How to reduce frost/ice formation in a direct cool fridge?
Refrigerators are daily essential equipment used in each household as you know. It is also used in many shops, offices, business places and even schools.
Most common problem in fridges are accumulation of frost and ice in the freezer compartment. This problem is more prominent and annoying if you are using direct cool fridges and less common in case of auto defrost or frost free fridges.
Here we will discuss how to reduce frost formation in a fridge? Let us discuss the issue from how is this frost/ice formed.
- How does a fridge works?
- How is frost/ice formed in fridge?
- How the frost/ice formation affects the fridge?
- Factors increasing frost formation in fridge.
- How to reduce frost/ice formation in direct cool fridge?
How does a fridge works?
Before going into details of why the frost/ice accumulates in fridge you first know how the fridge works. For this details you can refer the previous post about direct cool fridge. The compressor and expanding gas acts as cooling mechanism that essentially means heat transferring mechanism from inside to outside of the fridge.
Also we have seen in direct cool fridge the cooling plate is cooled first and then the objects the items kept in it are cooled by the convection currents of air moving inside the storage space of the fridge.
When the air comes in contact with cooling plates it cools and reduces its capacity hold moisture in it.
How is frost/ice formed in fridge?
As we know now that the cooling plate cools the air near it. The cooled air has reduced capacity to hold the moisture. This moisture accumulates on the cold surface as small dew drops.
If the temperature of cool surface is below freezing point of water these dew drops are converted in to the ice. Thus the ice accumulation continues as a ongoing process as the fridge works.
This is more prominent if it is direct cool fridge and less seen when fridge is auto defrost.
How the frost/ice formation affects the fridge?
Have you seen thick ice accumulating in freezer compartment in fridge? That is where the entire problem starts.
Ice is a poor conductor of heat. It forms a good insulation around the cooling plate. Because of this insulating layer the heat can not be transferred from the environment inside the fridge to the cooling plate.
Thus the temperature inside the fridge cannot be lowered with ease, which result in:
- Wastage of energy: As the energy utilized to cool the cooling plate is not getting utilized for cooling the food the energy is wasted.
- High bills: Because of existence of this thick insulating ice layer more energy is needed to produce the same cooling effect in the fridge. More the energy used more the bill.
Additionally accumulation of this ice layer reduces the space available for storage. Thus the storage space is reduced and the objects inside are placed in crowded condition.
If some tries to remove this frost/ice with the sharp object it may damage the fridge and that damage can cost a lot more many times as it creats a major fault and fridge stops working.
Factors increasing frost formation in fridge.
Here are factors increasing frost formation in fridge
- Frequent opening of fridge.
- Keeping fridge opened for long.
- Improper gasket.
- Humid hot environment.
- Overcrowding inside fridge.
- Setting thermostat to highest power.
- Malfunction or failure in fridge.
- Not defrosting a fridge periodically.
Frequent opening of fridge.
More frequently fridge is opened more the moisture enters the fridge.
With increasing moisture entering the fridge the ice accumulation too increases.
Additionally when fridge is opened cool air exists the fridge and large temperature fluctuations do occur.
Keeping fridge opened for long.
You may tend to forget to close the fridge and just keep it open.
You may have habit of keeping it open for long period.
These both practices can lead to more ice accumulation.
Gasket is the rubber that keeps door tightly attached to the front edges of the fridge when closed.
If this locking mechanism of rubber is not good it may allow outside air entry in to the fridge increasing accumulation of the frost.
Humid hot environment
In general when humidity is high with high temperature like in monsoon seasons the accumulation of ice is more in the fridge.
Overcrowding inside fridge
Fridge in which the items are packed to full capacity some times with more capacity can see more accumulation of ice.
Overcrowding in fridge can cause the disturbance in convection currents. It causes not only ice accumulation but also causes the uneven temprature inside the fridge.
Setting thermostat to highest power
Most of the fridges have the knob to set the cooling inside.
This knob is needed to be adjusted as per the environmental condition outside. If it’s hot outside we need to set thermostat to highest and when cool like winter to low.
If this thermostat is not properly set, then it can lead to ice more ice accumulation in the fridge.
Malfunction or failure in fridge
If fridge is not functioning properly something went wrong in it. The malfunctioning fridge can accumulate excess ice in the freezer compartment.
If the fridge is malfunctioning even the frost free fridge starts accumulating ice in it.
Not defrosting a fridge periodically:
If you are using a direct cool fridge which do not have auto-defrost function you have to defrost the fridge manually.
If you don’t defrost that fridge manually there will excess accumulation of frost and ice and it will affect the function of the fridge.
How to reduce frost formation in fridge?
Frost formation can be reduced with some tricks even in case of direct cool fridge. Let us see those tricks and how do those work.
- Closing the door as quickly as possible.
- Opening the door as less frequently as possible.
- Labeling the boxes with known arrangements.
- Adjusting the thermostat to appropriate level when needed.
- Fixing the gasket if it is leaking.
- Not overcrowding the items inside.
- Fixing problem in case of failure.
- Using manual defrost frequently as indicated for direct cool fridge.
Closing the door of the fridge as quickly as possible
This trick prevents excess air entering the fridge and also preventing excess humidity entering inside.
Also closing the doors quickly helps to reduce the entry of heat from outside to inside.
Some fridges have the siren that rings if you forget to close the door.
This function helps you to remember the close the fridge quickly.
Opening the door of the fridge less often
The fridge door should be opened as less often as possible.
Opening fridge less often prevents ice and frost accumulation in the fridge.
It will not stops the frost and ice formation but it will greatly reduce the rate of formation of ice.
Labeling the boxes with known arrangements
The items inside the fridge should be arranged very neatly.
You should find the items you ant and fridge should be closed in 5-10 seconds.
Labeling the boxes and arranging them in easy to remember arrangements help to quickly find what is needed.
The time door is opened is reduced with this step. It greatly reduces the formation of ice and entry of heat to fridge from outside.
It also helps to reduce the large temperature fluctuations in the fridge.
Adjusting thermostat to appropriate level.
If you are adjusting thermostat to highest even in winters not only it will produce excess ice and frost also it will be a great wastage of energy too.
The thermostat should be adjusted based on recommendation of manufacturer and also the items kept inside.
This will also increase he durability of the fridge.
Fixing the gasket if it is leaking
If the closing mechanism of the door is not good and it is leaking it causes excess accumulation of frost and ice.
It also lead to wastage of energy.
Any leakage of air should be fixed as appropriate.
Not overcrowding the items inside
The stuffing excess number of items in fridge than it could handle is not recommended.
This may cause stinky small and also affects the functioning of the fridge.
The items in each shelf should be near to middle portion and the portion near the walls should be free for air circulation.
Fixing problem in case of failure
If your fridge is frost free type and still it accumulates the ice and frost certainly you need to fix your fridge.
In case of direct cool fridge also if the ice is accumulating excessively even at low thermostat setting you need to fix your fridge.
Using manual defrost
Using manual defrost and preventing the frost and ice accumulation is most important thing.
This is done as recommended by the manufacturer. Generally if ice layer is thicker than 5 mm approx your fridge needs manual defrost.