How Often Should You Defrost And Clean Your Freezer?

A defrosting and cleaning schedule depends upon these factors:

  • The frequency of door openings: The more often the door is opened, the greater the amount of warm air entering the freezer. Each time the door is opened some of the cold air in the freezer spills out and is replaced by warm moist room air. As this air is cooled, the moisture is deposited onto the evaporator coils or other cold surfaces and can cause frost build-up.
  • The amount of food stored: If the freezer is full, there is less cold air to lose and therefore less for warm air to displace. 
  • The moisture content of room air: Frost build-up will be more rapid in humid weather.

Thick frost acts as an insulator between the evaporator coils and the food. When a heavy deposit of frost is present, the food will not be kept at the correct temperature. If you don't  have an automatic defrost option on your refrigerator/freezer,  you need to look for frost build-up. Generally, frost should be removed when it reaches a thickness of about .20 inches.

Australia Department of Energy "Fridges and Freezers"


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