Does Your Fridge Freezer Defrost in the Cold Weather?

Fridge in garageIt might sound a little strange, but a lot of people have experienced this problem with their fridge freezer. It is all to do with the thermostat and minimum temperature the fridge freezer is designed to work at. In this post we explain why the latest cold snap might cause your fridge freezer to defrost!

You are most likely to experience a cold weather defrost if you have a combined fridge freezer and you keep it in the garage or another outbuilding.

It is a little known fact but most models of fridge freezer have minimum and maximum temperature restrictions for the appliance to operate correctly. When a fridge freezer subject to these restraints is stored in an outside environment it is possible for the temperature outside the fridge to drop below the minimum working limit.

Why Does It Only Affect Fridge Freezers?

It is usually only an issue in fridge freezers that have a single thermostat or sensor located in the fridge compartment.  This thermostat will shut off if the temperature gets in the region of freezing as the inside of the fridge is already cold enough, if the temperature remains low then the fridge thermostat will not come back on.

As a consequence of the fridge thermostat shutting off, it will also cause the compressor to stop and the freezer will warm up to around the temperature of the room – which although low, is unlikely to be cold enough for storing frozen food.

If you are planning to store a fridge freezer in an outside environment, then the best advice is to check that it is suitable for the garage or that it has independent thermostats for the fridge and freezer compartments.

Remember, although this is a common cause of fridge freezers defrosting in a garage environment it is not the only explanation and other faults can cause a freezer to fail. You can find advice on fridge freezer faults as well as fridge freezer spare parts on the BuySpares website.

Fridge Defrosting in Garage

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  1. colin

    February 12, 2012 | 12:02 - Reply

    I have been using a fridge/freezer in my garage for the past 2years, with no problem. Last week the freezer part defrosted itself, and we were getting ready to dump it.
    Thanks to your advice we will give it another chance!!

    Many thanks for this topical tip.

  2. E Sharkey

    November 19, 2015 | 15:27 - Reply

    my fridge/freezer model no CDA539FW will not drain despite using special tool to clear any blockage. I have monitored this over a few months without any success. What is the next steps in diagnosing the problem.

    • Mike

      November 19, 2015 | 16:58 - Reply

      Hi E Sharkey,

      Many thanks for contacting us via our blog, we’re sorry to hear you’re experiencing problems with your fridge-freezer. Based on the information you’ve provided we would suggest you completely defrost the appliance (remember this can take 24hrs or more). Once the appliance has defrosted, pour a glass of hot water down the drain pipe and allow this to fully drain before switching your fridge-freezer back on.

      When switching the appliance on, take care not to have it set to too low a temperature. We would also suggest you keep an eye on the appliance after this, to ensure the issue doesn’t occur again.

      Let us know if we can be of any more assistance.



  3. Romayne

    December 7, 2016 | 19:57 - Reply

    Any advice before dumping? Our Beko frost-free freezer recently stopped working. It is still making all the right noises but not getting cold. It’s less than 2 years old and we bought it to keep in the garage (Beko claim they are the only brand that can safely be kept in an out building that gets colder than 10 degrees. It is a tall free-standing one and we lost a lot of food as it just defrosted by itself quite randomly. Very disappointed as it is not very old and cost nearly £400. Many thanks in advance. R 🙂

    • Eleanor

      December 12, 2016 | 10:35 - Reply

      Hi Romayne

      Most fridge freezers will defrost the freezer if in a cold environment as the temperature is measured in the fridge and if cold enough the compressor is not told to run. We understand some Beko models like your ‘learns’ the environment and compensates but if recently moved it may take a little while for it to get right. If freezing occasionally keep an eye on it for a couple of days after it settles and it may start to work correctly.

      Hope this helps

      The BuySpares Team

  4. Aneurin

    January 20, 2017 | 19:38 - Reply

    The back of our BEKO fridge is covered in frost even on setting number 1. I have fitted a new thermostat bought from buyspares but it is still covered with frost. What else could be causing this? Many Thanka, A.D.

    • Eleanor

      January 30, 2017 | 16:18 - Reply

      Hi Aneurin

      The back wall in a wet wall fridge will have frost on the surface as it is cooler than the fridge itself, in the same way as a room radiator is a lot hotter than the room.
      Buy a cheap fridge thermometer to check the inside temperature is within the normal operating range (1 to 5 degrees centigrade).

      Hope this helps.

      The BuySpares Team

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