Freezer Making A Loud Humming Noise? (Possible Causes & Fixes)

Upgraded Home Team
by Upgraded Home Team

They are a fixture in every home and have been for as long as any of us living can remember. And those reliable refrigerators and freezers are one of the things we use and rely on every day without giving them a second thought. That is until they act up and demand our attention. And there is a reason why your freezer is making loud humming noises.

The reason the freezer is making a loud humming noise can be traced to either a compressor issue, dispenser problem, dirty fan, or ice build-up concerns. Determining what the problem is will dictate the course of action needed to fix the issue. In most cases, the solution will involve seeking professional help.

Some of the reasons behind why your freezer is making a loud humming noise can be easily fixed. A couple of those causes for that loud humming, however, are considerably more serious. And those problems will often demand the help of a professional appliance service person.

Here is a look into why the freezer is making those impossible-to-ignore humming noises, and what can be done about it.

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Cause #1: The Compressor Issue

Refrigerators and freezers aren’t only notoriously loud appliances, they are also some of the loudest. Even washers and dryers have a tendency to shut up when not being used, but freezers seem to never stop working.

This also creates many unusual sounds, including those that resemble cracking, hissing, groaning, and of course, humming among many others. This can also make us grow somewhat deaf to these constant and various droning.

If you happen to notice your freezer making an unusual or prolonged humming sound, however, it may be time to listen and look again. Yes, compressors hum, and when freezers are full or the door is frequently opened, those compressors can expect to run longer.

The problem though is when they don’t stop running and or become louder than normal. Don’t ignore this new non-stop and amped-up humming noise, or else it will force you to pay attention.

Fixing the Compressor Issue

That new humming sound is indicative of the worst possible problem, and that is a bad, failing, or soon-to-be-dead compressor. And not to add salt to the wound, but there is no plausible recourse but replacement. Here, however, we do have options.

The first option is to yank out the old compressor and replace it with a new one. It is worth noting here that the median expense for a compressor is between $400 and $500. The compressor is also considered to be the heartbeat and core of the freezer, which leads to the other option – getting a new freezer.

Both these fixes will involve contacting appliance professionals for assistance. The compressor isn’t the only reason why a freezer might start making louder or prolonged humming noises. The good news is other less costly reasons could be why the freezer is making those new sounds.

Cause #2: The Dispenser Problem

Ice dispensers in freezers are another normal cause for buzzing or humming, especially when it is working. When that humming is longer than usual or louder than normal, however, those noises point to a potential problem with an inlet valve.

If this valve gets clogged or the water flow is hampered, it can result in the freezer overworking – hence, the humming. The other issue that can impact the dispenser and produce humming noises is a malfunction related to the control panel.

Fixing the Dispenser Problem

Problems with the dispenser, including inlet valve and control panel issues will typically require seeking the help of professional appliance techs. The good news is, these fixes are often simple and typically affordable too.

Inlet valves will generally cost between $25 and $50 with the average cost of appliance repair being around $100 to $150. Most appliance shops should be able to provide a good estimate for the total cost of fixing your dispenser problem.

Cause #3: The Dirty Fan Problem

A less common and therefore often overlooked reason for why the freezer is making those loud humming noises can be the condenser fan. If caught in time, it can also save the life of the condenser fan motor.

When the condenser fan gets dirty, it results in dirty condenser coils, and in turn that creates a strain on the motor. Eventually, this can lead to the condenser motor failing entirely, and an even louder humming.

Fixing the Dirty Fan Problem

If it sounds like the solution is cleaning the condenser fan, you would be correct. This is also a relatively simple process that you can do yourself. The most important thing to remember is to disconnect the main power from the freezer and to disconnect the fan motor.

Simply clean the fan motor, blades, and condenser coils with either a vacuum or a soft-bristled brush. Then simply reconnect the fan motor and plug the freezer back into the main power. If the condenser motor fails, then it may need to be replaced too. Condenser fan motors cost approximately $50 and that is a small price to pay to save a freezer full of food.

To replace the fan motor as with cleaning the fan, disconnect the freezer from the main power. The fan motor will have two wires (usually black) that lead into the power block. Carefully unplug the wires from the power block. It may be helpful to use a pair of needle-nose pliers if the connection is tight.

Next, you will need to remove the motor from its housing. The fan motor is typically secured by no more than two or three housing screws. Simply remove the screw and then pull the fan and fan motor from its housing. If the fan is in good condition, then keep it and attach it to the new fan motor.

Cause #4: The Ice Build Up Problem

The least likely of all the reasons why the freezer is making that loud humming noise is ice build-up, but it can and does happen. The good news is this is also the easiest and most simple fix and typically won’t require any professional assistance. It also won’t cost homeowner’s anything other than a little effort and time.

Fixing the Ice Build Up Problem

The air circulation fan can become blocked by ice and the result can be a fan, a fan motor, and a freezer working harder than it has to, as indicated by that new loud humming noise.

The ice can be removed via accessing the internal covers and getting rid of the ice, or a complete defrost of the freezer compartment will also get the job done. If ice build-up was causing the loud humming noise in your freezer, then all should be quiet now.

Like so many appliances, freezers also make many different sounds, and sometimes those sounds mean something – and sometimes they don’t. And that also leads to many other questions regarding refrigerators, freezers, and household appliances.

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Related Questions

If you have or if you have ever owned a refrigerator and freezer, then you have undoubtedly paused to question one or two of those sounds before. Here are some of those more frequently asked questions related to freezers.

Should I Be Concerned About the Noises from My Refrigerator and Freezer?

Many unusual sounds come from freezers and refrigerators. Some of them even have the potential to sound frightening. While appliances like freezers make many noises, the key is to recognize when those sounds are new or different from the typically peculiar sounds freezers and appliances make.

Yes, humming is normal. Yes, sounds like cracking ice and vibrations are normal. When those humming sounds get louder or when there are new cracking, humming, or other noises, is when it is time to investigate.

How Long Should a Freezer Compressor Run?

Does it seem like your freezer and refrigerator have been running for a long time? Well, the truth is, they probably have been. That is because the standard run time for freezer compressors is around 8 hours.

Newer freezers are estimated to run even longer, and about 80% to 90% of the time. That may also seem to make it more difficult to troubleshoot when a compressor or freezer is having a problem. Fortunately, when freezers generally start humming because of an underlying issue, there is a notable difference from the typical humming freezers make.

It is also worth noting that other factors can affect how long the freezer and refrigerator may run. This can include considerations such as how often the refrigerator and freezer doors are opened, or how much food is in the freezer.

Refrigerators and freezers will make noise, they are appliances and that is what they do. Our job is to get familiar with those noises and to recognize when something isn’t quite normal. Being able to realize and do something about a refrigerator or freezer before it dies can save time, money, and a considerable headache. And eliminating that new humming noise won’t hurt either.

Upgraded Home Team
Upgraded Home Team

We are a team of passionate homeowners, home improvement pros, and DIY enthusiasts who enjoy sharing home improvement, housekeeping, decorating, and more with other homeowners! Whether you're looking for a step-by-step guide on fixing an appliance or the cost of installing a fence, we've here to help.

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