Commercial Refrigerator Is Freezing Up: Fixes And More Tips

Commercial refrigerators are designed to store and keep food items fresh. Restaurants, hospitals, and the entire hospitality industry utilize commercial refrigerators to serve hundreds of if not thousands of customers on a daily basis. This means they need to be working in perfect condition to keep things moving for which you should consult commercial refrigerator services for inspections and repairs.

However, commercial refrigerators are prone to freezing up. We will discuss how to fix that along with some other relevant information that will help you protect your investment.

Causes And Fixes For A Commercial Refrigerator That’s Freezing Up

Incorrect Temperature

If your commercial refrigerator is freezing up, the first thing you need to do is check the temperature. It might be that someone has accidentally changed its settings. Commercial kitchens tend to be extremely busy places. This means it is highly likely that someone accidentally touched the knobs causing the temperature to either go up or down.

Furthermore, humidity has a lot to do with the performance of the units as well. Modern commercial refrigerators are loaded with smart features that constantly keep track of the temperature and humidity while adjusting the temperature inside accordingly.

So, if you have a new unit or recently got it serviced by a professional, you will need to check its thermostat’s calibration. It might be that the calibration was lost when the unit was serviced.

Worn Gasket

Commercial and household refrigerators come with seals and gaskets that prevent the outdoor air from mixing with the indoor air. These seals and gaskets are usually made of rubber and plastic that can wear with time. You might have noticed a gasket made of rubber installed on the inside of the door when you open it.

As the door is closed, the gasket forms a seal that keeps cool air from escaping. Since commercial refrigerators are opened and closed multiple times daily, the seals and gaskets will need replacement sometime in the future. However, worn-out seals and gaskets will also show some signs & symptoms that you will need to keep a close eye on.

For instance, cracks and damage are one thing but air escaping from the unit is another thing. If your commercial refrigerator is freezing up, it might be that the seals and gaskets are allowing the outside air to enter. The temperature difference might lead to freezing.

Furthermore, it could also spoil the food items inside. Therefore, you must take a look at the condition of the gaskets and seals more carefully. If they are hard or seem worn, you will need to replace the door gasket.

Dirty Coils

Commercial refrigerators comprise several different components. These components work together as a team to store and keep the food items fresh. One of the most important components inside a commercial refrigerator tends to be evaporator and condenser coils.

These coils help dissipate heat. With time, dust and other debris accumulate on them. This hinders the operation of the coils to dissipate heat. As a result, the coils tend to overheat and damage. The problem with coils is that if they need replacement, you might have to move the items into another refrigerator or temporarily close the business for a day or two.

On the other hand, coils tend to be expensive as well. This means you need to be extra careful when it comes to maintenance.

The Thermostat Is Defective

As mentioned earlier, modern commercial refrigerators come with in-built smart thermostats. But, if you own an older unit and have installed an aftermarket thermostat, it might be that either its batteries need replacement or the thermostat itself has malfunctioned.

So, you should try replacing the batteries. If that doesn’t work out, you will need to replace the thermostat. A faulty thermostat will not be able to communicate with the unit properly. It might cause the refrigerator to overcool, which might lead to freezing.

How To Maintain A Commercial Refrigerator?

Now that we have discussed the potential reasons why your commercial refrigerator might be freezing up, it is time to focus on some important tips that will help you avoid that in the first place and keep the unit running flawlessly.

Clean The Inside And The Outside

Many business owners make the mistake of ignoring to clean the inside of the refrigerator during maintenance and routine cleaning. Your commercial refrigerator will need a deep clean at least once every 3 to 4 months. This means you will have to remove all the items in the interior and wash them separately.

You can use a soft cloth, brush, and a cleaning agent to thoroughly clean the unit. If you do not have access to a cleaning solution, you can make a mixture of vinegar and warm water. Once everything has been washed and cleaned, you will wait for the items to dry up before placing them inside again.

And, make sure to wipe the outer body of the unit as well. This is because employees will use greasy and oily hands while opening and closing the doors. Such factors lead to accumulations that directly or indirectly can impact the lifespan of the unit.

Clean The Condenser Coils

As mentioned earlier, condenser and evaporator coils play an important role in the normal functioning of the unit. As they help dissipate heat, it is equally important that you thoroughly clean them as well to help the heat escape. But, make sure that the unit is turned off and the coils are cool.

Then again, use a soft cloth, brush, and a cleaning agent to remove any stubborn accumulations. And, while you are at it, look for any cracks or damage.

Replace The Filter

Commercial refrigerators come with filters too. With time, the filters can become clogged with dust and dirt particles. This will prevent the air in the unit from ventilating properly. To make sure that does not happen, you will need to clean the air filter at least once a month.

Plus, too much dust and grease can also damage the air filter. So, if you notice any damage or cracks in the filter, make sure you replace them.

Schedule Professional Maintenance

While keeping a check on your commercial refrigerator is a must, you should also consider scheduling professional maintenance. There are a lot of other things about commercial refrigerators that need to be looked at for them to run effortlessly.

Also, professional maintenance is not only about cleaning. It helps with timely repairs and replacements that could otherwise cost you a lot more in terms of customers. For instance, refrigerant leaks and other such issues can only be solved by an expert.

Therefore, opting for professional maintenance is an investment. You will be paying to avoid complications that may unexpectedly or unexpectedly take place in the future.


It is quite normal for commercial refrigerators to freeze up. But it should not happen frequently and should not be ignored. The above tips will help you in both avoiding and fixing that combined with the help of an expert. As mentioned earlier, schedule professional maintenance to avoid problems and to carry out commercial refrigerators repairs Alexandria as they are detected. Such factors go a long way when it comes to ensuring your expensive kitchen appliances are protected.