Have you ever opened your freezer to find everything inside covered in ice? That's freezer frost, and can lead to multiple issues. Follow these tips to prevent freezer frost.
Have you ever pulled an item out of your freezer and noticed that it looks like it’s covered in snow? That’s frost, and it can indicate issues with your freezer. If you’ve experienced this problem before, you’re probably wondering why there’s so much frost in your freezer and what you can do about it.
Read on to find out more about what causes frost inside your freezer and get tips to help prevent it.
Effects of frost in the freezer
Frost inside your freezer is caused by moisture coming into contact with the coils inside the appliance and freezing. It can lead to odors, loss of storage space and ineffective sealing of the appliance door.
Frost can also affect your food and lead to a condition known as freezer burn or frost bitten food. This is caused by several factors, including dehydration from changes in temperature within your freezer, exposure to air and food being in the freezer for too long. When moisture evaporates from the food, ice crystals form on its surface. Freezer burn affects the taste of your food and may lead to food loss.
7 Tips for preventing frost
Nobody wants to see ice crystals in the freezer, so follow these seven tips to keep your frozen food as fresh as possible.
- Keep the door closed – Opening the freezer door allows cold air to escape and introduces humidity. Humidity contains moisture, which can turn into frost. When the temperature inside the freezer rises, the appliance has to work harder to keep items frozen. Avoid unnecessary trips and gather everything you need at once if possible.
- Organize it – If you keep your freezer organized, it’s easier for you to find what you need faster, reducing the chances that you’ll have to open and close the freezer multiple times.
- Stock it correctly – As a general rule of thumb, freezers should be stocked with two to three pounds of food per cubic foot of space. Frost can build up easily in freezers that are too empty or too full.
- Avoid storing hot items – Only put cool or cold foods in your freezer. Storing hot foods can lead to humidity. If you have hot foods that you need to freeze, let them cool off in the refrigerator first.
- Dry off food before storing it – By the time you get food from the freezer aisle of your grocery store to your home, it has probably started to defrost a bit, leading to moisture on the outside of the packaging. Before you put these items away, wipe them off with a cloth to remove moisture and prevent frost.
- Use the right storage containers – One easy way to avoid frost buildup on your food is to use appropriate storage containers that minimize access to air. If you’re using plastic containers, they should be sized appropriately for the amount of food inside, without a lot of extra room for air. Plastic bags should be freezer or storage bags, which are generally thicker than normal sandwich bags.
- Maintain a consistent temperature – Exterior and interior temperatures are key to avoiding frost in your freezer. Keep your freezer inside. Putting your freezer outdoors may mean the appliance has to work harder, especially in colder conditions, which can cause frost. The interior freezer temperature should be around zero degrees Fahrenheit. You can use a freezer thermostat to monitor the temperature.
Frost-free freezers are a new type of appliance that can help homeowners deal with issues associated with frost. These freezers don’t require manual defrosting and can help prevent frost buildup and freezer burn. They use built-in timers and small heaters to reduce frost. These heaters automatically turn off when frost is gone. While they are convenient, they can cost more and may not defrost properly if they are too full.
A little effort goes a long way
With a little bit of extra effort and vigilance, you can prevent frost in your freezer. Follow the tips above to keep your frozen foods as fresh as possible and your freezer in tip-top shape.