Why is my Fridge Freezing Everything on Lowest Setting? (Explained)

Most fridge problems have to do with a lack of cooling.

You’ll find homeowners complaining about faulty fridges, having to empty their foods out, and often swapping out to compact cooling alternatives.

But the opposite can be true too…

Fridges can cool too much, often ruining foods that you’d like stored at lower temperatures. You may end up over-freezing an item, rendering it unusable later on.

If that’s a problem you have, then keep reading.

We’ll break it down in-depth while giving you some solutions you can follow!

Midea WHS-87LB1 Refrigerator, 2.4 Cubic Feet, Black

First –Diagnose the Problem

A fridge that’s freezing on the lowest setting has one (or some) of the following problems:

  • Faulty thermostat
  • Dirty coils
  • Incorrect settings
  • Airflow assessment
  • Ruined door seals

(A) Faulty Thermostat

Thermostats are key when regulating temperatures inside a fridge. If a thermostat malfunctions, it’ll signal to your fridge inaccurate temperature readings.

This cause the fridge to either cool food excessively, or not cool at all.

To check for thermostat problems, start by taking a base reading of your fridge’s temperature (using an appliance thermometer).

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Record the reading. Then, immediately change the temperature settings (add in a few degrees for example) and wait a few hours.

After that, take a second reading. See if the change you did affect the fridge’s temperature.

If it did, then your thermostat is likely working, but its settings may be off by a few degrees. If not, then your thermostat may not be working at all.

In the first situation, you’ll need to reset the thermostat. With the second, you might need to swap out the thermostat entirely.

Alternatively, you might have another issue, this being…

(B) Dirty Coils

Coils are your fridge’s mechanism of releasing heat. And they tend to collect dust and dirt over time.

Your fridge’s coils need to be cleaned out occasionally. If they’re not clean they won’t release heat efficiently.

As a result, your compressors work harder and for longer times. And your fridge’s temperature gets affected as a result.

With that, keep in mind that dirty coils tend to be problems with old fridges. If your fridge is brand new, you likely won’t need cleanup for a few months.

However, cleaning coils can quickly solve your fridge’s problems, restoring temperatures to normal!

(C) Incorrect Settings

The problem may be far simpler than you think. Your temperature settings might be too cold to begin with!

All you have to do is modify the settings from there. You can do so through the control panel.

The ideal temperature for keeping food fresh is 36 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit. If your settings are far lower than that range, then expect foods to freeze.

After modifying temperature settings, place a thermometer in your fridge, and check to see if the temperature has been modified!

(D) Airflow Assessment

How does air enter your fridge? And is it affecting certain parts of your fridge more than others?

Your fridge will likely have multiple vents that deliver air. One of them might be blocked off, leading to temperature issues.

For example, one vent blocked off means another is working at a higher load to deliver cold air. As a result, foods closer to the working vent are likely to be overcooled.

If that happens, foods in certain parts may be frozen too much, while other parts of your fridge may barely get any cool air.

To solve this issue, map where the vents are in your fridge. Proceed to empty out the contents, and place your hand on each vent.

Check if the airflow is equal across all sides.

If not, get a few thermometers. Place it on the far side of the fridge where the vent isn’t working. Then place another close to the working vent.

Leave the thermometers in for a few hours. Then, pull them out and check for temperature differences!

If your vents aren’t working, you’ll likely have to call a technician over for a fix (similar to thermostat problems).

Something else you can do is check the back of your fridge for frost. That frost is indicative of areas that may be overcooled or vents that might be blocked!

In that situation, you’ll need to thoroughly clean out the frost from your fridge!

(E) Ruined Door Seals

All fridges have seals around their doors to keep them shut. If your seals are leaking air, your fridge will work harder to keep temperatures cool.

This can lead to overcooling, and eventually the freezing of food.

If you suspect that your door is leaking air, take time to clean and inspect the door seals. Replace them if necessary.

Second – Quick Fixes You Can Apply

Your fixes can either be done on the spot, or they’ll require you to call a technician over.

If the latter’s the case, then you need some short-term solutions to save your food from excessive freezing.

(A) Shuffle Food Positions

This’ll apply if you have airflow problems where one part of the fridge is colder than the rest.

Take foods that you’re fine having frozen, and place them closest to working vents. As for foods you want warmer, place them further away.

Keep foods you need in liquid form away from the colder parts. Those will include:

  • Oils and eggs
  • Dairy products
  • Medications that require refrigeration
  • Soups and sauces

Next, prioritize fresh vegetables. And finally, you can keep meat products closer to overcooled parts of the fridge.

Also, make sure that you’re not stuffing too much into your fridge. This’ll restrict the airflow even more!

(B) Try Resetting Your Fridge

This is similar to reactivating your fridge after a power cut. And you’re mainly doing it to recalibrate your thermostat.

Through your control panel, hold down the “power freeze” and “power cool buttons” for five to ten seconds.

It’ll reset your fridge back to factory setting – being the recommended cooling feature for consumers.

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