How Noisy And Loud Is A Chest Freezer?

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Sometimes you may hear unusually loud noises from your chest freezer that interfere with the quietness in your home. Are the noises temporary, or do they signify an underlying problem? We have sought answers from the experts to explain what causes the loud noises and correct the issue.

Low humming or buzzing sounds are normal noises that are typical of freezers in good working conditions. But strange loud noises your chest freezer is making could be due to the following reasons:

  • Freezer door staying open too long or opened frequently
  • Your freezer defrosting automatically
  • Contraction and expansion
  • Boiling refrigerant
  • Ice maker working improperly
  • Dirty condenser coils
  • Fault in the condenser fan
  • Fault in the evaporator fan motor
  • Old and washed-out compressor

To understand more about a noisy chest freezer, continue reading and learn in detail why your freezer is producing loud noises and what can be done about it.

technician checking compressor of chest freezer. How Noisy And Loud Is A Chest Freezer

Is A chest freezer Supposed To Be noisy?

Chest freezers are not usually noisy unless they are not functioning well. When they are not working at ideal rates, they produce loud buzzing, humming, or clicking sounds.

Why is my chest freezer so noisy?

A noisy chest freezer is a sign that you should check if the parts are working correctly. The type of noise and the part of the freezer from where the noise is coming can lead you to what the problem is.

What does it mean when your freezer is making noise?

Chest freezers can be noisier than is common, either momentarily showing there is no threat or, as a sign, there could be a problem that requires your attention. The reasons include:

1. Freezer door staying open too long or opened frequently

white open deep chest freezer with goods inside

When the freezer door remains open for too long or is opened frequently, cold air rushes out and warm air inside, causing a whooshing noise for close to 1 minute.

This happens because a vacuum is briefly created to equalize the interior pressure with that of the environment surrounding the freezer, and also when the temperatures normalize.

2. Your freezer defrosting automatically

Self-defrosting freezers that have been set with constant cycling ON and OFF can produce popping, whining, crackling, or whooshing noises. This is normal and does not mean it has a problem.

3. Contraction and Expansion

When the compressor comes on, you are most likely to hear a popping sound caused by the contraction and expansion of the metal parts inside your freezer during operation. There’s no need to worry here because as your freezer continues to run, the sound will go away.

4. Boiling refrigerant

The refrigerant, a substance inside your freezer that's responsible for cooling, can produce a popping sound when it boils off during circulation through the evaporator coil. This is a normal freezer operation and should not cause any alarm, as it shows that your unit is working properly.

5. Ice Maker working improperly

Cube ice on dark background

If you have an ice-maker in your chest freezer, then the humming noise it produces should be quiet. However, if the noise is louder or prolonged, there might be an obstruction in the inlet valve.

6. Dirty condenser coils

If the fan and condenser coils are dirty, airflow in your freezer is restricted. This causes the cooling process to take longer and subsequently results in a loud humming noise.

7. Fault in the condenser fan

The condenser fan, which blows air over the coils and releases the heat outside the freezer, can make loud noises if it has an obstruction in it, preventing its free movement. The fan in the condenser can also be faulty if the blades are worn out.

8. Fault in the blade or evaporator fan motor

The evaporator fan blade, which circulates cool air in your freezer, can have too much frost build-up, making rotation of the blades difficult. This ends up producing a loud buzzing noise. The blades can also malfunction if they are loose or worn out.

9. Old and washed-out compressor

A worn-out or old compressor can lead to loud noises which get worse with time, signaling it will fail in the not too distant future.

As you may have observed, numbers 5 to 9 describe a noisy freezer where maintenance or repairs are required to solve the problem and return it to normalcy with less noise.  

Should I be able to hear my chest freezer running?

A normal working freezer will produce low, gentle sounds that are not disturbing to your ears, but rather a sign it is still running. Other sounds include:

  • A buzzing or humming sound is an indication that the compressor is running.
  • When the defrost timer turns on and off, you will hear a clicking sound.
  • The refrigerant flowing through the tubes will produce a gurgling noise.
  • The temperature fluctuations and the contraction and expansion of the walls in your freezer produce cracking or popping sounds.

How can I make chest freezer quieter?

The first step to making your freezer quieter is to find the source of the noise, and have the problem fixed through maintenance or repairs. However, other ways of making your freezer quieter are by doing the following:

1. Ensure your freezer is clean

Clean the condenser and fans, which get clogged up with dirt and grime. This is to reduce the friction so that movement is smoother, thus lessening the noise.

2. Secure the loose parts

Loose parts in your freezer can produce rattling and vibration sounds. To curb this, check your freezer and tighten the loose parts; for instance, securely hold the drain pan in its place or tape down the water lines.

3. Level the legs

Your freezer should not rock when it is standing. Vibration caused by your freezer not being level can be solved by simply moving it to more level ground. You can also lower or raise the legs by turning them.

4. Fill up your freezer

A light freezer is more prone to vibrations than a heavier one because several motors are working simultaneously. By filling up the freezer with items, it will be weighed down, thus lowering the vibrations and reducing the noise.

5. Move your freezer

If you don’t like the usual running sound from your freezer, you can move it to another room or another part of your home so that you do not hear the sound.

6. Soundproof your freezer

A method of quieting your freezer is soundproofing. By doing this, the sound waves cannot escape into the surrounding environment because they are trapped. You can do this in several ways:

  • Place your freezer inside an alcove if your home has one.
  • Build a soundproof cabinet using plywood or MDF.
  • Soundproof the inside of the freezer using MLV or vinyl. These materials are similar to those used to create soundproof walls in recording studios.
  • Soundproof the back of your freezer where the motors and fans are located, but remember to leave room for ventilation.

In Closing

It is okay for a freezer to produce sound while in operation. However, if you hear new, excessive, or unusual noises, it could signal that there’s something wrong. By finding out where the noises are coming from, you can have the issue fixed.

If you do not want to hear sounds coming from your freezer even when it is just running, you can use various methods to make it quieter, leading to a more comfortable and enjoyable environment. To learn more about freezer maintenance, look into our previous posts:

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