the door is open and off when it is closed. If the switch is for some reason malfunctioning, this could cause the light to stay on even when the door is closed.

If the light is shining at all times, the heat energy from the light could give the thermostat a false reading. Especially if the light is near the temperature sensors, the fridge will read the temperature as higher than it actually is and therefore, will work harder to cool it.

To check if the light is working properly, find the switch above the door and try pressing it. The light should go off when it is pressed. If not, the switch needs to be repaired or replaced.

Final Thoughts

If the food in your fridge is freezing, even though it is on the lowest setting, there could be a few possible causes.

Try working through the possible issues and finding the cause by process of elimination. Then you can fix the problem and have your fridge working as it should again.

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About Brad Javernick

Brad is a licensed home inspector and the editor of Home Oomph. He's a massive DIYer, and loves to take on new home renovation projects!

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